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Linux, vxi-11, ethernet control, Agilent Infiniium scopes

Question asked by happysteve on Aug 25, 2006
Latest reply on Aug 25, 2006 by Dr_joel
Hi there,

I'm new to this forum so allow me to very briefly introduce myself. My name's Steve and I work as a research fellow in a UK university, in the field of laser ultrasonics and acoustic imaging. I use Linux extensively (pretty much exclusively) and over the years have built up a fair amount of (mainly self-taught) experience with writing drivers and protocols for talking to instruments from Linux.

A couple of months ago we bought a couple of Agilent Infiniium scopes. We wanted to talk to them from Linux - download traces, save the setup etc. They use the VXI-11 RPC protocol for ethernet communication, and, using a bare-bones VXI11 RPC protocol, I've built up a simple vxi11_user library, with simple functions for opening and closing devices, sending and receiving messages. Armed with this, and an instrument's reference/programmer's manual, you can talk to your instrument from Linux.

I've also written an agilent_user library, with functions for downloading traces, setting up the scope, etc, and some simple command-line utilities. From these, you can write your own applications.

The generic vxi11 code can be found at:

The Agilent user library can be found at:

It's all open source - I hope it's of use to someone.

With thanks to Guy McBride of Agilent for initial bare-bones VXI-11 RPC protocol.


   Happy Steve.