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Running a LV program from a thumb drive without installing

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I have a client who would like to be able to distribute a fairly simple LabVIEW program on a thumb drive and allow people to run it from the thumb drive without doing an installation. They claim this is probably possible. I've searched the forums and found a few threads discussing the idea, from around 2010/2012. Which is probably when they last did their searching! Here are the relevant threads I've found:
https://forums.ni.com/t5/LabVIEW/run-labview-executable-without-installing/td-p/416366?profile.langu...

https://forums.ni.com/t5/LabVIEW/Run-a-LabView-2012-executable-without-installing-RTE/td-p/2484012?p...

https://forums.ni.com/t5/LabVIEW/Labview-exe-as-portable/td-p/2122520?profile.language=en

https://forums.ni.com/t5/LabVIEW-Idea-Exchange/Build-executibles-that-don-t-require-a-runtime-engine...

I imagine this has only gotten more difficult as the years go by and the OS and LabVIEW get bigger and more complicated. But just in case anyone has any recent experience with this... Has anyone done this with a recent version of LabVIEW? We are using 2020.

Frankly, I'm doubtful that it will work. It is even more unlikely since their program uses MCC hardware, which means one also needs to somehow get the MCC driver installed. So even if someone were to work out a LabVIEW solution, it seems unlikely that they might also have already worked out a MCC solution as well.


Thanks,

      DaveT

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David Thomson Original Code Consulting
www.originalcode.com
National Instruments Alliance Program Member
Certified LabVIEW Architect
Certified Embedded Systems Developer
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There are 10 kinds of people: those who understand binary, and those who don't.
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Accepted by topic author Dave_Thomson

This used to be possible (albeit a limited hack) in the earlier days of LV when the runtime engine was more compact and consisted of limited libraries that could be dynamically loaded.

 

These days, the runtime is a significantly bigger beast with many installed sub-components.  There is currently no portable version of the runtime engine nor any way to statically link the entire runtime into an application that I know of. You could probably add your own up-vote to the Idea Exchange ((https://forums.ni.com/t5/LabVIEW-Idea-Exchange/Build-executibles-that-don-t-require-a-runtime-engine...) to aid weight to any future support for this. A lot of comments there are valid - the runtime has increased in functionality along with size, and there may be a use case again for a "base" (minimum) and "complete" installers depending on application requirements. This may bring it back in line with other platform-independent SDKs that need to be installed on the target first (Java, .NET Framework etc.).

 

When it comes to the MCC driver set, I have a colleague who has deployed this without an installer by including all the dependent assemblies and libraries and then deploying drivers via a script (as Admin). To be honest, using an installer is probably the more sustainable approach long term and easier to automate.

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tyk007 pretty much covered it and the MCC DAQ stuff will still have to be installed and configured so you are dead in the water from the beginning.

 

Even if they could make the runtime fit not have to be installed there would always be something that would also need to be installed (NI-VISA runtime NI-488.2) if your program uses any sort of instrument.

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=== Engineer Ambiguously ===
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Thanks for both replies. Pretty much what I was concluding as well. It's good to have some additional insights.

 

DaveT

-------------------------------------------------------------
David Thomson Original Code Consulting
www.originalcode.com
National Instruments Alliance Program Member
Certified LabVIEW Architect
Certified Embedded Systems Developer
-------------------------------------------------------------
There are 10 kinds of people: those who understand binary, and those who don't.
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I'd say running a compiled exe from a thumbdrive without installing it is easy. Running it without installing the Runtime (and drivers) is extremely hard. 😄

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@Yamaeda wrote:

I'd say running a compiled exe from a thumbdrive without installing it is easy. Running it without installing the Runtime (and drivers) is extremely hard. 😄


If it is just an executable without any access to any hardware that is not standard present in EVERY computer, then yes. But as soon as you access any hardware like the MCC DAQ cards (or NI DAQmx) and others, it's simply an impossible pipe dream nowadays. You can NOT access hardware in modern OSes (in fact since about 20 years already) without an installed device driver. No exceptions, unless the OS comes with the necessary drivers standard included.

Rolf Kalbermatter
Averna BV
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