Talk:Build from source

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Manual Introduction

Below is some proposed text for the manual for collaborative editing:

Building Octave is easiest on Unix-like systems, e.g. Debian, Ubuntu, etc. The procedure for building and installing Octave from its sources on a Unix-like system is described in the sections below. To build on other systems requires considerably more expertise, but is possible. Further information on this is available online, such as on the Octave wiki (, but note that this information is not directly controlled by the Octave authors.

Octave is a large and complex program which depends on many other packages and libraries. The first section below describes how to obtain and install these dependencies before attempting to build Octave itself.

This second section describes the process of building Octave itself. On a Unix-like system building Octave can often be as simple as running a few commands from the terminal. The Octave build system is based on GNU make ( This is a commonly used system for compiling large and complex programs. It is often supplied as a standard package, so you are likely to already have it installed. Before running make to build Octave you must also first configure the build process on your system by running a shell script supplied with the source code. This configuration stage is also described in the second section.

Note that this description applies only to Octave releases. If you wish to build the development source, you must obtain them from the Mercurial archive. Building the development sources requires additional steps as described in <Building the Development Sources>. Further information on building Octave can be found in the readme files supplied with the source code.