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The .octaverc file is the octave configuration file on Linux that resides in the user's home directory (~). It has basically the same role as startup.m in Matlab - you might want to soft link startup.m and .octaverc to avoid duplication. Many basic settings can be put here. Further information is given in the documentation. Some handy examples of configuration options are given below, as well and on the Tips and tricks page.

  • edit mode async # make spawned processes run in background
  • EDITOR('gvim > /dev/tty 2>&1 < /dev/tty %s') # use gvim as the default editor
  • more off # scroll screen output automatically
  • history_control ("ignoredups"); # ignore duplicates in command history
  • crash_dumps_octave_core(0); # never dump octave-core
  • sigterm_dumps_octave_core(0);
  • sighup_dumps_octave_core(0);
  • set(0,'defaultfigurecolormap',gray(256)); # set colormap to gray(256)
  • suppress_verbose_help_message(1); # use concise form for help
  • page_screen_output(0); # write text to screen without buffering
  • warning("off","Octave:divide-by-zero"); # disable unwanted warning messages
  • warning("off","Octave:possible-matlab-short-circuit-operator");


The behaviour of the command line cursor in Octave is controlled by a separate codebase (readline), which has its own configuration file (.inputrc). Examples of useful entries in this file are given below and in ??need a good reference for readline options??.

  • set blink-matching-paren off # prevent blinking parenthesis matching