- This article is about how to make the Windows installer; if you'd like just to use the installer, see Octave for Microsoft Windows.
GNU Octave is primarily developed on GNU/Linux and other POSIX conformal systems. There have been many efforts in the past to build ports of GNU Octave for Windows. Take a look at the various ports of Octave available for Windows here.
Recently some work has been done in maintaining a unified build system mxe-octave (a fork of MXE) which anyone can use to produce cross as well as native builds of GNU Octave for Windows and Mac OS X platforms. This page contains instructions about creating a Windows installer using mxe-octave.
- 1 Steps to create Windows Installer
- 1.1 Tweaks
- 1.2 Creating Octave development versions for Windows with mxe-octave
- 2 Installing requirements of MXE Octave
- 3 Creating an NSIS based installer
Steps to create Windows Installer
- Install all requirements of MXE Octave.
hg clone http://hg.octave.org/mxe-octave/
make zip-distinstead of
nsis-installerif you want to build just an archive of the files to install on Windows instead of an installer wizard.
- By default, packages will be built one at a time, but you may use
make JOBS=4(choose a number other than 4 that is appropriate for your system) to build each package in parallel. You may also combine this with the
-joption for Make to build more than one package at a time, but be careful as using
make -j4 JOBS=4can result in as many as 16 jobs running at once.
./configure --disable-strip-dist-filesif you want to keep debug symbols in the installed binaries for debugging on Windows.
- Include gdb in the installer by running
make gdbbefore making the
Creating Octave development versions for Windows with mxe-octave
To roll your own octave for windows version with your favorite mods and patches, you can do as I have been doing (since over 2 years):
- Make the cross-build environment for Octave (=mxe-octave; see above)
- Build an Octave dist archive in Linux
- Move that into mxe-octave and cross-build Octave + windows installer.
For ensuing builds after a first build, you'll only need to follow steps 2 + a little amended step 3 (see below)
Step 1: Prepare mxe-octave
Clone the mxe-octave reop to some directory of your choice:
http://hg/octave.org/mxe-octave <name of mxe-octave build dir>
where <name of mxe-octave build dir> is some other name than just the default "mxe-octave". Once downloaded, go into the <name of mxe-octave build dir> subdir and do:
.autoconf ./configure <options you want> make nsis-installer JOBS=<some number>
I usually have "--enable-devel-tools --enable-windows-64 --enable-octave=default --enable-binary-packages" as configure options and use JOBS=7 on my core i5 system.
- the first configure option also includes gdb and an MSYS shell in the binary
- the second avoids the ~700 MB max. array size limit for 32-bit executables but Octave will only run on 64-bit Windows (most Windows systems are 64 bit anyway these days). Note: this option does NOT imply 64-bit indexing
- the third option is just for a placeholder; it'll invoke src/default-octave.mk (one of the three octave .mk files in mxe: src/stable-octave.mk and src/octave.mk, corresponding to the "--enable-octave=" configure option), I found that octave.mk lags a bit behind
- the fourth option cross-compiles the binary modules in Octave-Forge packages, which wil save time when installing them once in Windows.
If you seriously want to work with gdb, also have --disable-strip-dist-files as configure option. However, in that case chances are that you cannot build an .exe installer anymore as it becomes too big for NSIS (that has a 2 GB installer file size limit) so instead of "make nsis-installer" you'll need to invoke
make zip-dist <options>
....and this results in all Octave dependencies being built in mxe-octave, plus some initial version of Octave itself.
Step 2: To build your first Octave-for Windows development version:
- build Octave on Linux (in separate source and build trees) including your favorite mods and patches.
- once Octave runs fine in Linux (using make check and trying your mods using ./run-octave & from the build dir, all of this still on the Linux side), do:
make all dist
- move or copy the resulting dist archive to the <mxe-octave build>/pkg folder (or symlink to it from there)
Step 3: Building the Octave installer
- be sure to adapt <mxe-octave build>/src/default-octave.mk to read "## No Checksum" at the $(PKG)_CHECKSUM line and check octave version and archive type (tar.gz rather than tar.bz2). The checksum is only needed when you download a dist archive from the Internet, not so much when you copy it within your own home network, let alone your own computer.
- check if in the top of the main Makefile "default-octave" is mentioned for OCTAVE_TARGET rather than stable-octave" of just "octave" (that name refers to the .mk filename in the src folder).
- ... and then run (in the <mxe-octave build> folder)
make nsis-installer <options> -or- make zip-dist <options>
Step 3A (second and later builds)
For next builds, mxe-octave is already configured and all dependencies have been built so the only thing to do is having a new Octave version + installer built:
- move/copy the dist archive from step 2 into mxe-octave's pkg subdir
- in <mxe-octave build> root dir do:
(to be sure mxe-octave picks up the new Octave archive). If you've renamed the dist archive, be sure it matches with the package name in src/default-octave.mk. Then do:
make nsis-installer -or- make zip-dist
Step 4: Install on Windows
- move the installer in <mxe-octave build>/dist/ to the Windows side (USB thumb drive, LAN copy, whatever).
- install it there.
If you've made a zip-dist you'll have to manually create the desktop and Start Menu shortcuts (for octave and the MSYS-shell).
- If you have several mxe-octavebuild dirs (for e.g., stable and several development versions) it is handy to have a separate pkg subdir symlinked to from all mxe-octave build dirs. That will save a lot of downloading bandwidth.
- To keep mxe-octave up-to-date, from time to time do:
hg -v pull hg -v update
- However, do not keep mxe-octave build dirs for too long. I'd suggest to wipe a build dir after at most two or three months and start over with a fresh clone a la Step 1.
- In the mean time, regularly clean up <mxe-octave build>/log to save disk space. After a first successful build there's no more use for the log subdirs for each package, so you can wipe them all.
Installing requirements of MXE Octave
MXE Octave requires a recent Unix system where all components as stated below are installed.
Debian (GNU/kFreeBSD & GNU/Linux)
aptitude install -R autoconf automake bash bison bzip2 \ cmake flex gettext git g++ intltool \ libffi-dev libtool libltdl-dev \ mercurial openssl libssl-dev \ libxml-parser-perl make patch perl \ pkg-config scons sed unzip wget \ xz-utils yasm autopoint zip
On 64-bit Debian, install also:
aptitude install -R g++-multilib libc6-dev-i386
If you are using Ubuntu, then you can do
apt-get install foo instead of
aptitude install -R foo.
On a fesh Linux Mint 16 x86_64, in addition to the above also install:
sudo apt-get install libc6-dev-i386 gcc-multilib libgmp3-dev libmpfr4 libmpfr-dev sudo apt-get build-dep gcc-4.8
If not installed you will get error messages like "/usr/include/stdc-predef.h:30:26: fatal error: bits/predefs.h: No such file or directory" or "/usr/bin/ld: skipping incompatible /usr/lib/gcc/x86_64-linux-gnu/4.8/libgcc.a when searching for -lgcc" when compiling ocaml-core. The packages libgmp3-dev libmpfr4 libmpfr-dev libmpc-dev are needed for compiling the build-gcc.
yum install autoconf automake bash bison bzip2 cmake \ flex gcc-c++ gettext git intltool make sed \ libffi-devel libtool openssl-devel patch perl pkgconfig \ scons yasm unzip wget xz
On 64-bit Fedora, there are open issues with the NSIS package.
pkg_add -r automake111 autoconf268 bash bison cmake \ flex gettext git gmake gsed intltool libffi libtool \ openssl patch perl p5-XML-Parser pkg-config \ scons unzip wget yasm
Ensure that /usr/local/bin precedes /usr/bin in your $PATH:
For C style shells, edit .cshrc
setenv PATH /usr/local/bin:$PATH
For Bourne shells, edit .profile
export PATH = /usr/local/bin:$PATH
On 64-bit FreeBSD, there are open issues with the NSIS package.
pacman-g2 -S autoconf automake bash bzip2 bison cmake \ flex gcc gettext git intltool make sed libffi libtool \ openssl patch perl perl-xml-parser pkgconfig \ scons unzip wget xz xz-lzma yasm
On 64-bit Frugalware, there are open issues with the NSIS package.
emerge sys-devel/autoconf sys-devel/automake \ app-shells/bash sys-devel/bison app-arch/bzip2 \ dev-util/cmake sys-devel/flex sys-devel/gcc \ sys-devel/gettext dev-vcs/git \ dev-util/intltool sys-devel/make sys-apps/sed \ dev-libs/libffi sys-devel/libtool dev-libs/openssl sys-devel/patch \ dev-lang/perl dev-perl/XML-Parser \ dev-util/pkgconfig dev-util/scons app-arch/unzip \ net-misc/wget app-arch/xz-utils dev-lang/yasm
Mac OS X
sudo port install autoconf automake bison cmake flex \ gettext git-core gsed intltool libffi libtool \ openssl p5-xml-parser pkgconfig scons \ wget xz yasm
Mac OS X versions ≤ 10.6 are no longer supported.
Make sure to update and upgrade packages as some of the default versions of packages are too old to work correctly.
mingw-get update mingw-get upgrade
And then get required packages.
mingw-get install autoconf bash msys-bison msys-flex gcc gcc-c++ \ gcc-fortran gettext msys-m4 msys-make msys-sed \ libiconv msys-openssl msys-patch msys-perl \ msys-libarchive msys-unzip msys-wget msys-bsdtar
You will also need to install Windows versions of Python and Ghostscript and ensure they are in visible in the PATH.
zypper install -R autoconf automake bash bison bzip2 \ cmake flex gcc-c++ gettext-tools git \ intltool libffi-devel libtool make openssl \ libopenssl-devel patch perl \ perl-XML-Parser pkg-config scons \ sed unzip wget xz yasm
On 64-bit openSUSE, install also:
zypper install -R gcc-32bit glibc-devel-32bit \ libgcc46-32bit libgomp46-32bit \ libstdc++46-devel-32bit
Creating an NSIS based installer
make nsis-installer command produces a NSIS installer that is ready to be distributed.