R2016a on 16.04: I need R2016b improvements in one of the toolboxes. It would be nice to have both.


  1. Can 2016a and 2016b co-exist?
  2. What problems are created when the two co-exist on the same box \ PC?
  3. Is the install procedure for installing a second instance different from the a virgin install?

I look forward to hearing from those who have experience installing two instances on Ubuntu. If you have experience please state this in your response. Any lessons-learned \ pitfalls to avoid are appreciated. Thank you


I have both MATLAB R2016a and R2016b installed, so I have some experience I can share.

  1. Yes, both versions can coexist. This is because they are installed by default into /usr/local/MATLAB/R2016a and /usr/local/MATLAB/R2016b respectively and therefore don't interfere with each other.

  2. No substantial problems are created when you have both versions. The only problem I can foresee is the matlab symlink that is created in /usr/local/bin if you select that option as mentioned in https://www.mathworks.com/help/install/ug/install-mathworks-software.html#bsnin8x-4. This symlink will link to the version of MATLAB you last installed, which is most likely R2016b. This means the order of installation of these two MATLAB versions matters. You can of course add any missing symlinks in /usr/local/bin yourself if you want.

  3. You install both versions using the same procedures.


I have not tried with the exact same versions as you, but based on my experience:

  1. Yes, just install them in different directories.

  2. I'm not sure what you mean with "box" (toolbox?) but the main problem I see is that it uses a lot of space on the HDD --- which is not a problem if you have available space.

  3. No, just do two complete installations and specify different destination folders.

You can then build up aliases (matlab2016a and matlab2016b, or whatever you want) which will run the executables from their respective locations.

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