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Octave

Example frontpage imageGNU Octave is a high-level interpreted language, primarily intended for numerical computations. It provides capabilities for the numerical solution of linear and nonlinear problems, and for performing other numerical experiments. It also provides extensive graphics capabilities for data visualization and manipulation. Octave is normally used through its interactive command line interface, but it can also be used to write non-interactive programs. The Octave language is quite similar to Matlab so that most programs are easily portable. For more information, you may visit the Octave Web Site.

Installation of Octave on your computer is relatively easy. Some instructions are given below for a Windows-Based machine.

Installing Octave in Windows

For complete documetation about Octave and the versions that are available for different platforms, go to the Octave Download Page. Below, you will instructions on how to download, install, and configure Octave on your Windows machine. These instructions are an edited and condensed version of the SourceForge Octave README file.

  1. The first thing you will need are the Octave binaries, which you may find at SourceForge.net, or you may download them here. The Octave binaries file, Octave-3.6.0 Binaries, a 7z archive that includes a directory tree of all the binaries and libraries required for a complete octave installation (excluding octaveforge packages).
  2. Once you have the Octave binaries, you need to create an installation directory that does not have space characters in its name, such as c:\Octave\. This directory will be referred as <your_install_dir>.
  3. Next, extract the Octave Binaries from Octave3.6.0_gcc4.6.2_20120129.7z to the installation directory making sure to keep the same directory structure as in the archive (you can use 7-zip tool from http://www.7-zip.org/).
  4. Copy the file octave3.6.0_gcc4.6.2.lnk to any convenient location, and edit its properties so that it points to <your_install_dir>\bin\octave.exe and <your_install_dir>\share\octave\3.6.0\imagelib\octave-logo.ico as an icon.
  5. Copy the file octave3.6.0_gcc4.6.2_docs.lnk to any convenient location from where you want to launch and run Octave, and edit its properties (right click on the file and then select "Properties") so that it points to <your_install_dir>\doc\octave, and set the icon image to <your_install_dir>\share\octave\3.6.0\imagelib\octave-logo.ico.

At this point you may now:
a. Launch and use octave by double-clicking the copied octave3.6.0_gcc4.6.2.lnk
b. Access and browse the documentation files by double-clicking the copied octave3.6.0_gcc4.6.2_docs.lnk

Installing the Octave-Forge packages

To install theadditional binaries and libraries that are contained in the Octave-Forge packages, you need to do the following:
  1. First, download the Octaveforge Packages, a 7z archive that includes additional binaries and libraries for a set of octaveforge packages.
  2. Next, extract the complete directories tree from Octave3.6.0_gcc4.6.2_pkgs_20120128.7z to the installation directory (<your_install_dir>) making sure not to change the directory structure that is in the archive.
  3. In order to update the octave_packages database with your installation tree and to auto-load the packages, launch Octave and execute the following rebuild commands from the octave console:
    pkg rebuild -auto
    pkg rebuild -noauto ad windows
    pkg rebuild -auto java
    You can optionally adjust your installed packages status per your specific needs and usage by executing specific commands in Octave as descibed in the README file.

Optional installation of Notepad++

A recommended editor for Octave for writing scripts and programs is Notepad++. You may download the most recent Notepad++ installation package from http://notepad-plus-plus.org/ and install it on your system. To make it function with Octave, edit the file <your_install_dir>\share\octave\site\m\startup\octaverc and un-comment the line that sets octave the default editor: EDITOR('C:\Program Files\Notepad++\notepad++.exe'). Note, you may need to edit this line so that it refers to the location of your particular installation of notepad++.exe.