Note: This tutorial requires that the Host PC and PXI controller have direct internet access in order to install the software.
A compatible PXI controller provisioned as described in Real-Time Controllers and Real-Time Operating System Compatibility and Provisioning a PXI Controller to the NI Linux Real-Time Operating System.
With NI Linux Real-Time PXI Controllers, a format is required before any software can be installed. This section will cover the changes to the format experience in NI MAX for these controllers and how to perform the format.
With the release of NI Linux Real-Time Controllers, NI has introduced the concept of Base Images. A Base Image is a light-weight installation of the minimum software needed to configure, install software to, and successfully use all available features with a Linux Real-Time PXI Controller.
In the past, formatting an NI Real-Time Controller from NI MAX would fully wipe all user data and installed software from the controller, leaving just the Linux Operating System. Moving forward, this option will be referred to as a Standard Format. In the case of PXI Linux Real-Time Controllers, there is now an additional format option: Base Images. These will format the controller such that all user data and software are removed, but after doing so will also apply the selected Base Image.If you are planning to deploy VeriStand project to NI Linux Real-Time Controllers, please refer to VeriStand and NI Linux Real-Time Version Compatibility to select the compatible base system image.
Note: NI Linux Real-Time PXI Controllers can still be formatted with a Standard Format. However, this will prevent the proper installation of available packages and users will be prompted to format with a Base Image when attempting to install software.
Before installing software from NI MAX the controller must first be formatted with a compatible Base Image. To do so, follow the instructions below. Make sure to launch NI MAX as administrator before attempting the steps below.
Unlike past NI Real-Time Controllers, NI Linux Real-Time PXI Controllers install NI Drivers and Software as packages within a Linux package manager, opkg. This section will cover the PXI Linux Real-Time install system and how to install software using the wizard.
In the past, installing software to NI Real-Time Controllers has required installing the relevant software and drivers to a Host PC and then running an install process to push these items from the Host PC to the Real-Time Controller. This meant that all NI Software necessary for the controller had to be present on the Host PC in the exact versions necessary for a system.
Instead, NI Linux Real-Time PXI Controllers use a process which scripts installation through a lightweight package manager: opkg. Existing users of NI Linux Real-Time may already be familiar with using this package manager to install many third-party software from the official NI-hosted package repository. As of the 2019 release of the LabVIEW Real-Time Module, software and drivers for NI Linux Real-Time PXI software and Controllers are now hosted in this same repository. As of the 2020 release, software and drivers for NI Linux Real-Time PXI software and Controllers can be installed to offline Real-Time Targets. Refer to Installing Software to Offline NI Linux Real-Time Targets for more information.
As a result of this change, the Host PC no longer needs every driver or utility in order to install software to an NI Linux Real-Time PXI Controller. Only NI MAX is necessary to facilitate the installation once a system has been imaged with a Base Image. This makes replicating or restoring different software versions on a Real-Time controller much easier, with the Base Image ensuring access to the right versions of the repository feeds.
Once software is installed, the controller can be used as with any other NI Real-Time controller. NI recommends keeping a development machine configured with all relevant software and drivers as the development APIs and environments will still be necessary for programming the controller.
To install software from NI MAX, follow the instructions below:
Once software is installed on the target, it can be used in LabVIEW with the LabVIEW Real-Time Module just like any other Real-Time Controller. Configuration options, such as driver and device settings, will also be available with the proper software installed. Once necessary software is installed, you can migrate existing Phar Lap applications to NI Linux RT.Before using the controller, NI recommends following the instructions below to set a secure password.
NI highly recommends setting a password for any Real-Time devices. As of NI MAX 19.0, users will now be notified via a warning for all Real-Time Linux Controllers with SSH enabled if a password has not been set. This warning will appear as shown in the below image.
To set an administrator password for a Linux Real-Time device:
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