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I tried installing MatLab from the software center out of curiosity, without having installed the executables. This led to the install unable to complete. I closed the GUI of the installer window, but that did not cancel the install. I see no cancel button.

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I assume this is what you are talking about?

enter image description here

Near the top of the Software Center is a bar with "All Software, Installed, and History" When you have a install working, there is also an In progress to the right of History

Click on the In Progress tab and you will see Matlab with the progress bar, next to the progress bar will be an X if you click the X it will cancel the install.

If you have already installed it, you can not cancel it but you can completely remove it from your system. The easiest way to get rid of it completely would be in a terminal, enter this command

sudo apt-get purge matlab-support

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There is no X if it is applying changes – UbuntuHusker Jan 28 '15 at 14:01
@UbuntuHusker that is correct. When it is "applying changes" is when the Software Center is actually installing the software, at this point there is no way to cancel, you would have to just uninstall. If you could cancel while software is installing, you would end up with partially installed software that could break other packages and could be hard to remove because it is not properly registered, it would then have to be removed manually one file at a time..... – TrailRider Jan 28 '15 at 22:29
Didn't work for me. It's still stuck applying changes but sudo apt-get purge matlab-support does nothing. – 6005 Feb 3 '15 at 1:25

This method does not install MatLab, but rather tries to configure it for better integration with the Ubuntu/Debian standard (for applications installation).

Do you already have MatLab (non-free software)?

Have you tried going back into Software Center, searching installed software for 'MatLab', and then click on 'Remove'?

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I just figured it out

goto a command line and enter the following.

pkill -15 dpkg

**this may be last measure to get software centre to continue processing

and when I did it I had to then install MatLab Manually

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Can u explain what this command does? Just curious – SY_13 Aug 31 '15 at 13:34
Yes... I dont know why I have been so downvoted but I guess it wasnt helpful for most? pkill kills processes and -15 means terminate the process and dpkg is what unpacks and installs the programs here is something I found just in case I am not clear enough – UbuntuHusker Sep 2 '15 at 2:41
idk I had that issue and is why I found this then this worked for me and I decided to put it out there.... – UbuntuHusker Sep 2 '15 at 2:43
Best Solution!, don't know which bone heads downvoted it – Stevie G Dec 2 '15 at 9:35

I faced an almost exact problem that was resolved on this thread: Unable To Cancel Installation In Software Center (Matlab)

It involves finding the blocking processes and killing them.

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protected by Community Jan 5 '14 at 20:59

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