Labview ships prepackaged to install on rpm based Linux machines (Redhat, Mandrake and so on). But it is quite simple to convert and install it on a Debian machine instead.
The machine I will be using is a Thinkpad T40 with Debian Lenny installed, it should be the same for the current stable (Etch) but this is yet to be confirmed.
First we need to install alien
# aptitude install alien
The conversion process is quite simple, all you have to is to type
# alien -d *.rpm
And after some time (about 15 minutes or so on my laptop) you should be left with a bunch of .deb files.
You might have guessed it.. to install:
# dpkg -i *.deb
Now for the hacking part, when you try to run Labview all you get is this error:
/usr/local/natinst/LabVIEW-8.2/labview: symbol lookup error: /usr/local/natinst/LabVIEW-8.2/linux/libOSMesa.so.4: undefined symbol: _glapi_add_entrypoint
To work around this you need to install libosmesa (of current writing libosmesa6)
# aptitude install libosmesa6
# (cd /usr/local/natinst/LabVIEW-8.2/linux; rm libOSMesa.so.4; ln -s /usr/lib/libOSMesa.so.6 libOSMesa.so.4)
And it works! If you feel like it, you can also put a little icon on your desktop or in your Applications menu (this part is for gnome), this is the contents of the labview.desktop file with my corrections. It originates from /usr/local/natinst/LabVIEW-8.2/linux/gnome/gnome/apps/Applications/labview82.desktop and there is a similar file for KDE in the /usr/local/natinst/LabVIEW-8.2/linux/kde folder for those who want to make a KDE shortcut.
Contents of labview82.desktop
[Desktop Entry] Name=LabVIEW 8.2 Comment=LabVIEW Graphical Dataflow Programming Environment Exec=/usr/local/natinst/LabVIEW-8.2/labview Icon=/usr/local/natinst/LabVIEW-8.2/linux/icons/labview-3d.xpm Terminal=false Type=Application Categories=Application;Development;X-Red-Hat-Base
This file can be placed either in ~/.local/share/applications/ or in /usr/share/applications