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Installing Octave

Here is the procedure for installing Octave from scratch on a Unix system. For instructions on how to install the binary distributions of Octave, see section Binary Distributions.


Installation Problems

This section contains a list of problems (and some apparent problems that don't really mean anything is wrong) that may show up during installation of Octave.

Binary Distributions

Although Octave is not very difficult to build from its sources, it is a relatively large program that does require a significant amount of time and disk space to compile and install. Because of this, many people want to be able to obtain binary distributions so they can start using Octave immediately, without having to bother with the details of compiling it first. This is understandable, so I try to maintain a current collection of binary distributions at @url{ftp://ftp.che.wisc.edu/pub/octave/BINARIES}.

Please understand, however, that there is only a limited amount of time available to devote to making binaries, so binaries may not be immediately available for some platforms. (Please contact @email{bug-octave@bevo.che.wisc.edu} if you are interested in helping make a binary distribution available for your system.)

Installing Octave from a Binary Distribution

To install Octave from a binary distribution, execute the command

sh ./install-octave

in the top level directory of the distribution.

Binary distributions are normally compiled assuming that Octave will be installed in the following subdirectories of `/usr/local'.

Octave and other binaries that people will want to run directly.
Shared libraries that Octave needs in order to run. These files are not included if you are installing a statically linked version of Octave.
Unix-style man pages describing Octave.
Info files describing Octave.
Function files distributed with Octave. This includes the Octave version, so that multiple versions of Octave may be installed at the same time.
Executables to be run by Octave rather than the user.
Object files that will be dynamically loaded.
Image files that are distributed with Octave.

where version stands for the current version number of the interpreter, and arch is the type of computer on which Octave is installed (for example, `i586-pc-linux-gnu').

If these directories don't exist, the script install-octave will create them for you. The installation script also creates the following subdirectories of `/usr/local' that are intended for locally installed functions:

Locally installed M-files.
Locally installed binaries intended to be run by Octave rather than by the user.
Local object files that will be dynamically linked.

If it is not possible for you to install Octave in `/usr/local', or if you would prefer to install it in a different directory, you can specify the name of the top level directory as an argument to the `install-octave' script. For example:

sh ./install-octave /some/other/directory

will install Octave in subdirectories of the directory `/some/other/directory'.

Creating a Binary Distribution

Here is how to build a binary distribution for others to use. If you want to make a binary distribution for your system available along with the Octave sources and binaries on @url{ftp.che.wisc.edu}, please follow this procedure. For directions explaining how to make the binary available on the ftp site, please contact @email{bug-octave@bevo.che.wisc.edu}.

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