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Why is labview (and KV community gor that matter) so picky with linux distros?

  • Labview is supported for linux, yes, but only on some of the leadt popular distributions like Centos and redhat. No, they arent supported even on Fedora. They were supported on open suse until 15.3 came out. Why not Ubuntu? Do you know how hard Centos is for use? Why not support it on a distro tgats actually popular and has up to date software and isnt server distro? I was happy with opensuse but now thats dead too 😞
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Because Linux is not simply Linux for a software like LabVIEW. Linux has always been and still is a huge construction site with many developers working on it and often not agreeing how to do certain things, resulting in the same thing being developed in a multitude of ways that are not only not compatible to call but often can't coexist along each other. Distributions try to solve that problem by selecting specific components for you (eg. Gnome vs. KDE or QT, or some more lightweight desktop managers).


And it doesn't stop just there. There are many more subsystems on a Linux system that are different between distributions including the whole story about package management. And to make things worse, the Linux developers never shied away of obsoleting a technology that was well working with something that was promising more possibilities but initially a total disaster.


So for a software like LabVIEW that has many many dependencies Linux is not just Linux but very specific to distributions and even versions thereof. And the Redhat distribution and its derivatives is the one that used to be mostly used in professional Linux sites, and that are the ones who are willing to buy a LabVIEW license. Ubuntu is not very dominant in corporate environments but mostly used on individuals end computers, who are not so likely to buy a LabVIEW development license of several thousand bucks.


This makes the calculation simple: Supporting a specific Linux distribution is expensive, supporting more than one exponentially even more expensive, so why spend lots of time and effort on a distribution that is unlikely to give any significant ROI (Return of Investment)?


LabVIEW can be installed on Ubuntu too, it just isn't a point and click installation like what most Ubuntu users are used too and why they usually have chosen for Ubuntu in the first place. It requires some command line magic and knowing how to do some basic command line voodoo. And once you talk about hardware support like DAQ and similar hardware things really get hairy and you simply need some real kernel hacking knowledge.

Rolf Kalbermatter
Averna BV
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