The IDL Virtual Machine

What is the IDL Virtual Machine?

An IDL Virtual Machine is a runtime version of IDL that can execute IDL .sav files without an IDL license. It is designed to provide IDL users with a simple, no-cost method for distributing IDL applications. It runs on all IDL-supported platforms and does not require a license to run. This utility allows you to easily distribute IDL SAVE files to your colleagues or your customers, without requiring them to own an IDL runtime license. For more information, see our online documentation for IDL Virtual Machine Applications.

Is the IDL Virtual Machine free to use?
The IDL Virtual Machine is free to use and does not require a license to run.  However, it is required to register for an account on the NV5 Geospatial Software website in order to download the installers.  

How do I download the IDL Virtual Machine?
The latest installers for the IDL Virtual Machine can be found on our Product Downloads page (login required).

Due to export control policies, download and installation of IDL (and subsequently the IDL Virtual Machine) requires that you complete the Registration and verification process.

Register for an account

If it has been more than 24 hours since registration and no verification emails is received or the website reports you are not a verified user, please contact Technical Support for assistance

Is there an IDL Virtual Machine specific download?
At this time, there is no separate download for the IDL Virtual Machine.  To download and install the full version of IDL which includes the IDL Virtual Machine please see "How do I download the IDL Virtual Machine" above.

How do I open an IDL .sav file with the IDL Virtual Machine?
For assistance with opening an IDL Virtual Machine application, refer to the Starting a Virtual Machine Application documentation.


I am receiving an error when opening the IDL Virtual Machine, what do I do?
If you are receiving an IDL license manager error, more than likely you are attempting to open the development version of IDL, which does require a license to be purchased in order to run.  If you are interested in obtaining a license for IDL, contact us for a quote. For assistance with opening the IDL Virtual Machine after installation, see Starting a Virtual Machine Application.

If you are receiving an error in regards to the execution of your application, consult the provider of your application (.sav file).

How do I develop IDL Virtual Machine applications?
In order to develop IDL Virtual Machine applications, you must first have access to the full development version of IDL.  For assistance with purchasing the development version of IDL, contact your account manager.


Reviewed 4/9/15 JD, KK

Updated, MM 8/25/2021

Updated, MM 2/15/2023

Updated to NV5 7/19/2023

Updated links, BC-US (5/14/2024)