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 octave 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 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.