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AquaTerm allows you to plot things in OS X without using an X client, such as X11. This has two advantages:

  • It requires less memory and hard drive space, if you don't have X installed or running already.
  • The graphs look better, and can be saved as Quartz PDFs.


Aquaterm is included in gnuplot in the extras folder of the Octave install image, and if you install it separately there might be issues.

However, if you must install it separately, Aquaterm can be obtained as .dmg from the following URL:

As always, drag and drop it into your applications folder. If you installed Octave as a .dmg, plots will work with X11 automatically unless you change your environmental variables. For most users, adding

export GNUTERM='aqua'

in ~/.profile will solve the problem.

Open a new terminal to refresh your environmental variables. Plotting with Octave (and/or Gnuplot) should display in Aquaterm now.