Parent page: Programming Applications


MATLAB® is a high-level language and interactive environment that enables you to perform computationally intensive tasks faster than with traditional programming languages such as C, C++, and Fortran.

You can use MATLAB in a wide range of applications, including signal and image processing, communications, control design, test and measurement, financial modeling and analysis, and computational biology. Add-on toolboxes (collections of special-purpose MATLAB functions, available separately) extend the MATLAB environment to solve particular classes of problems in these application areas.

MATLAB provides a number of features for documenting and sharing your work. You can integrate your MATLAB code with other languages and applications, and distribute your MATLAB algorithms and applications.


Important Note Regarding Ubuntu 11.04

MATLAB R2011a was released on April 8, 2011. Please note that this is prior to the release of Ubuntu 11.04. Consequently Ubuntu 11.04 is not a supported operating system for MATLAB R2011a.

MATLAB R2011a users are strongly encouraged to install R2011a on Ubuntu 10.04 LTS or Ubuntu 10.10 for best results. Installation of MATLAB R2011a on unsupported Ubuntu releases are outside the scope of this documentation.

Installation Instructions

  • You will need superuser privileges. The assumption is that MATLAB install files are located at /media/MATHWORKS_R2011a in your filesystem.

1. Run the MATLAB installer with the following Terminal command:

sudo /media/MATHWORKS_R2011A/install

2. When prompted to 'Choose installation type' you should select custom. This will allow you to create symbolic links to MATLAB in /usr/local/bin.

Choose installation type

3. When prompted to 'Specify installation folder' it is recommended that you use the default folder /usr/local/MATLAB/R2011a.

Specify installation folder

4. When given the option to 'Create symbolick links to MATLAB scripts in:' it is recommended that you check the box and use the supplied path /usr/local/bin.

Create symbolick links to MATLAB scripts in:

Create A MATLAB Launcher

1. Get an icon:

sudo wget -O /usr/share/icons/matlab.png

2. Get the launcher file:

sudo wget '' -O /usr/share/applications/matlab.desktop

If you get two MATLAB launcher icons in your Unity laucher, try adding this line to /usr/share/applications/matlab.desktop:


MEX functions

If you try to compile MEX functions you may see a message like the following:

Warning: You are using gcc version "4.4.4-14ubuntu5)".  The version
         currently supported with MEX is "4.3.4".
         For a list of currently supported compilers see:

Note this is a warning - the MEX function will still compile.

The following instructions will setup gcc 4.3 and make it the default compiler for MATLAB:

1. Install The GNU Compiler Collection 4.3 and The GNU Standard C++ Library

sudo apt-get install gcc-4.3-multilib libstdc++6-4.3-dev

2. Make a MATLAB specific 'bin' directory for gcc symlink.

mkdir ~/.matlab/bin

3. Symlink gcc to gcc-4.3 via user MATLAB specific 'bin' directory.

ln -s /usr/bin/gcc-4.3 ~/.matlab/bin/gcc

4. Add MATLAB specific 'bin' directory to the front of your system $PATH within your local startup.m file.

printf "setenv('PATH',sprintf('/home/%%s/.matlab/bin:%%s',getenv('USER'),getenv('PATH')));\n" >> ~/Documents/MATLAB/startup.m

Steps 3 and 4 above may not work for at least one instance of a user trying to compile using MEX in MATLAB R2011a running on Ubuntu 10.10. An alternative is to do the following:

  • 3a. At the MATLAB Command Window prompt, type:

mex -setup

and choose option 2 which says:

 2: /usr/local/MATLAB/R2011a/bin/ :
      Template Options file for building MEX-files via the system ANSI compiler

This will copy to your home directory a local copy of the file

  • 4a. Then edit this local file:

sudo gedit ~/.matlab/R2011a/

and replace all instances of CC='gcc' to CC='gcc-4.3', CXX='g++' to CXX='g++-4.3', and FC='gfortran' to FC='gfortran-4.3'. Save and exit. The next time you run MEX in MATLAB to compile it will work properly.

For more ideas, try this thread or this one.

Previous Versions

External Links

Compatibility information:

For more information about MATLAB see the following links


MATLAB/R2011a (last edited 2012-10-12 21:34:48 by blegat)