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I have some information from one of my customers but it's a bit muddled and I am trying to understand it. As it has been described to me,  a USB stick is used to "download" LabVIEW and use it as an "operating system". So obviously there is a bit of a mismatch of vocabulary here or understanding of what LabVIEW is, the closest ideas I have is that this is some kind of Linux Live USB or perhaps running the LabVIEW application directly off the memory stick without installing the RTE.

Does anyone know if it is possible to run a LabVIEW application without installing the RTE by carefully placing certain files in the right place?

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7 minutes ago, Neil Pate said:

Does anyone know if it is possible to run a LabVIEW application without installing the RTE by carefully placing certain files in the right place?

Definitely yes. I have done this many times for simple applications a la "Calculator" and it does work. Although for modern LV versions (starting from LV 2018 as I can remember) it has become more complicated, because universal CRT is used, that requires Microsoft Visual C++ 2015 Redistributable to be installed or a whole bunch of DLLs should be placed near the exe instead.

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10 hours ago, Neil Pate said:

Does anyone know if it is possible to run a LabVIEW application without installing the RTE by carefully placing certain files in the right place?

Very hard to do but can be done-non trivial.

You will obviously have to talk to your client and find out exactly what they mean - get one of the USB sticks they use ;).

Maybe you'll be lucky and they just mean using the LabVIEW application as the windows shell, which I do on production-line machines.

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I did use something a while ago that sounds similar to what you are describing.  First I'd like to know if the OS it self is supposed to be on the USB drive too or not.  If not I'd look into Thinstall or Thinapp which is virtualization software.  Years ago I tried it and it worked for running LabVIEW IDE portable.  It scans your system, you install software, it scans again, and then sets up a sandbox with the difference in files that can run on a similar OS without needing to install anything.  It mostly worked but had issues.  If the OS is supposed to be there too, then maybe run some kind of Windows PE environment?  Or use a VM maybe inside Windows PE or even inside of Linux? Lots of options, all are probably terrible.

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On 10/31/2020 at 4:51 PM, Neil Pate said:

I have some information from one of my customers but it's a bit muddled and I am trying to understand it. As it has been described to me,  a USB stick is used to "download" LabVIEW and use it as an "operating system". So obviously there is a bit of a mismatch of vocabulary here or understanding of what LabVIEW is, the closest ideas I have is that this is some kind of Linux Live USB or perhaps running the LabVIEW application directly off the memory stick without installing the RTE.

Does anyone know if it is possible to run a LabVIEW application without installing the RTE by carefully placing certain files in the right place?

This used to be trivial to do up to LabVIEW 5, a little more complicated in up to LabVIEW 7.1 and got really difficult with LabVIEW 8.x. I have never tried to do it with any LabVIEW 20xx version. While it still should be mostly possible for pure software applications that do not use any hardware, both NI and 3rd party, it would be a major pita to try to do it with most of the NI drivers nowadays. Possibly that the application Hooovah proposes can help with that but otherwise I don't really see any possibility to do it reliably.

Part of the message does indeed sound like they might refer to actually replacing the Windows shell (usually Explorer.exe) with the LabVIEW executable. That is another possible approach but combining that with an USB portable app installation would really mean that the whole system would have to boot up from the USB device. Shell replacement in itself is not that complicated (it comes down to replacing/adding HKEY_Current_User\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\Shell with the path to your executable that you want to perform as Windows UI instead of the Explorer desktop). The problem is during development/debugging where you do not really want to have that setting active. Generally you want to have a protected way to SystemExec() explorer.exe anyhow from within your own shell.

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