This document describes how to run CH Instruments Windows software on Linux or (Mac) OS X.
Last updated on: 2018-01-19

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Operating Systems Reported to Work

Overall procedure

  1. Mac-only steps
    1. Download and install USB driver.
    2. Download and install X11 if necessary.
  2. Download and install Wine
  3. Configure Wine
  4. Run our software using Wine

Known Limitations

Further investigation required

Step 1a: USB Driver Installation

Mac OS X users

Linux users

Step 1b: X11 Installation

Mac OS X users

Linux users

What? You're trying to run a graphical application without X11 installed? Do you have a command-line only distro? Is it even possible to run a desktop manager without X11? This is beyond my ken... Tell me more...

Step 2: Wine installation

Mac OS X users

Linux users

Random remarks

It's true, Wine Is Not an Emulator! Instead, it re-implements Windows API calls for the target operating system. However, it requires an Intel (x86-compatible) processor.

Step 3: Wine configuration (the hardest step)

  1. Confirm Wine is installed correctly.
    • Linux: Often there will be an installed link to notepad.exe or Control Panel; try that first.
    • Mac OS X: Open Applications > Wine, then in the system menu bar click (the wine cup) > File Manager.
    • In the worst case, you can dig up a Windows computer and migrate freecell.exe as needed.
  2. Open a terminal window.
    • Mac OS X
      • Spotlight: Command+Space, search for "Terminal"
      • Alternative: Finder > Places > Applications > Utilities > Terminal
    • Linux: Ctrl+Alt+T (GNOME only?)
  3. Find and enter your Wine configuration directory.
    • Mac OS X
      • cd ~/Wine\ Files ?
      • Hmm if not, try ls -a ~ and go from there
    • Linux: in all probability, cd ~/.wine
  4. Enter subdirectory dosdevices.
    • ls
      • If dosdevices exists: cd dosdevices
      • Else: mkdir dosdevices && cd dosdevices
  5. Determine the path of your USB instrument.
    • Before and after connecting your instrument (powered on): ls /dev
    • The device that shows up after connecting is what you want (below: /dev/ttyUSB0)
    • Easy procedure
      • Note that this will erase any file named before or after in your current directory!
      • Disconnect your instrument from the computer (USB)
      • find /dev -maxdepth 1 > before
      • Connect your instrument to the computer using USB
      • find /dev -maxdepth 1 > after
      • diff before after
    • Mac OS X only: If more than one device shows up, try the "tty" device before the "cu" device (e.g., /dev/tty.SLAB_USBtoUART)
    • Alternative: traditional serial port (no USB) OR USB-serial adapter (old models)
      • Traditional serial: Connecting/disconnecting the serial cable will not give you any information.
      • USB-serial adapter: You can use the USB connect/disconnect trick to determine the device path. You may need to install drivers; please consult the documentation included with your adapter.
      • "Loopback" testing
        • The purpose of "loopback" testing is to confirm that the serial port is installed correctly on your computer system.
        • Short pins 2 and 3. (Search for a pinout using your favorite search engine.) For a male connector, use a jumper; for a female, use a paper clip.

          Male 9-pin numbering (most USB-serial adapters will be 9-pin male):
          1 2 3 4 5
           6 7 8 9 
        • Linux: screen /dev/ttyS0, etc.
          Mac: screen /dev/tty.serial1, etc. (try also cu)
          Windows (for reference): Download PuTTY and open a Serial connection to your COM port
        • Type anything. If no text shows up, then you have not found the right device. (Try /dev/ttyS1, etc.; ls /dev will help)
        • If you have found the right device, then anything you type will be echoed back to you.
        • To double check, remove the short (paper clip or jumper), and text should no longer be echoed.
  6. "Create" Wine's COM port.
    • Suppose our device was /dev/ttyUSB0 from the step above.
    • Suppose further the desired COM port number is 7, lucky 7.
    • ln -sv /dev/ttyUSB0 com7
    • To check: ls -l

Step 4: Run our software (version 12.04 or higher) using Wine

Now suppose for the instructions below that your executable name is chi600d.exe and your COM port is 7.
That's it! If you made it this far, congratulations! Have fun beta testing your instrument your instrument on Linux/Mac OS X.

Step 5: Enrichment (Optional Extra Credit)