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Using Matlab

Installing Matlab on your own computer

Versions and starting matlab

To start the default version of matlab type matlab or use the menu item under XUbuntu etc.

To avoid the startup message and graphical stuff you can use:

  matlab -nosplash -nodesktop

While to start matlab with out the java parts (and much simpler graphics):

  matlab -nosplash -nojvm

Some non-default versions of matlab (e.g. old releases or new ones being tested), may also be available. In general unless you know exactly what you are doing (e.g. to test if code works on an older version) it is safest to normally the default version.

Matlab Compiler - mcc

To run the Matlab compiler (mcc) you need to call the explicit version, such as mcc-r2019a (this is because the Mathematica mcc compiler is also installed on the UNIX system and has the same name). Or simply compile your code using the interfaces provided inside matlab.

Matlab Help

Matlab has a very useful built-in help system which can provide information about commands and give examples of use.

For example to get help about printing with matlab enter helpĀ print from inside matlab.

No Licenses Available

If you cannot start matlab because licenses are not available, use the licinfo utility to find out who is currently using matlab. The command:

  licinfo -users matlab

The output will say who is using matlab, from which computer and importantly when they started their current session. If you find some people who are using it for a number of days email them (cc'ing help if you prefer) explaining the problem to them, it may be that one of them have forgotten they have it open. Alternatively if you do not want to email them, email the departmental computing helpdesk telling us who the culprit is and we will email them for you without mentioning your name.

Useful Links


You can check if your matlab code works in octave (a free matlab like system), which is installed on all of our Linux machine. The command is octave.