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Ship NI Developer Suite on USB keys instead of DVDs

Status: Completed

NI send us the NI Developer Suite each year on DVDs all packed in a nice little NI branded dvd carry case. We are on the SSP suscription and we receive 3/years, which means I have a whole stack of them.


I suggest that NI start shipping USB keys instead. USB has several advantages:


  • USBs are smaller
  • USBs are more usable on devices without DVD player
  • Installing with one large USB means no more DVD swapping. I can go to lunch while NI installs/updates without having to change the DVD every couple of minutes.
  • USBs are reusable: when you get a new version on LabVIEW on a new USB, you can use the old one for regular usage. This also means less waste, since the USB keys are still in use after a new version ships, but the DVDs are useless.


Ship developer suite on NI USB keys

Trusted Enthusiast

My company doesn't allow the use of USB keys that they haven't issued.

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Knight of NI

There was a survey not long ago that NI had about using USB flash drives instead of the DVDs.  And I'm pretty sure NI was talking about using USB drives with the suites at last year's NI Week.  So I would not be surprised if this comes in the next couple of years.


My main concern is network security.  My company says that only specially encrypted drives are allowed on any company computer.  So then I would not be able to use these?


I personally think the drives should be set to Read Only.  The last thing we need is somebody overwriting the installers.

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Proven Zealot

USB keys being not-read-only is a problem in many places. Just setting the "read-only" bit on files on the keys isn't enough. Those bits could be toggled off. Also, those bits do not prevent someone adding additional content to the USB keys.


There doesn't seem to be any tech for making a truly read-only USB key for the simple reason that you always have to have a way to write the data originally and then flip some switch to close that option, but that switch can always be toggled back. DVDs have the advantage that the data is written in a "construction" process and then it is done being written. No re-write is possible once the disk record is closed.

Proven Zealot

> This also means less waste, since the USB keys are still

> in use after a new version ships, but the DVDs are useless.


Many people have a need for multiple versions of LV as old projects often do not want to upgrade.

Active Participant

Make it an option.  USB would be my preference, but there are situations where a disc is preferred.


The capacity of a USB drive is a big deal though, especially as installers and the number of tools keeps growing. 

Isn't $/GB about the same for USB as optical media anymore?

Proven Zealot

By the way -- my post should NOT be taken as a statement that NI won't do this. I'm no where near the department that considers ideas like this. It could already be happening for all I know. I just am aware of the customers I deal with and many would be leary of a writeable medium for distribution. Obviously from the comments above, not all are. 🙂

Knight of NI

I don't know if I'm ready to vote For this idea.  But I do know of one area where it would benefit me.  Installing LabVIEW on PXI computers.  They don't have an optical drive, so I'm forced to share the DVD drive on my laptop over the network so I can install from the DVD's onto the PXI.  Having a USB key to plug in would allow me to directly install from that.


Interesting conversation I had with a friend in IT last week.  Some of the new Dell laptops he is deploying are not coming with any kind of optical drive at all.  He said it made sense to him because almost all of the software is installed from the network.  I told him it would cause problems for me because LabVIEW comes by way of DVD.  I wait for the DVD's to come in because I don't want to wait hours upon hours, if not days, for numerous GB's of files to download from  And if I tried to do that, he'd yell at me for hogging all of the bandwidth.  If I really need to download large stuff, I do it at home because my home FIOS connection is faster than our work T1 connection.


Also, although I don't do it, I know many people take DVD's and watch movies on their laptop while on planes or in a hotel.


Is the world really coming to a point where get ridding of DVD players makes sense?

Proven Zealot

> Is the world really coming to a point where get ridding of DVD players makes sense?


From laptops? We are well passed that point. The DVD itself is a dead format for everything except data delivery. Movies, music and images are all streamed for delivery from commercial sources or carried on USB keys for personal use. Only large scale software delivery, secure software images and backup drives still need DVDs, and, really, DVDs are poor for use as backups.


I have had my current work machine for three years. I don't think I've ever used the DVD drive. And the last time I handled a DVD at home? Better part of a decade except for one CD that my sister gave me for my birthday.

Active Participant

After hearing about a change to USB drives at an NI event I was looking forward  to getting rid of the DVDs. Then came BadUSB, and I lost faith in the change.


I prefer USB over DVD, but ideally we would just have access to all the installers 24/7 online instead. We have to make volume license kits anyway (I have posted an idea about changing that to volume licenses available directly from, and I do not like to wait for the DVDs to arrive either. Instant all year access to the newest and all previous versions would be the best.

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Active Participant

As an option, great!

André Manzolli

Mechanical Engineer
Certified LabVIEW Developer - CLD
LabVIEW Champion
Curitiba - PR - Brazil