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Pure Python implementation of a VISA library.

Project description

Continuous integration Documentation building Keysight assisted testing Code Coverage Documentation Status PyPI - License PyPI

A PyVISA backend that implements a large part of the “Virtual Instrument Software Architecture” (VISA) in pure Python (with the help of some nice cross platform libraries python packages!).


PyVISA started as wrapper for the IVI-VISA library and therefore you need to install a VISA library in your system (National Instruments, Keysight, etc). This works most of the time, for most people. But IVI-VISA implementations are proprietary libraries that only works on certain systems. That is when PyVISA-py jumps in.

Starting from version 1.6, PyVISA allows to use different backends. These backends can be dynamically loaded. PyVISA-py is one of such backends. It implements most of the methods for Message Based communication (Serial/USB/GPIB/Ethernet) using Python and some well developed, easy to deploy and cross platform libraries

VISA and Python

Python has a couple of features that make it very interesting for measurement controlling:

  • Python is an easy-to-learn scripting language with short development cycles.

  • It represents a high abstraction level, which perfectly blends with the abstraction level of measurement programs.

  • It has a very rich set of native libraries, including numerical and plotting modules for data analysis and visualisation.

  • A large set of books (in many languages) and on-line publications is available.


  • Python (tested with 3.6+)

  • PyVISA 1.11+


  • PySerial (to interface with Serial instruments)

  • PyUSB (to interface with USB instruments)

  • linux-gpib (to interface with gpib instruments, only on linux)

  • gpib-ctypes (to interface with GPIB instruments on Windows and Linux)

  • psutil (to discover TCPIP devices across multiple interfaces)

  • zeroconf (for HiSLIP and VICP devices discovery)

  • pyvicp (to enable the Teledyne LeCroy proprietary VICP protocol)


Using pip:

$ pip install pyvisa-py


The documentation can be read online at

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