Preventing a Real-Time Executable from Running at Startup

Updated Dec 12, 2022



  • CompactRIO Chassis
  • CompactRIO Controller
  • PXI Controller


  • LabVIEW Real-Time Module

Whenever I reboot my Real-Time controller, the executable runs automatically at startup. What methods can be used to remove the executable, or stop it from running automatically?

There are a few methods you can use to prevent an executable from running at startup. Note that these are general steps you can take, and don't have a specific order. It may be helpful to reboot your controller into safe mode before performing these steps, as that will prevent any startup applications from running - this will however reset the IP address as well:

  • You can remove the executable from the /ni-rt/startup/ folder on VxWorks and PharLap Real-Time controllers.  You can use any FTP client to navigate to  ftp://<Controller IP Address>/ni-rt/startup and delete the .rtexe file (this is the default startup directory for RT PXI/cRIO Build Specifications. If the 'Target destination directory' of the Build Specification was altered, then delete these files from the specified directory).
  • On some FieldPoint, CompactRIO and Real-Time PXI controllers there is a hardware switch on the device that will prevent VIs and executables from running on startup.
  • Some cRIO controllers and the latest Compact FieldPoint controllers label this switch "NO APP". Older model FieldPoint devices label this hardware switch "Disable VI". PXI controllers label the switch "Disable Statup VI". For PXI controllers, make sure the LabVIEW RT setup menu in the BIOS has Use Hardware Switch selected for Disable Startup VI?. For more information about using these hardware dip switches refer to the product manual of your device.
  • Most controllers that do not have a hardware switch have a Disable RT Startup App checkbox in Measurement and Automation Explorer. You can find this checkbox on the Controller Settings tab of the controller's page in Measurement and Automation Explorer.
  • Startup applications can be disabled on a Real-Time desktop PC by using the Desktop PC Utility USB Drive. You can create one of these in Measurement & Automation Explorer by selecting Tools»RT Disk Utilities»Create Desktop PC Utility USB Drive. Boot the Real-Time PC from this utility. Select Disable LabVIEW Real-Time startup application.
  • The same startup configuration can be modified through the INI file stored on the Real-Time target. The file called ni-rt.ini at the root directory of the real-time unit has a token called RTTarget.LaunchAppAtBoot=. Typing True after the equal sign enables applications to start at boot up, and typing False disables the startup application.