Octave Development in the Terminal

MatLab is a powerful tool that is used througout various disciplines for data processing and analysis. However, in order to get access to it and all its features, there is a fee associated with it. Depending on the needs of the user, this price can at times be somewhat large. Luckily, an open source alternative known as Octave exists which works just as good in many cases at zero monetary cost. Octave's syntax is for the most part identical to MatLab making the transition a relatively simple one.




sudo apt-get install tmux


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


Create a new tmux session

tmux new -s octave-ide

Configure Layout

|           |           |
| Console   |           |
|           |           |
|-----------|  Script   |
|           |           |
| Terminal  |           |
|           |           |

In order to get the layout shown above, the following steps need to be taken

Split panes horizontally

Ctrl+b %

Split panes vertically

Switch to pane 0

Ctrl+b q 0

Do vertical split

Ctrl+b "


Now that the layout is setup, work can finally be done. To start off, initialize Octave in pane 0.

Test code snippets in the console

Enter the following snippet in the console window

function res = square(x)
    res = x * x

Then call it to make sure it does what is expected

square(2) #Should equal 4

Write code on script file

Once satisfied that the code works:

  1. Switch to pane 2 using Ctrl+b q 2
  2. Create a script file myscript.m
  3. Edit myscript.m with desired code
1; # Prevents octave from processing file as function file.

function res = square(x)
    res = x * x

  1. Save the script

Run script file

Switch to pane 1 Ctrl+b q 1 and try to run the newly created script

octave -W myscript.m

The output should look the same as that in the console window.



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