Using Keyboard and Mouse in National Instrument's Real-Time Controllers

Updated Sep 21, 2018

Reported In


  • Industrial Controller
  • CompactRIO Controller
  • CompactDAQ Controller


  • LabVIEW Real-Time Module

Issue Details

Can I use a keyboard and mouse in my NI Real-Time Industrial Controller (IC, CompactRIO, CompactDAQ)?


Refer to the document Which Real-Time Targets Support Embedded UI? to understand whether your real-time target supports Embedded UI functionality. Typically all Industrial Controllers(IC) support Embedded UI functionality.

To enable this feature in your application, refer to the help document: Enabling the Embedded UI on RT Targets (Real-Time Module)

Additional Information

Typical Real-Time targets do not support mouse and keyboard usage in the application, however the Embedded UI enables you to access a desktop environment on your RT target from which you can browse files, access terminals and settings, and interact with the front panel of a VI running on the RT target using a mouse and a keyboard.

National Instruments uses Xfce to create the embedded UI for RT targets. To learn about using and configuring Xfce, refer to the Xfce help available on the Xfce website.


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