I have a problem with the MATLAB 2012 installation.

After having installed it using Alt + F2 and having used gksudo nautilus, I have installed MATLAB in the correct folder, /usr/local/MATLAB/R2012a.

Then I inserted the license and the window told "activation complete" or something like that.

This made me happy, but only for a while because as soon as I try to search for MATLAB within the applications I cannot find it and neither if I try to run


into terminal it says:

command not found

How can I fix this problem?

2 Answers 2


Try navigating to bin folder in your Matlab installation directory:

cd /usr/local/MATLAB/R2012a/bin

Then execute Matlab from there:


Source: How do I launch MATLAB on Linux?

If that worked for you, you can create alias:

cd /usr/local/bin/
sudo ln -s /usr/local/MATLAB/R2012a/bin/matlab matlab

This trick will allow you to launch matlab from any directory, as you were trying to do. Note that you should use sudo for the last command, since it creates alias globally, for all users.

If you are not in sudoers list (i.e. you cannot use sudo command), you can create alias locally. To do that, open .bashrc file, which is in your home directory:

gedit ~/.bashrc

Add the following line to the end of that file:

alias matlab="/usr/local/MATLAB/R2012a/bin/matlab"

Finally, reopen your terminal, or type source ~/.bashrc and execute this command.

Source: How do I create shortcuts, aliases, or links to MATLAB?

  • Thank you very much for the first part: Matlab now opens and it works from the folder where I installed it, anyway it fails to create the symbolic link since the terminal tells "permission denied"
    – Mattia
    Sep 9, 2012 at 11:41
  • Sorry, it is my fault. You should use sudo for the symbolic link creation command: "sudo ln -s /usr/local/MATLAB/R2012a/bin/matlab matlab".
    – Andrey
    Sep 9, 2012 at 15:05
  • Updated the answer.
    – Andrey
    Sep 9, 2012 at 15:14
  • Comprehensive answer. I like it. Sep 9, 2012 at 18:00
  • Sorry but yesterday I didn't had connection to the web. Your answer was perfect for solving my problem. Thank you!
    – Mattia
    Sep 12, 2012 at 7:13

I've just installed Matlab 2012b on Ubuntu 12.10 and followed up by installing the matlab-support package in the Ubuntu Software Centre:

sudo apt-get install matlab-support

(As per this answer in a related question: https://askubuntu.com/a/140078/16835)

  • by far the easiest solution! And quick, takes only 2 min to download and configure (and I'm using a 7 year old laptop so ...)
    – Nick
    May 3, 2014 at 22:36

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