Yet again I am to turn to this wonderful resource available to me and ask, how do I install the latest version of GNU Octave (not Octave 3.2.4 -- the one available in the software centre)?

  • It doesn't work at my system... The following lines seems to be OK wget ftp.gnu.org/gnu/octave/octave-3.8.0.tar.bz2 tar -xvf octave-3.8.0.tar.bz2 cd octave-3.8.0 sudo apt-get build-dep octave ./configure make but the last one seems not work... sudo make install The system tells me, that is not a rule defined. What's wrong with the procedure...? Thanks a lot for your support
    – user272969
    Apr 23, 2014 at 10:42
  • This is what happens when i try to run using the command on terminal. ln: failed to create symbolic link ‘/usr/local/bin/octave’: Permission denied
    – user426626
    Jul 5, 2015 at 11:20

4 Answers 4


You can add the ppa:devacom/science PPA to install the latest version of Octave (6.4.0, as of January 2021) in Ubuntu 20.04.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:devacom/science
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt install octave

Alternatively, you can use flatpak to install the latest version of Octave in Ubuntu 18.04+.

sudo apt install flatpak
flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo
flatpak install flathub org.octave.Octave

Then you can run it from the terminal with the command flatpak run org.octave.Octave (the GUI version is available too).

See this question to create a wrapper script octave, if you don't want to execute the long command flatpak run org.octave.Octave again and again.

The PPA mentioned in this part of answer is inactive since 2018, and it is kept for historical purposes.

You can install the latest stable version of GNU Octave for any supported Ubuntu release:

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:octave/stable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install octave

This PPA is maintained and supported by several Octave developers.

  • @mike-miller helped me to find out that in Ubuntu we should use: sudo -H apt-get install octave. If not, the .config/octave folder will be created in the user's home folder with root ownership and Octave will not start. With sudo -H the .config/octave folder is created in the root home folder.
    – estibordo
    Oct 19, 2016 at 21:39
  • See Link in Octave Wiki: wiki.octave.org/… May 30, 2017 at 11:22
  • Unfortunately this repo has broken packages that do not provide all versions of dependencies. octave : Depends: libcxsparse3.1.2 but it is not installable Depends: liboctave4 (= 4.2.1-2~octave~trusty2) but it is not going to be installed Depends: libqhull6 but it is not installable Depends: libqscintilla2-11 but it is not installable
    – Martin
    Jan 6, 2018 at 12:40
  • @Martin it looks like you are trying to install octave from this repository on the wrong Ubuntu release. Check that the repository source definition matches the release you have installed. Jan 7, 2018 at 20:25
  • 1
    As of Jan 2018 this ppa is still needed to install 4.2.1 on Ubuntu 16.04LTS, which only ships 4.0.0
    – Paul
    Jan 12, 2018 at 4:23

For octave 3.6.1

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:picaso/octave
sudo apt-get update ; sudo apt-get install octave

Yes you can get octave-3.6.3 , open your terminal and paste this

wget ftp://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/octave/octave-3.6.3.tar.bz2
tar -xvf octave-3.6.3.tar.bz2
cd octave-3.6.3
 sudo make install 

Hope that helps :D

  • Well this is something I suppose, but I was hoping for something that would give me the latest version of Octave (3.6.3)
    – Josh Pinto
    Sep 29, 2012 at 17:51
  • @BrentonHorne hi answer updated
    – rɑːdʒɑ
    Sep 29, 2012 at 18:32
  • 1
    That does help :)
    – Josh Pinto
    Sep 29, 2012 at 20:03
  • One other thing, how do I create a launcher in Cairo-Dock for Octave 3.6.3?
    – Josh Pinto
    Sep 29, 2012 at 21:21

Ubuntu 12.04.3 and Octave 3.8.0 with statistics

wget ftp://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/octave/octave-3.8.0.tar.bz2
tar -xvf octave-3.8.0.tar.bz2
cd octave-3.8.0
sudo apt-get build-dep octave
sudo make install

sudo apt-get install octave-statistics
pkg install -forge io
pkg install -forge statistics
pkg load statistics

Additionally now I know you can copy the following into the terminal:

wget ftp://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/octave/octave-version#.tar.gz
tar -xvf /home/username/octave-version#.tar.gz
sudo rm /home/username/octave-version#.tar.gz
cd /home/username/octave-version#
ln -s /home/username/octave-version#/run-octave /usr/local/bin/octave

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