I have installed Gnu Octave by using apt-get install octave.
This installed version 4.0.3 on my machine.

I want to install the latest available version. How can I:

  1. Uninstall the version I have?
  2. Install the latest version?
  • Which version of Ubuntu do you use ? \\ if you are using zesty (17.04) you can use this commands for adding this repository sudo sed -i 's/zesty/xenial/g' /etc/apt/sources.list.d/octave-ubuntu-stable-zesty.list && sudo apt update Aug 13, 2017 at 3:13

2 Answers 2


For uninstalling GNU Octave you can run this command:

sudo apt purge octave

But you don't need to remove and then install latest version of Octave.

You can easily upgrade that package with this commands:

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

These commands upgrade Octave to latest stable version of this software (with no need to remove current version).

  • After running this, it says: octave is already the newest version (4.0.3-3ubuntu1). However on octaves webpage it says that 4.2.1 has been released :(
    – saidaspen
    Aug 12, 2017 at 9:20
  • 1
    If a new software is released upstream (by the original authors) it is not automatically in the Ubuntu repository. The Ubuntu maintainers have to create the packages and so on. Within a Ubuntu release (i.e. 18.04) packages only get security updates and few packages get major updates like firefox, thunderbird, chromium.
    – tardis
    Jul 18, 2018 at 9:14
  • It worked. Successfully installed Octave 4.2.2 on Ubuntu 16.04. Thanks.
    – ddas
    Oct 20, 2019 at 4:49

You can run the newest version of Octave (5.1.0 in March 2019) by running it as a Flatpack app. "Flatpack is a system for building, distributing, and running sandboxed desktop applications on Linux."

The installation procedure is described here: https://flathub.org/apps/details/org.octave.Octave at the bottom of the page.

A more complete set of commands looks like the following section:

If you are on Ubuntu 16.04, You have to install flatpack first, then run Octave:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:alexlarsson/flatpak
sudo apt install flatpak
# optional line, AFAIK (pulls in Gnome deps?):
sudo apt install gnome-software-plugin-flatpak  
# this line possibly required on Debian systems
flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo  
flatpak install flathub org.octave.Octave
flatpak run org.octave.Octave --gui

This downloads about 900 MB from the internet.

For convenience in starting Octave from the command line, you can create the files /usr/share/octave with the contents

flatpak run org.octave.Octave --gui

and /usr/share/octave-cli with content

flatpak run org.octave.Octave
  • on my Debian stretch (9, stable) you also must add the repo, which is done by flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo May 3, 2019 at 7:15

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