"Scilab is free and open source software for numerical computation providing a powerful computing environment for engineering and scientific applications." ~ The Scilab Website

Scilab is a free and open source software and programming language intended for numerical computations (although with one of the many available toolboxes designed for it, it becomes capable of symbolic calculations). It is released under the CeCILL license (GPL-compatible) and has many of the same functionalities as MATLAB. Its syntax is also similar to MATLAB, although is generally considered more compatible with the MATLAB syntax.

It is available in the official Ubuntu repositories (hence it is available via APT and the software centre), but this version often lags behind the latest releases of this software. Its source code and Linux binary tarball can be downloaded from here.

The binary tarball includes an executable shell script that will start the program, it is possible to call scilab from the command-line by creating a /usr/bin/scilab file with the contents BINDIR/bin/scilab where BINDIR is replaced with the location of the extracted contents of the binary tarball. For example, say one wanted to make Scilab executable by running scilab from the shell on a 32-bit system, then the following technique should work (which has been tested successfully on 32 bit Ubuntu 15.04):

ver=5.5.2 #to be changed with the latest available version of Scilab
cd ~
wget -c http://www.scilab.org/download/$ver/scilab-$ver.bin.linux-i686.tar.gz
tar -xzf scilab-$ver.bin.linux-i686.tar.gz
mv scilab-$ver scilab
cd scilab
nano scilab

Then in nano adding:


Press Ctrl+X, then Y and then Enter or Return to save the changes. Then run:

chmod +x scilab
sudo mv scilab /usr/bin/scilab

to test whether this has worked run scilab from the command line.

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