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Linux Gpib Howto in Gentoo

linux-gpib with python flags is using python 2.7

Installing linux-gpib

First set use flags in /etc/portage/package.use:

user $sudo vim /etc/portage/package.use

Add line for python bindings and Documentation:

FILE /etc/portage/package.use
sci-libs/linux-gpib python doc

Other possible Flags pcmcia static debug guile perl php tcl firmware. If you want to use pcmia you need to have a 2.7 kernel. But pcmia is normally just used in old computers so it doesn't matter.

Install it with:

root #emerge --ask sci-libs/linux-gpib

Add your user to gpib group

root #gpasswd -a user gpib
Configuring linux-gpib

To configure Linux GPIB you need first to create a config file at /etc/gpib.conf:

root #vim /etc/gpib.conf

Just an example which is for NI USB- HS Adapter is:

FILE /etc/gpib.conf
interface {
      minor = 0
      board_type = "ni_usb_b"
      name = "joe"
      pad = 0
      master = yes

You can lookup the board_type at Linux-gpib-Website.

There is an example config file with more parameters on GPIB-Linux Website.

After you wrote your own config file, you have to plug in your GPIB Device and either first chgrp the gpib Devices in /dev/ and make them write and readable:

root #chgrp gpib /dev/gpib*
root #chmod g+wr /dev/gpib*

or do all things as root.

After doing that you should be able to call with root

root #/usr/sbin/gpib_config -m 0

0 is the device you plugged in.

Example Python

Be carefull linux-gpib cames with python2.7 bindings so first start python2.7

user $python2.7

This example is tested with a HP8720D

To import gpib:

>>>import gpib

To get a device of a board named in /etc/gpib.conf joe:


0 is the GPIB BOARD and 16 the Adress of the Listener

To write a command:


or more universal


To read the result:


1000 is the Number of byte that are read