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Archived: NI Linux Real-Time and opkg: Introduction to ipks

Note: This document is now archived and is no longer being updated. The new documentation can be found at and updates can be submitted to


With the release of NI Linux Real-Time for PXI and further improvements to the NI Linux Real-Time platform, NI now utilizes ipks for software installation using the opkg package manager that ships with NI Linux Real-Time. 



The attached tutorial covers:

  • Creation of a simple "Hello, World!" executable
  • Packaging the executable in an ipk for distribution with the opkg package manager
  • The document also includes a more general discussion for how to build an ipkg and feeds

Note: NI Support does not officially support the usage of custom ipks. If issues are encountered, NI recommends posting to NI Linux Real-Time community forums for assistance from other NI Linux Real-Time users. 


Hardware and Software Requirements

  • NI Linux Real-Time System with one of the following
    • NI Linux Real-Time
    • Access to the online NI Repositories or an offline version of the repo copied from the
      online NI Repositories
    • Source for a Linux Package (this tutorial includes source code for a "Hello, World!" example

Brian D.

National Instruments

NI Product Owner
Active Participant
Active Participant

Ok I created the HelloWorld.c file on my system and was able to utilize the gcc tools installed to compile to code.  Yes!


Next I tested the executable by running the compiled exe using

# ./hello


Rewarded by 

Hello world!


printed on the screen.


With that success I then tried to follow the directions to build the opkg ipk.  


I created the hellopgk folder


    CONTROL {directory}

         control {text file}

    usr {directory}

        bin {directory}

            hello {exe created by gcc compile and tested above}

        lib {folder}

    deiban-binary {text file? with 2.0}


Then I navigated to the opkg-utils folder on my system and ran


./opkg-build /SystemPath/hellowworld/hellopkg /SystemPath/helloworld


This DID build the hellopkg_1.0.0_x64.ipk


However, when I ran opkg install hellopkg_1.0.0_x64.ipk  I got errors unrelated to this package popping up, from a failed prior opkg install...


Any clue on why a prior install error would stick around?


When I did an opkg info hellopkg after the failed install, it returned nothing.


Ryan Vallieu CLA, CLED
Senior Systems Analyst II
NASA Ames Research Center