Octave for macOS

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GNU Octave is primarily developed on GNU/Linux and other POSIX conformal systems. GNU Octave for MacOS X is readily available using package managers such as Fink, MacPorts, and Homebrew.

About version numbers (Feb 2012):

  • The 3.6.x are current releases.
  • The 3.4.x are previous releases.
  • The 3.2.x are very old releases.

Installing a MacOS X Bundle

App bundle's for Octave on MacOS are not being produced at the present time. The developers are currently encouraging the use of one of the three package managers available, for MacOS, for installation of Octave.

Manual Installation from Source

Minimalistic instructions for building Octave from source are available. Additional support for those who need assistance in building Octave is available.

Package Managers

A package manager, is a collection of software tools to automate the process of installing, upgrading, configuring, and removing software packages for a computer's operating system in a consistent manner. It typically maintains a database of software dependencies and version information to prevent software mismatches and missing prerequisites. Packages are distributions of software, applications and data. Packages also contain metadata, such as the software's name, description of its purpose, version number, vendor, checksum, and a list of dependencies necessary for the software to run properly. Upon installation, metadata is stored in a local package database. Operating systems based on Linux and other Unix-like systems typically consist of hundreds or even thousands of distinct software packages; in the former case, a package management system is a convenience, in the latter case it becomes essential.

There are three reputable package managers available for MacOS X. GNU Octave for MacOS X is readily available using package managers such as Fink, MacPorts, and Homebrew.

Fink

The Fink project is an effort to port and package open-source Unix programs to MacOS X. Fink uses dpkg and APT (Debian's package management system), as well as its own frontend program, fink (which is implemented as a set of Perl modules).

Simple Installation Instructions

MacPorts

MacPorts, formerly called DarwinPorts, is a package management system that simplifies the installation of software on the MacOS X and Darwin operating systems. It is a free/open source software project to simplify installation of other free/open source software. Similar in aim and function to Fink and the BSDs' ports collections, DarwinPorts was started in 2002 as part of the OpenDarwin project, with the involvement of a number of Apple Inc. employees including Landon Fuller, Kevin Van Vechten, and Jordan Hubbard.

Simple Installation Instructions

Homebrew

Homebrew is a package management system that simplifies the installation of software on the Mac OS X operating system. It is a free/open source software project to simplify installation of other free/open source software. It is similar in aim and function to MacPorts and Fink. It was written by Max Howell and has gained popularity in the Ruby on Rails community and earned praise for its extensibility.

Simple Installation Instructions