Octave 3.8 on Mint (or Ubuntu)

Andrew Bolster

Data Science Engineering Manager at NTT Application Security and Trustee at Farset Labs

My work has be flittering between Python and Matlab recently, and lets say I’m not a massive fan of Matlab at the best of time, and VM matlab isn’t the most performant thing in the world.

So I was happy to hear that octave, an open source, Matlab compatible analysis framework have started testing their GUI.

Package Requirements

sudo aptitude -y build-deps octave
sudo aptitude -y install gfortran libgfortran3-dbg-arm64-cross liblapack-dev libblas-dev libarpack2-dev llvm-dev libfltk1.3-dev libglu1-mesa-dev libcurl4-gnutls-dev libfreetype6-dev libqt4-dev libfontconfig1-dev libfftw3-dev libqrupdate-dev libqscintilla2-designer texlive


I used /dev/shm as the build directory as it’s effectivly a RAM disk, but YMMV.

curl ftp://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/octave/octave-3.8.1.tar.gz | tar -xvzf - -C /dev/shm/; cd /dev/shm


I’m on a 64 bit machine with 4 real-cores, so I wanted openmp but do not enable 64bit addressing, it doesn’t work at the minute. Both of these features are experimental and YMMV. If someone comes up with a fix for 64bit, let me know.

Due to the way that configure looks for the blas and lapack libraries, you have to tell it where to go.

./configure --enable-openmp --with-blas=/usr/lib/libblas/ --with-lapack=/usr/lib/liblapack/


May as well use all the cores for compilation make -j4; make check


This is the only operation that needs sudo

sudo make install

You’ll need to add /usr/local/bin/ to your path in whichever fashion you prefer.


/usr/local/bin/octave --force-gui

Enjoy some “tasty” Matlab style editing. If you break it it’s not my fault!

Published: January 22 2014

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