VISA Installation on Linux

The National Instruments VISA driver does not support certain Linux distributions, specifically Ubuntu. The pyvisa-py VISA backend is pure Python and can be used to run PyVISA and instrbuilder on Ubuntu.

The installation steps are as follows:

username$ python -m pip install pyvisa-py
username$ python -m pip install pyusb

Check VISA status:

username$ python -m visa info

Ubuntu requires “rules” to be added for a user to fully access the USB device.

Add the following line to /etc/udev/rules.d/99-com.rules:

SUBSYSTEM=="usb", MODE="0666", GROUP="usbusers"

Create the 99-com.rules file if necessary.

Then add your user to the usbusers group

sudo groupadd usbusers
sudo usermod -a -G usbusers USERNAME

Reboot your system

Finally check to see if you can detect a USB connected instrument using PyVISA:

import visa
rm = visa.ResourceManager('@py')
address = rm.list_resources()

If the Python code returns a device address you are now good to go!

For more info regarding USB permissions and the udev rules see this stackoverflow question