Using FTP With an NI Linux Real-Time Target

Updated Oct 26, 2023



  • CompactRIO Chassis

Operating System

  • LabVIEW Real-Time (NI Linux Real-Time)

  • Use of the FTP server in NI Linux RT is not recommended because the FTP server has been deprecated and is no longer supported as of 2013. The server also only allows anonymous connections which is inherently insecure. It is recommended that you use SFTP or WebDAV instead.
  • FTP Server software is not included in the NI RT Feed. If you are using Linux RT System Image, you cannot install Legacy FTP Server. Use Legacy Installation if you wish to proceed with the steps below.
  • Legacy FTP Server is not supported on PXI Linux RT controllers.

To use the FTP Server with your NI Linux Real-Time device, you will first need to install the FTP Server to your target:
  1.  Open Measurement & Automation Explorer (MAX).
  2. Go to Remote Systems and find your NI Linux Real-Time target and expand the options.
  3. Right click Software » select Add/Remove Software
  1. Select either the software installation underneath the relevant LabVIEW Real-Time menu or the option for custom software installation and then click NextNote: NI CompactRIO Device Drivers May 2018 no longer supports the FTP Server Recommended Software Set add-on for CompactRIO Linux-RT devices. The FTP server is only available when using the custom software installation option.
  1. Depending on which software selection you made, you will see one of the following dialogs, one for the default software installation and another for the custom software installation, respectively. 
  1. Choose Legacy FTP Server and then select Next to let the software install.

Now that you have installed the FTP Server, you can FTP files to your NI Linux Real-Time target normally or programmatically.

Additional Information

The FTP Server is not installed by default on NI Linux Real-Time (LinuxRT) devices. If you wish to install an FTP server in your NI Linux RT target, you will have to choose a third-party FTP Server of your preference, and install it manually to the target via opkg  (the package manager used in NI Linux RT devices).

WebDAV is the recommended file system access method when going over HTTP or HTTPS.  WebDAV is a more secure method as it uses the NIAuth digest authentication whereas the FTP Server does not. See Using WebDAV to Transfer Files to Real-Time Target for more information. 

If using the FTP VIs in LabVIEW, consider the difference in file paths between NI Linux Real-Time targets, and other Real-Time targets. For example, see FTP Get Multiple Files VI.

If you are having trouble with logging in when trying to FTP, try resetting the password to a non-blank password.