The Differences Between a LabVIEW Executable and an Installer

Updated May 20, 2024

Reported In


  • LabVIEW
  • LabVIEW Run-Time Engine

Issue Details

I´m trying to build an executable but I´d like to know, how are installers different from executables in LabVIEW?


Be aware that to use an executable or installer developed with LabVIEW, there is no cost to the end user, though you will need to have a valid license of LabVIEW to create an executable or installer. 
  • Executable
    • An executable is simply a stand-alone application built using Application Builder in the LabVIEW development software. The executable can be distributed to other users. To run a LabVIEW executable, all you need is the LabVIEW Runtime Engine (RTE) corresponding to the LabVIEW version in which the executable was developed.  For example, if you created a LabVIEW application in LabVIEW 2016, you would need LabVIEW Runtime Engine 2016.
  • Installer
    • An installer is also created using Application Builder. It normally includes not only the executable but also the other dependencies such as RTE, drivers, and toolkits. The installer will install all the required software to the deployed PC. If the necessary software is not included in the installer, you will need to determine the necessary components by following the steps below.
    1. Run-Time Engine:
      • Regardless of the nature of your executable, you will need to have the LabVIEW Run-Time Engine installed on your target computer.
      • The Run-Time Engine version needs to match the version of LabVIEW that the executable was built in.
      • All versions of the LabVIEW Run-Time Engine are available for download from our website.
    2. Drivers:
      • If your executable utilizes any hardware functionality, you will need to install the necessary drivers.
    3. Toolkits:
      • If there are any toolkits that were used to develop the executable, the same toolkits need to be installed on the target computer.