How to install Octave on Windows

COP course WS15 / 16


Also this year, the use of computers brought along should be actively supported. The LS-III team has prepared download images for this, which include a specially adapted version of GNU Octave and a selection of suitable editors. For the installation we offer on Thursday, September 24th as Friday, September 25th, from 10:00 to 16:00 in room M / 911 installation support.

Below are illustrated instructions for installing the download images on Windows and Mac OSX.


  • Download the following file to your computer and save it e.g. on your desktop or on a USB stick.

  • Download image for Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8

  • Right click on the file and select "Extract All". Confirm the following dialog with "OK". A new "Octave-3.6.2-Windows" folder is created in the same folder as the ZIP file.

  • Double click on the folder. Some directories and some command files for starting the various software components appear. You can start them by double-clicking on the respective software component:

    • : Starts Gnuplot.
    • : Starts the text editor jedit.
    • : Starts the text editor.
    • : Starts the Octave command line.
    • : Starts the text editor.

  • Start Octave by double-clicking on "octave". The Octave command line opens. Enter the command "sombrero". A window with a graphic output should open.

  • NOTE: The first time it may take a while for the window to open (approx. 2-3 minutes).

Further notes and known problems:

  • The content of the unzipped folder is approx. 1.3 GB. The zip file itself is 680 MB. Sufficient space (approx. 2 GB) must therefore be available on the desktop / on the USB stick. The ZIP file can be deleted after unpacking.

  • The software package contains the three text editors "jedit", "pspad" and "notepad ++". "Jedit" is mainly used in the lecture. Which editor you want to use is up to you.

  • jedit requires Java. If Java is not installed, a double click on "jedit" starts the installation of Java. If so, follow the instructions on the screen. Alternatively, you can get the current Java version here:

  • The following problem can occur under Windows 8 / 8.1: The Octave input line is missing and the "sombrero" command shows no picture..

    In most cases, this can be resolved by:

    • Go to the Octave-3.6.2-Windows folder.
    • Right click on "octave" and select "Edit".
    • An editor opens. You will find the following line in the file:
      Octave \ bin \ octave.exe Add "-i --line-editing" to this line so that the line looks like this:
      Octave \ bin \ octave.exe -i --line-editing
    • Save the file and exit the editor
    • A restart of Octave (double click on "octave") should fix the problem.

Manual installation (optional)

  • The installation packages for all software packages used are located in the "Downloads" subdirectory. As an alternative to the method described above, you can use these packages to install the software components locally on a computer. jedit, Notepad ++ and PSPad then create entries in the start menu.

  • Octave only has to be unpacked (there is no installation program here), for this you can use decompression programs such as "WinRAR". Both 7z files have to be unpacked into the same directory. Then the following commands must be executed in the Octave command line:

    octave: 1> pkg rebuild -noauto octave: 2> pkg rebuild -auto symbolics

Close the Octave command line (command) and start it again. Octave including the "symbolics" package is then available for symbolic calculations.


  1. Download the appropriate image for your Mac computer

    You can find out which OSX version is installed on your Mac computer by clicking on the apple symbol in the menu and selecting "About this Mac"

  2. Make sure you can also install unsigned packages (the packages we offer are unsigned). To do this, open the "Security" dialog and check "No restrictions":

    After following the steps below, you can undo this change.

  3. Then open the DMG file by double-clicking it. The following window will appear

  4. Drag the application Octave and, if necessary, one of the two editors jEdit or Notepad ++ in the directory Programs. Start Octave

    and enter the command in the terminal that appears

    octave: 1> sombrero

    a. The following window should open

  5. It is possible that the X11 support required for Octave is not installed on your Mac computer.

    • With OSX 10.6 (Snow Leopard) and 10.7 (Lion), X11 support can be installed from the installation DVD. Video installation guide
    • As of OSX 10.8 (Mountain Lion), is no longer supplied by Apple and is referred to the open source XQuartz project. There is also a KnowledgeBase article on this.

usefull links