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Feature Guide: Migrating an Existing Project to Use a Virtual Environment

Jim Kring

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Warning: Do not uninstall any packages from LabVIEW (the global environment) until you have a VI Package Configuration (*.vipc) file that contains the list of all these packages, which are required for your project. Otherwise, you may not know which packages are being used by your project. We'll show you how to create that VIPC file, below.


Existing projects (developed outside of Dragon) will, typically, already have their packages installed into the global environment.

This guide will help you migrate to using a virtual environment for the project, so that you can take full advantage of this great new feature.

Pre-Migration Questions

First, before you start the migration (and especially before you uninstall any packages from LabVIEW), it's important to know which packages your project is already using.

This guide will help you figure that out. Here are two important questions: Please read both of them, before continuing on to the 

Question 1) Does your project have an existing VIPC file? (read more about VIPC files here)

If you answered "yes", you're probably in good shape and you probably already know a little bit about VIPC files (which is good).

Note: Even if you have a VIPC file, there may still be a chance that some VIs called by your project are in packages that are not yet in your VIPC file, so you may want to scan your project to be sure that you've got all the required packages in your VIPC file, before you move on.

If you answered "no", then you're going to want to be very careful not to uninstall any packages until you create a VIPC file.

Question 2) When you open your project are there any missing package VIs?

If you answered "yes" that might be a problem. You'll need to figure out which packages your project depends upon. This guide can't really help with this, but 

If you answered "no, everything opens just fine -- no missing VIs"  that means you probably have all the required packages installed. We'll want to be sure to create and/or update a VIPC file, before we uninstall anything.

Creating (or Updating) Your VIPC file

Before you continue, you might want to make sure you're feeling comfortable with the Dragon beta documentation page Managing Package Dependencies (and working with VIPC files) and you may also want to read more about VIPC files here.

Here is a video that shows the process for a project that does not yet have a VIPC file:

The password for the video is "dragon" (without quotes)


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  • 3 weeks later...

I have a multitude of existing projects on my laptop which use a lot of globally installed packages, that need to remain globally installed. In the future, by creating a Dragon-style lv-venv project with virtualised packages, will having the same packages installed both globally and virtualised locally present a problem?

Edited by Thoric
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Great question.

Yes, it's recommended to not have the same package installed globally and locally.

It would be recommended to create a .dragon project for the projects that have global package requirements and keep the required packages in a .vipc for that project. Then, when you switch to those projects, you can install the required global packages. 

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