Free LabVIEW™ for everyone – LabVIEW Community Edition coming soon!

One of the most newsworthy aspects of GDevCon#2 was a very special announcement from National Instruments that they would be releasing the LabVIEW Community Edition – a free version of LabVIEW™ Professional for non-commercial use.

Yes, that’s right…

You will be able to download and use LabVIEW™ for FREE!

Before I go into further detail about the LabVIEW Community Edition, I did want to say someting about GDevCon#2 so…

Post GDevCon#2 blues…

I have been busy catching up with life, the universe and everything (house move, work stuff, releasing V2.0 of my WebSockets library and a wedding!) post GDevCon#2. I’m not going to do a full summary/wrap-up post as others have already done a great job of summarising the event.

As always it was a pleasure to be involved in the event – not only as one of the organisers but also presenting on a framework/tool for databases with LabVIEW (I will be writing/posting more on that subject soon™ – I promise!). In the mean-time, here are a few photos from GDevCon#2 and my presentation:

A big thanks to everyone that attended and stayed awake during my presentation. Also a big thanks to the sponsors who made the event possible. It was great to see so many people there…especially for NI’s big announcement of the event:

Free LabVIEW – LabVIEW Community Edition

Now onto why you are really here – the free LabVIEW Community Edition.

Here’s my summary of the announcement (based on information from NI posted here):

  • The free LabVIEW Community Edition will launch next year alongside LabVIEW 2020 (Spring?)
  • It is identical to LabVIEW Professional – you’ll be able to build and deploy executables and there’s no watermark but it is for non-commercial/non-academic use only
  • There will also be a LabVIEW NXG Community Edition
  • The LINX Toolkit (for interfacing with Arduino and deploying LabVIEW code to Raspberry Pi/BeagleBone) is also getting an update for LabVIEW 2019 onwards.
  • The non-commercial restriction with the LINX Toolkit on Raspberry Pi targets is being removed
  • A beta version of the LINX Toolkit is available now and the LabVIEW Community Edition beta should be coming in Q4 2019 – both through the NI Software Technology Preview*

I expect NI to be publishing/sharing more information about this announcement shortly.

Edit (18/09/19): There is an official NI blog post with more details here.

I think this is fantastic news and it was a great honour that National Instruments chose a community event like GDevCon to announce it because it shows their commitment to the community and growing G/LabVIEW adoption in a world where free languages and tools (looking at you, Python!) are seeing massive growth.

With LabVIEW Community Edition and the LINX Toolkit, you’ll be able to tinker with LabVIEW and a Raspberry Pi just as you would with Python.

Raspberry Pi & LabVIEW

As a professional/full-time user of LabVIEW, one of the most interesting developments in the announcement is that the non-commercial restriction of the LINX Toolkit for the Raspberry Pi is being removed. This means you can write and deploy LabVIEW code to a Raspberry Pi for commercial applications.

This opens up a whole load of opportunities so in celebration of this announcement, I will be making a series of blog posts about using the Raspberry Pi with LabVIEW.

Watch this space over the coming weeks/months as I guide you through getting started with the LINX toolkit and LabVIEW 2019.

*What is the NI Software Technology Preview

The NI Software Technology Preview gives access to upcoming versions of NI Software such as LabVIEW, LabVIEW NXG and other software. As with all pre-release software, it may not be 100% stable so the usual warnings apply (do not use on your production machine etc.).

You can apply now (note – it may take some time for your application to be accepted) to get access to the beta version of the LINX Toolkit for LabVIEW 2019 (available now) and the LabVIEW Community Edition (coming soon).

The application form asks for a serial number but this field is optional so feel free to apply now if you want to try out free LabVIEW as soon as it’s available!

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