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What are the Edaq, Comedi, and DAQmx Data Acquisition Drivers for Linux?

Updated Jan 9, 2018

Reported In


  • NI-DAQmx
  • NI-DAQmx Base 2.1

Operating System

  • Linux

Issue Details

I would like to use my National Instruments hardware with my Linux® development computer. I have verified that I am using a supported Linux distribution, but I am unsure what driver to use. What are the Edaq, Comedi, DAQmx, and DAQmx Base data acquisition drivers for Linux?



Comedi is an open-source collection of drivers for a variety of data acquisition boards.  The drivers are implemented with a core Linux kernel module providing common functionality and individual low-level driver modules.  Many National Instruments boards are supported by the Comedi driver.

Comedi is primarily maintained by David Schleef and Frank Mori Hess.  Much of Comedi has been developed by others as well.

Note: Contributions to Comedi have not been evaluated by National Instruments and must be supported by the groups who created them or by other third-party sources. National Instruments does not support the Comedi driver.


In 2000, National Instruments released a beta driver to support Linux environments. This driver was used for a short time, but the Comedi driver shortly replaced Edaq and, for a few years, became the recommended way to use National Instruments data acquisition boards on Linux. The biggest difference between Comedi and Edaq is that Comedi does not support timed, buffered acquisitions and Edaq offered interrupt-driven, timed, buffered acquisitions. The Edaq driver is no longer supported.

NI-DAQmx Base for Linux®

The NI-DAQmx Base driver offers a subset of the functionality found in the NI-DAQmx driver and a similar programming interface to NI-DAQmx. National Instruments built this driver using the Measurement Hardware DDK and LabVIEW. The NI-DAQmx Base driver supports a subset of USB DAQ devices; full lists of the supported hardware can be found in the release notes of each NI-DAQmx Base version.

NI-DAQmx for Linux®

Optimized for LabVIEW 8 and not presently supported, NI-DAQmx for Linux® offers the most comprehensive National Instruments hardware integration and the most functionality in a data acquisition driver software. With an application programming interface for both National Instruments LabVIEW and ANSI C, NI-DAQmx for Linux works with more than three hundred data acquisition and signal conditioning products.


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