Octave 3.8 has been released and it has a GUI

January 29th, 2014 | Categories: matlab, Open Source | Tags:

Octave is a free, open source language for numerical computing that is mostly compatible with MATLAB. For years, the official Octave project has been strictly command-line only which puts many users off — particularly those who were used to the graphical user interface (GUI) of MATLAB. Unofficial GUIs have come and gone over the years but none of them were fully satisfactory for one reason or another.

As of the 3.8 release of Octave on 31st December 2013, this all changed when Octave started shipping with its own, official GUI. It is currently considered as ‘experimental’ by the Octave team and is obviously rough around the edges here and there but it is already quite usable.

Octave GUI

The system includes

  • An editor with syntax highlighting and code folding
  • A debugger
  • A file browser and workspace viewer
  • The ability to hide and move different elements of the GUI around (e.g. you could swap the positions of the workspace and File Browser, or tear-off the editor into its own Window)
  • A documentation browser
  • The Octave command window

I’ve spent an hour or so playing with it today and like it a lot!

Thanks to Júlio Hoffimann Mendes who let me know about this new release.

  1. Júlio Hoffimann Mendes
    January 29th, 2014 at 16:38
    Reply | Quote | #1

    Thanks Mike for spreading the words.


  2. kalo
    January 29th, 2014 at 17:46
    Reply | Quote | #2

    So where is the download link?
    On your screenshot you are posting Octave running on Windows, while latest version seems to be 3.6.4: http://sourceforge.net/projects/octave/files/Octave Windows binaries/

    Or do we expect Windows users to compile Octave sources?

  3. Mike Croucher
    January 29th, 2014 at 17:54
    Reply | Quote | #3

    @kalo Binary downloads are indeed rather confusing at the moment…a point I made in come comments over at http://www.walkingrandomly.com/?p=5324#comment-1232141. At the time of writing, I am not aware of any official binaries for 3.8

    The build I used is at http://mxeoctave.osuv.de/
    It is not official

  4. kalo
    January 29th, 2014 at 18:18
    Reply | Quote | #4

    Thanks @Mike

  5. January 29th, 2014 at 18:43
    Reply | Quote | #5

    Another option which includes a pain-free MATLAB-like GUI for Windows and Linux is Octave UPM.


    The official website is in Spanish, but the software is in English by default.

    In our podcast (also in Spanish, sorry for that) we interviewed his main developer(@herraiz).

    Note: Mike, I know that we owe you a comparison. Since this new version of Octave has been released, let me try to prepare something with Israel comparing both.

  6. Akbar Momin
    February 2nd, 2014 at 22:25
    Reply | Quote | #6

    Why not collaborating rather than comparing and competing.

    The open source OCTAVE user community would like to see the two GUI merging to give us the best of all.


  7. enniopa
    April 13th, 2014 at 07:29
    Reply | Quote | #7

    THANKS A LOTO for your download link about octave vers.3.8.
    I’m a beginner in the use of the SW and I have a short question which could be related to my no-experience.
    I tried to start introducing this simple command

    >> input (“a number”)
    a number100
    ans = [](0x0)
    I was expecting:
    >> input (“a number”)
    a number100
    ans = 100
    Where is my mistake? Would you help me?
    Thanks in advance

  8. enniopa
    April 20th, 2014 at 20:28
    Reply | Quote | #8

    I must add the line a=imput(“number”)

  9. enniopa
    April 20th, 2014 at 20:32
    Reply | Quote | #9

    can someone help me?
    I’m searching the function xlsread for octave 3.81 Windows.
    is it exsisting?
    where to find and how to install?
    Thanks in advance.


  10. enniopa
    April 20th, 2014 at 20:35

    can someone help me?
    I’m searching the function xlsread for octave 3.81 Windows.
    is it existing?
    where to find and how to install?

  11. enniopa
    April 21st, 2014 at 10:58

    It seems the package i/o (and the function xlsread) are not included in the SW octave 3.8.1 for Windows.
    Could someone give me confirmation?

  12. titrisol
    April 28th, 2014 at 16:46

    the IO Package can be found at the OctaveForge

  13. titrisol
    April 28th, 2014 at 16:53

    Did you run the build_packages.m script htat is included in the Octave package?
    You can find it in %Octave%/src

  14. titrisol
    April 28th, 2014 at 16:55

    Please run the
    %Octave%/src/build_packages.m script

  15. lynne
    July 4th, 2014 at 07:06

    Thanks for the download info. I downloaded octave-, and installed it on windows 7. When I ran build_packages in /src folder, I got the following error while installing ‘tsa-4.2.7.tar.gz’ package.
    pkg (‘install’, ‘tsa-4.2.7.tar.gz’)
    ls: /usr/local/MATLAB: No such file or directory
    ls: /usr/local/MATLAB/R*: No such file or directory
    ls: /usr/local/MATLAB/R*: No such file or directory
    make: /bin/mexext: Command not found
    make: Entering directory `/tmp/oct-25/tsa/src’
    ls: /usr/local/MATLAB/R*: No such file or directory
    make: /bin/mexext: Command not found
    C:\Octave\Octave-3.8.0\bin/ld.exe: cannot find -lgomp
    collect2.exe: error: ld returned 1 exit status
    make: *** [covm_mex.mex] Error 1
    mkoctfile –mex “covm_mex.cpp” -lgomp -llapack -lblas ## Octave
    make: Leaving directory `/tmp/oct-25/tsa/src’

    pkg: error running `make’ for the tsa package.
    error: called from ‘configure_make’ in file C:\Octave\Octave-3.8.0\share\octave\3.
    g\private\configure_make.m near line 82, column 9
    error: called from:
    error: C:\Octave\Octave-3.8.0\share\octave\3.8.0\m\pkg\private\install.m at line
    lumn 5
    error: C:\Octave\Octave-3.8.0\share\octave\3.8.0\m\pkg\pkg.m at line 394, column
    error: C:/Octave/Octave-3.8.0/src\build_packages.m at line 32, column 1

    Do you know how to fix it/ work around it? Did you experience this problem?

    Thanks in advance!

  16. Shahab Nian
    March 19th, 2015 at 12:31

    I have installed Octave in my PC, but the language is in German, because I am in Germany.
    How can I change the language to English?
    Thank you in advance :)