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Prefered linux distribution

Hi,

What is your prefered linux distribution for NI hardware?

I need to use NI-SCOPE, NI-DAQmx and GPIB by VISA and need to know the best distributuion.

Should i prefer Scientific linux ? Which version 5 or 6 ?

Or OpenSUSE ?

My main problem is NI-SCOPE, it seems to be supported only by old linux.

Does anybody suceeded to install it with it on SL or OpenSuse ?

Thanks for you advices

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Re: Prefered linux distribution

http://digital.ni.com/public.nsf/allkb/4857A755082E9E228625778900709661

"support" in that document refers to whether we validated the software on the distribution. However, in _most_ cases, if you have the right NI-KAL that supports the distribution, it should work.

Some people in this forum use Ubuntu. We don't officially support it, so if you have problems, you're more on your own.

I would stay away from distribution with 4KB kernel stack by default, e.g. RHEL 4&5, Sci Linux 4&5, AFAIK. The 4K kernel stack wasn't enough for some calls so it's troublesome for our driver.

The rest is up to your preference. If you want Enterprise support, usually people go with RedHat. Otherwise, you might go with Sci Linux or OpenSUSE.

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Re: Prefered linux distribution

It is worth noting though that it's fairly easy to recompile the kernel to use an 8K stack, if you do go with RedHat. CentOS has a good guide here:

http://wiki.centos.org/HowTos/Custom_Kernel

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Re: Prefered linux distribution

It's also worth noting that "easy" is a relative term..

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Re: Prefered linux distribution

It would be way easier to support more distributions if your installer would not be such a horrible, convoluted mess. [I tried to reverse-engineer it once, for supporting Gentoo as non-rpm-based distribution. After reading myself for a few days through several levels of pre-/postinstall shell scripts and figuring out how all the kernel / software checks work because they may fail at random if the expected output does not precisely match, I gave up and returned to reading quantum physics papers.]

Please consider simplifying the installer. People want to use your software, it is unnecessarily hard, you make it impossible for distribution packagers to help, and you're basically keeping away a potential customer base.

(What pre-/postinstall scripts do is completely orthogonal to how package management is supposed to work.)

Message 5 of 23
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Re: Prefered linux distribution

Apologies for the crappy installer.. There's been complaints internally too, but unfortunately, we haven't revisited our linux installer since we created it so long ago.

There was a reason for why we couldn't rely on pre/post-install scripts of rpm .. something to do with displaying license agreement + can't fail and bail out properly during post-install or something like that. RPM and packaging technologies in general are geared toward user mode programs/libraries, not so much kernel drivers. The result was all that messy complexity.

Linux packaging packaging technologies have evolved a lot since then. I think it can accommodate our needs better today. There's been plans to rework that stuff, but unfortunately, that work has been lower priority than everything else that needs our resources currently...

Message 6 of 23
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Re: Prefered linux distribution

Also, to be fair, the installer could be simpler if Linux distributions weren't so incredibly varied. It is very difficult to support many distributions because they keep changing things (like which versions of libraries are installed, where things go, which SELinux security settings are enabled, etc.). Every release it seems we have to fix things up for some newer distribution that has changed things around yet again. I know Linux users love choice, but at some point you lose more than you gain by making it really difficult for us to keep up. I would love to say we support all Linux distributions, but that just isn't at all practical. There is no one "Linux" to support. There are hundreds. Even if we used a packaging system we would have to pick one (say, .rpm) at the expense of all the distributions which use another (say, .deb), and then there are distributions like Gentoo which have their own completely custom packaging system. Our INSTALL script is meant to be able to run on any of those distributions, with workarounds for as many silly little distro-specific quirks as we can. It's not ideal, but we're doing the best we can to support you on whatever you want to run, and none of the "standard" packaging systems for Linux can do that.

FWIW, our installer used to work on Gentoo (I know because that's what I ran for years). If it doesn't work now then let us know and maybe we can fix it. We don't want you to have to maintain a separate installer system for us. We want our script to just work for you.

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Message 7 of 23
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Re: Prefered linux distribution

Thanks. It would definitely be nice if the installer "just worked" again. Unfortunately I cannot help you, since by now we don't use VISA on Linux anymore but have switched to LinuxGPIB (hint: NI GPIB-USB-HS is our most frequent piece of hardware).

(Another issue is that the NI-VISA et al driver system in addition to "installing the files from RPM" basically introduces a package management of its own. When and if it works, that can be fine... but the disadvantage is that the system package manager does not know about the files and inconsistencies can occur. That is, however, of secondary concern.)

Message 8 of 23
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Re: Prefered linux distribution

Ah, you're talking about VISA and GPIB. Drivers are even harder to support across many distributions because of the many kernel variants. Again, we try our best, but there's only so much we can do.

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Message 9 of 23
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Re: Prefered linux distribution

I would prefer if you limited the support to as few distos and platforms as possible, but did it well and frequently. If you try to cover as many as possible, resources will be diluted into a very thin soup.

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Message 10 of 23
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