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MXE-Octave was forked 2012 from the MXE project and is useful for building Octave in the following scenarios[1]:

  1. Cross-compilation for MS Windows (see also Windows Installer) and other platforms.
  2. Building Octave on outdated Linux systems (e.g. only an old GCC version is available).
  3. Building Octave without root permission.
Warning icon.svg
MXE-Octave is not the best choice for building Octave, if your system already provides recent versions of GCC and other required build dependencies. See Category:Installation for other install options.

Example of compiling MXE-Octave


  1. Install all requirements of MXE Octave.
  2. Decide for an installation directory (e.g. ~/mxe-octave).
  3. cd ~
  4. hg clone mxe-octave
  5. cd mxe-octave
  6. ./bootstrap


For a comprehensive list of configuration options with a short explanation, type ./configure --help. See also the known issues below.

./configure \
    --prefix=$HOME/mxe-octave \
    --enable-native-build \
    --enable-octave=release \
    --enable-64 \
    --enable-fortran-int64 \
    --enable-pic-flag \
    --enable-openblas \


make all openblas JOBS=4 (adapt the value of the variable JOBS to your needs).

Replace reference BLAS by OpenBLAS

In general using the OpenBLAS library results in faster matrix-vector operations compared to the reference BLAS library.

  1. cd ~/mxe-octave/usr/lib
  2. mv
  3. ln -s


  1. MXE-Octave will exist in ~/mxe-octave/usr/bin
  2. Add the command octave as alias to your .bashrc file: alias octave=~/mxe-octave/usr/bin/octave
  3. Start MXE-Octave by typing octave.

Known issues


The gnuplot built by MXE-Octave does not support cairo based terminals and lua/tikz terminals. If you want uses those features, prepare gnuplot with those features and type in the Octave command prompt

 >> gnuplot_binary /usr/bin/gnuplot

Build errors on older systems

On some older systems, it might be useful to consider adding the configuration options

  • --disable-docs
  • --disable-system-opengl
  • --disable-system-x11-libs
  • --disable-java

in case of building errors.