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Upgrading MXI-3 system from LV7.2 Windows to LV2010 Linux

I have a legacy MXI-3 system that I need to upgrade from LV7.2 under Windows XP to LV2010 under Linux.


1) Do I need to purchase a new MXI card, such as MXI-4 or MXI-Express?


2) Are there Linux (Ubuntu) drivers that support any of these MXI buses?


Thank you for your input.


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Hi Chris,


To answer your first question: 

You should be able to use NI MXI products with Linux. PXI is composed of PCI components, which are native to each Operating System. Therefore, PCI to PCI bridges should be recognized by the system without any additional drivers installed. The more advanced features of the PXI chassis, such as triggering, are supported by PXI Platform Services. As of March 2011, there is a beta Linux PXI Platform Services driver (version 2.6), but it does not support Ubuntu. Beyond that, you would need to download any other Linux drivers for hardware you would be using. 


To answer your second question:

According to this list of Linux distributions supported by National Instruments, Ubuntu is not one of them. However, RedHat 5 and Scientific 5.5 should work - the other dsitrbutions listed on that article have not been tested with the Platform Services.


Let me know if you have any other questions.




Micah M.
National Instruments
NIC AE Specialist - Test
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Thank you for your reply, which is helpful.  However, I don't know if my *old* MXI-3 PCI card (from the LV7.2 era) will work with the new NI products. I don't have the specific model number at the moment.  Do you think it would work with LV2010 Linux 64-bit? LV2010 Windows-7 64-bit?

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Hi Chris,


I apologize, I should have been more clear as my last post was in reference to MXI-3. MXI-3 should work with Linux just fine. It should also work with LabVIEW 2010 just fine as LabVIEW is simply a programming language and the MXI-3 card does not interface with LabVIEW directly - it communicates more on the hardware/system level.


As for Windows 7, MXI-3 does not work with Windows Vista or Windows 7. You can read more about why that is right here


As far as a 64bit Operating System goes, there are far more reasons why it wouldn't work than why it would. A 64-bit OS can address memory locations (beyond 4GB) and PXIe addresses that are beyond the range of a 32-bit device. MXI-3 (and older MXI-4) can only support 32-bit addressing - and therefore there is a very likely chance that the BIOS of a 64-bit machine would address locations for the MXI-3 devices beyond the 32-bit limit. This would cause dropped communications as the MXI-3 would not be able to see or understand anything beyond that 32bit limit. This also applies to data being addressed to memory locations beyond 4GB - your MXI-3 wouldnt be able to access it. Technically, you could try and force a 64-bit system to behave like 32-bit by carefully configuring the way the devices fetch their PCI address (only allowing 32-bit addressing) and by keeping system memory under 4GB. This would technically work, but it all depends on how the BIOS for your computer was designed to work. It is also completely nullifying some of the main advantages of a 64-bit system...


If you want to use a 64-bit OS (especially Windows 7/VISTA), your best bet is to upgrade to a MXI-4/Express system.


In short, will MXI-3 work with...


Windows 7? No.

LabVIEW 2010? Yes

Linux? Most likely.

64-bit OS? Only if you are willing to do a lot of work turning your 64-bit system into a 32-bit system, and even then you are likely to run into lots of problems.


I hope this answers your questions, have a nice day!


Micah M.
National Instruments
NIC AE Specialist - Test
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