Keysight IO Libraries Suite 2020 (for Linux)


What is the Keysight IO Libraries Suite?

The Keysight IO Libraries Suite is a collection of 64-bit libraries and utility programs. The API libraries (VISA and SICL) enable instrument communications for a variety of Linux distribution environments that are compatible with GPIB, USB, USB-GPIB, LAN, and RS-232 test instruments from a variety of manufacturers. Several utility programs help you quickly and easily connect your instruments to your PC. This is the first release for Linux; a list of supported and unsupported features (in comparison to the Windows product) is included in this ReadMe.

Establishing communication between your instruments and your PC is simple.

1.     Install the IO Libraries Suite: Get all the software you need to connect instruments to your Linux desktop workstation by way of the various supported interfaces.

2.     Connect Your Instruments: Connect cables and power on instruments.

3.     Run Keysight Connection Expert to Identify and Communicate with Instruments: View connected instruments, send commands to your instruments, and configure the settings.

What's New in Keysight IO Libraries 2020 (for Linux)?

IO Libraries Suite 2020 extends support to select versions of Ubuntu (see below). Other revisions are minor. 

This release closely follows both 2019 releases of  Keysight IO Libraries Suite (for Linux). 2019 marked the first-ever release of IO Libraries for the Linux operating system.

Major features supported:

·         Utilities including Connection Expert, the Instrument Discovery Service, Interactive IO, and IO Monitor.

·         Programming libraries for VISA and SICL

·         IO Interface supported: LAN (HiSLIP, VXI-11/SICL-LAN, and SOCKET), PCI/PCIe GPIB, USB/GPIB, USBTMC, RS-232, Remote GPIB, Remote USB, and Remote RS-232.

Major features NOT supported:

·         PXI/AXIe

·         VXI

·         Remote IO Server

For more information on these products, consult the IO Libraries Suite Help that installs with the product, or the Keysight IO Libraries Suite web page at

System Requirements

Keysight IO Libraries Suite has been tested on the following system configurations:
Linux Distributions:   

·         64-Bit Red Hat Enterprise Linux Desktop Workstation 7.1 to 7.6

·         64-Bit CentOS Desktop Workstation 7.1 to 7.6

·         64-Bit Ubuntu Desktop 16.04.x and 18.04.x (these specific kernel releases only):

·         4.4.0-21-generic

·         4.4.0-31-generic

·         4.15.0-20-generic

·         4.15.0-29-generic

·         4.15.0-45-generic

·         4.15.0-54-generic

·         4.15.0-55-generic

·         4.18.0-15-generic

·         4.18.0-20-generic

·         4.18.0-25-generic

Disk Space Requirement:

·         Keysight IO Libraries Suite package takes about 2GB. 

 Installing the Software

You must use the provided installers to install Keysight IO Libraries Suite. Manual installation using rpm package is not supported.

Installation summary

To install Keysight IO Libraries Suite:

Step 1Disconnect all instruments.

Step 2Close all applications running on the workstation.

Step 3. Disable any automatic kernel updates. 

Steps 4-5. Install the software. (See below for additional detail.)

Step 6. Log out and back in or reboot.  (See below for additional detail.)

Step 7. Re-connect instruments.  (See below for additional detail.)

NOTE: There are two components to the install. The first is a set of kernel drivers for users wishing to establish USBTMC or USB-to-GPIB (82357) converter connections. If you require this functionality, perform the separate installation for referenced in step 3 below, then choose either step 4 Option 1 (Typical) or step 4 Option 2 (text-based) to install the remainder of the product suite ( If you are not connecting via USBTMC or USB-to-GPIB converter, skip step 3. 

Installation details (steps 3-7)

Step 3, Disable automatic kernel updates.

IO Libraries cannot function if an incompatible kernel is installed. To prevent incompatibilities, you may want to disable any automatic kernel updates you have set up. (Methods vary by Linux distribution.)

Step 4, Install kernel drivers (if connecting via USBTMC or USB-to-GPIB converter)

Please see the separate instructions (ReadMeKernelDrivers) for the Kernel Drivers Installer ( Both installation packages and their separate ReadMe files are available at (Trials and Licenses tab). At the end of each installation process, each installer wizard also gives you the option to launch the correct ReadMe.

Step 5, Option 1: (Typical) GUI-based Install

The main IO Libraries Suite installer ( will automatically provide a graphical user interface if it detects XWindows running on the target Linux PC.

·         Copy the installation package downloaded or from a disk to a local folder.

·         Open a Terminal window and change directory to the local folder where the Keysight IO Libraries Suite for Linux is copied to.

·         If you log in as 'root' user, run the installer by executing ./ in the Terminal window. If you are not logging in as 'root' user, make sure using the 'sudo' command to run the installer.

Note: Make sure the permission for the installer is set properly. It should be set as executable.

·         Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation. Steps may vary by system configuration:

o    If the installer encounters an unsupported Linux kernel version, you will be presented with a message box (GUI install) or command line message (text mode) asking you whether you want to continue or cancel the installation. If you proceed with an installation and your kernel is incompatible, only LAN and RS-232 connections will work. If you want to force an install to complete regardless of kernel version, use this command line option:
./ --forceInstall 1

o    If the installer detects a previous version of IO Libraries Suite, the installer will ask whether you want to uninstall the existing version to continue. Typically, select Yes. 

o    The final step of the installer asks you to accept the End User License Agreement (EULA). 

Step 5, Option 2:  Force a text-based installation mode.

In order to force the main installer into a textual user interface in a Terminal window on XWindows PCs, use --mode text on the command line like this:

sudo ./ --mode text

Step 6: Log out and back in (or reboot).

In order for some settings to take effect, you must log out and back in again after completing the installation. If you are running Ubuntu 18.04.x, you should reboot instead of just logging out/in.

Step 7. Re-connect all devices that were disconnected before installation.

Keysight VISA or SICL note: After installation and re-connecting any instruments, you may need to reboot your machine before attempting to use Keysight VISA or SICL.

Refer to for the most recent information about Linux support at Keysight Technologies, Inc.

(Optional) If Additional Users Need Access to Your IOLS Machine

The options below are for users of either RS232 or USBTMC. 

If you are using RS232:

By default, IO Libraries creates a kt-iols group on the machine. The installer will add the installing superuser to both kt-iols and to the existing system dialout groups (for RS-232 usage). If you want other users on that machine to be able to access RS-232, you must manually add those users to both kt-iols and dialout. The administrator/superuser should log out and back in again after adding these users for the changes to take effect. 

If you are using USBTMC: 

By default, IO Libraries creates a kt-iols group and an usbtmc group on the machine. The installer will add the installing superuser to both kt-iols and to usbtmc. If you want other users on that machine to be able to use USBTMC, you must manually add those users to both kt-iols and usbtmc. The administrator/superuser should log out and back in again after adding these users for the changes to take effect. 

(Optional) Silent (Command Line) Installation Mode

Keysight partners may opt to use the command line/ silent installation feature. Silent mode is enabled by adding --mode unattended to the install command line in this fashion:

sudo ./ --mode unattended

If the installer encounters a previous version of IOLS, it will uninstall before proceeding. If it encounters an unsupported Linux kernel version, it will abort the install. To force an install to complete regardless of kernel version, use this parameter:

./ --forceInstall 1

In order for some settings to take effect, you must log out and back in again after completing the installation. 

Uninstalling the Software

Keysight IO Libraries Suite installation process automatically generates an uninstaller that is put under "/opt/keysight/iolibs/uninstall" and named iol ibrariessuite-uninstall. Users can run this uninstaller from a Terminal window to uninstall Keysight IO Libraries Suite.

To force a silent uninstall use:

sudo ./iolibrariessuite-uninstall --mode unattended 

Known Issues

·         Some Virtual Network Computing (VNC) clients will not work. We recommend using X11VNC.  

·         For users accessing their IO Libraries machine using VNC, a known compatibility issue can cause the display driver to crash all open programs when the Connection Expert window is re-sized. To correct this issue, open the program (using a non-VNC connection). Open settings or options (the gear icon in Connection Expert, or the Options button in IO Monitor and Interactive IO). Locate the Appearance settings, and enable the Use System Title Bar option. You must close and re-open the program for changes to take effect.

·         An indexing tool called Tracker, installed by default on several Linux distributions and needed for some GNOME apps such as Photos and Music, is resource intensive. IO Monitor and Tracker have been observed competing for resources, especially when messages are being logged to a file over a long time. This can result in decreased IO Monitor performance and sometimes, a system hang due to system resources being used up. Users with Tracker installed may consider temporarily disabling Tracker when IO Monitor is logging messages.

·         With certain system configurations, after an OS upgrade and subsequent reboot, USBTMC devices may become unresponsive. A solution is available. Contact Keysight Support at 


License Grant

Keysight grants you a non-exclusive license of the Software at no charge pursuant to the terms of the License Agreement. The License Agreement is displayed when you install the software and is available in the IO Libraries Suite Online Help. You may download the Software, and store or run the Software for internal use and purposes in accordance with this Agreement and the documentation provided with the Software. Such documentation may include license terms provided by Keysight's third party suppliers, which will apply to the use of the Software and take precedence over these license terms. In the absence of documentation specifying the applicable license, you may store or run the Software on your PC(s) and instrument(s). If the Software is otherwise licensed for concurrent or network use, you may not allow more than the maximum number of authorized users to access and use the Software concurrently.

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