Octave for Debian systems

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Revision as of 10:38, 13 January 2014 by Andy1978 (talk | contribs) (fixed LLVM entry)
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For Debian, and Debian based distributions such as Ubuntu, specific solutions.

Pre-compiled binaries

Distribution repositories

Binary packages for Octave and many Octave-Forge packages are provided by all versions of Debian and Ubuntu. These are the most well-tested binaries available and should work best for most users.

sudo apt-get install octave

Aside the octave package that installs GNU Octave, other pieces of it are split over multiple packages. These are octave-doc, octave-info, and octave-htmldoc for the documentation, liboctave-dev for the octave development library and required to install some Octave Forge packages, and octave-dbg for the debugging symbols.

Octave's Personal Package Archive (PPA)

However, for some Ubuntu releases the octave packages are old (Debian Squeeze and Ubuntu 12.04 or older only have Octave version 3.2). The GNU Octave Team on Launchpad maintain a PPA providing a binary packages of the latest stable and unstable versions of Octave for all versions of Ubuntu. To set up your system to install these packages

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:octave/stable
sudo apt-add-repository ppa:octave/unstable  # optional
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install octave

Compiling from source

The only tricky part is to install the dependencies. Once that is solved, installing from source should be as easy as ./configure && make && make install. See the manual for the configure options.


Info icon.svg
different Debian and Ubuntu versions may have slightly different package names but their differences should be pretty small, mostly limited to version numbers.

The easy way

The easy way to install most of the necessary dependencies is to sudo apt-get build-dep octave. This will install all packages necessary to build and prepare a Debian package for the octave version available on your system repositories. However:

  • will install unnecessary packages related to the building of a Debian package;
  • may miss some new dependencies;
  • may install packages that are no longer octave dependencies.

The right way

The best way is to select and install all the dependencies as listed in the INSTALL.OCTAVE file. The following are their package names in Debian repositories (they will have their own dependencies which your package maintainer will solve automatically).

Warning icon.svg
Debian repositories has several libraries for dealing with HDF data files. The recommended is libhdf5-serial-dev. However, the msh package requires gmsh which is incompatible with it.
Warning icon.svg
the GraphicsMagick++ library (libgraphicsmagick++-dev) on the Debian repositories was compiled with quantum 8 which limits reading images to 8 bit. The solution is to recompile GraphicsMagick with quantum 16 or 32 before building Octave.
Info icon.svg
if only the native graphics toolkit will be used, gnuplot will not be necessary.
  • build tools
g++ gcc gfortran make
  • external packages
libblas-dev liblapack-dev libpcre3-dev
  • optional but strongly recommended. Check the Octave manual for more information on them. Packages marked with * are virtual packages (you'll have to pick one of the displayed versions).
Dependency Debian Squeeze Ubuntu 13.10
ARPACK libarpack2-dev libarpack2-dev
cURL libcurl4-gnutls-dev libcurl4-gnutls-dev
epstool epstool epstool
FFTW3 libfftw3-dev libfftw3-dev
fig2dev transfig transfig
FLTK libfltk-dev * libfltk-dev *
fontconfig libfontconfig1-dev libfontconfig1-dev
FreeType libfreetype6-dev libfreetype6-dev
gl2ps libgl2ps-dev libgl2ps-dev
GLPK libglpk-dev libglpk-dev
GNU Readline libreadline-dev libreadline-dev
gnuplot gnuplot gnuplot
GraphicsMagick++ libgraphicsmagick++-dev libgraphicsmagick++-dev
HDF5 libhdf5-serial-dev libhdf5-serial-dev
Java JDK openjdk-7-jdk openjdk-7-jdk
LLVM llvm-dev * llvm-dev *
lpr lpr lpr
makeinfo texinfo texinfo
OpenGL libgl-dev * libgl-dev *
pstoedit pstoedit pstoedit
Qhull libqhull-dev libqhull-dev
QRUPDATE libqrupdate-dev libqrupdate-dev
QScintilla libqscintilla2-dev libqscintilla2-dev
Qt libqt4-dev libqtcore4 libqtwebkit4 libqt4-network libqtgui4 libqt4-dev libqtcore4 libqtwebkit4 libqt4-network libqtgui4
SuiteSparse libsuitesparse-dev libsuitesparse-dev
Xft libxft-dev libxft-dev
zlib zlib1g-dev zlib1g-dev

Building development version

If you are building development versions, you'll require some more packages as listed on etc/HACKING and INSTALL. Many of them will already be installed on your system.

  • development tools
autoconf automake bison flex gperf gzip libtool make perl rsync tar
  • extra ependencies for the development version
None at the moment