GNU Octave is a high-level language, primarily intended for numerical computations. It is free software, and it is similar to the commercial product MATLAB. It gives you an command line environment where you can do calculation, solve equations, manipulate matrices and plot graphs. A list of commands can be put into a file and executed as an interpreted scripting language.
A simple example of a Octave session
octave:1> a = 2 * 3 a = 6 octave:2> b = [ 1 2 3 4] b = 1 2 3 4 octave:3> c = a * b c = 6 12 18 24 octave:4> exit
Octave is in the Ubuntu universe and can be installed with synaptic or apt-get. The package name is "octave"
To run octave open a terminal and type
Zooming in GNUPlot
The latest GNUPlot from CVS (2008-10-09 is what I used) can zoom with the mouse. For certain tasks, this is obviously a huge improvement over using xlim() and ylim(). These instructions are for 8.04; hopefully it will make it into the 8.10 or 9.04 repos.
Build GNUPlot with the instructions at http://www.gnuplot.info/development/index.html. You will need at least these packages (please add to this list if you see the need for more):
sudo aptitude install build-essential cvs autoconf automake libgd2-xpm-dev checkinstall xorg-dev
Run the cvs commands from gnuplot.info's instructions:
cvs -d:pserver:email@example.com:/cvsroot/gnuplot login cvs -z3 -d:pserver:firstname.lastname@example.org:/cvsroot/gnuplot co -P gnuplot
cd gnuplot ./prepare ./configure --prefix=/usr/local/
The output of configure will tell you if you have the correct things enabled in gnuplot. Look for the following lines:
X Window System terminal: yes jpeg terminal: yes gif terminal: yes png terminal: yes Mouse support in interactive terminals: yes Zooming or refresh of volatile data: yes
Install. checkinstall is a program to automatically make a debian package, so it is easy to uninstall or install on similar systems. checkinstall will complain loudly about a bad version number. Make the version something like 4.3-cvs. Debian package versions must have numbers in them.
Package: gnuplot Status: install ok installed Priority: extra Section: checkinstall Installed-Size: 7036 Maintainer: root@localhost Architecture: amd64 Version: 4.3-cvs-1 Description: Gnuplot
Alternatively, you can just sudo make install.
GNU Octave Repository Add ons.
Articles by Barry O'Donovan Some introductory articles.
octave-gtk a GTK+ binding for GNU/Octave.