I had downloaded the source code of GNU octave and had installed it using make install. However, the installation had some error, due to which it could not open the GUI on launching octave.

For this reason I wanted to un-install the package.

For un-installing, I opened the software center. There in installed packages list, I could see GNU octave enlisted. On clicking on remove button, nothing happens.

Hence I tried to uninstall the package from command prompt using

sudo apt-get remove octave 
sudo apt-get autoremove octave

Still octave did not disappear from /usr/local/bin folder. So, I manually deleted it using:

sudo rm -rf /usr/local/bin/octave
sudo rm -rf /usr/local/lib/octave

Now when I again go back to software center, GNU octave is still enlisted as installed software.

I want to install it again, properly. For which I want to completely remove the previous installation.

My questions are:

  1. What else is required to completely remove octave
  2. How to correctly install it so that I can use its GUI efficiently

Note: the octave version is 4.0.1 Ubuntu version - 16.04 LTS

2 Answers 2


Gauri. I just successfully uninstalled Octave from my ubuntu 16.04 according to the solutions at http://installion.co.uk/ubuntu/xenial/universe/o/octave/uninstall/index.html.

I saw something is wrong in your code sudo apt-get autoremove octave. The right way should be sudo apt-get remove --auto-remove octave. Perhaps you could try it out and see if my suggestion works. Good luck!

  • I also want to share with you how I installed Octave-4.0.2 after I uninstalled the previous version. First line: wget ftp.gnu.org/gnu/octave/octave-4.0.2.tar.gz Second line: tar xf octave-4.0.2.tar.gz Third line: sudo apt-get build-dep octave Fourth line: cd octave-4.0.2/ Fifth line: ./configure Sixth line: sudo apt-get install octave Seventh line: sudo octave # The seventh line is to run octave in your computer. This approach works for me. Hope it works right on your computer.
    – Liz
    Oct 10, 2016 at 3:31
  • 1
    Please edit your comment into into the post to make it easier to find.
    – Kaz Wolfe
    Oct 10, 2016 at 5:44
  • Hi @Liz, your Sixth line will install Octave from Ubuntu repository, not from the source, because it used apt-get. You should run make and make install after configure.
    – sugab
    Mar 15, 2018 at 13:07

If you installed Octave through the ./configure && make && sudo make install process from source code, you can uninstall by entering the build directory where you ran sudo make install, and running this command:

sudo make uninstall

EDIT: This is true as of version 3.8.0 because it has an uninstall rule in its Makefile. Please check if your version has the same, or similar, rule.

In order to determine whether such a rule exists, open up the Makefile of the version of Octave source code you have downloaded, and look for the string uninstall:. If so, it means you have an uninstall rule, and that you can run make uninstall.

This Ask Ubuntu answer is the source of this information


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