Octave for macOS

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Revision as of 05:02, 29 May 2012 by Bpabbott (talk | contribs) (Add simple installation instructions for each package manager)
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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

An App bundle for Octave on MacOS is not presently available. The developers would like to be able to provide an App bundle, but need volunteers to support the effort. Octave and many other software packages may be installed an updated using one of the three package managers available for MacOS. To install using a package manager, see the section on Package Managers below.

Manual Installation from Source

The page Octave for Mac provides minimalistic instructions for building Octave from source on MacOS X. 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.

The most recent version of Fink's Octave package, MacPorts' Octave port, and Homebrew's Octave formula are generally not the same. Please check the web sites for these package managers to determine if the version of Octave you desire is available.

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

  • Install XCode: This is done via the MacOS X App Store.
  • Follow Fink's installation instructions.
  • Fink has excellent support for Octave and includes recent as well as dated versions. A list of what Fink has available for Octave is here. To install Octave-3.6.1, type sudo fink install octave361 at the Terminal's command line. Octave has many dependencies which will be downloaded and installed prior to Octave. The entire installation process can take a few hours.

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

  • Install XCode: This is done via the MacOS X App Store.
  • Follow MacPorts' installation instructions.
  • MacPorts has good support for Octave. A list of what MacPorts has available for Octave is here. To install the most recent version of Octave, type sudo port install octave-devel at the Terminal's command line. Octave has many dependencies which will be downloaded and installed prior to Octave. The entire installation process can take a few hours.

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

  • Install XCode: This is done via the MacOS X App Store.
  • Follow Homebrew's installation instructions.
  • Homebrew has good support for Octave. To install Octave, type brew install octave at the Terminal's command line. Octave has many dependencies which will be downloaded and installed prior to Octave. The entire installation process can take a few hours.