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Matlab, a `matrix laboratory' for interactive scientific calculations of The Mathworks Inc. is an integrated software package, it combines numeric calculations, data visualization and a programming language.

A number of departments in the university have bought shares in the network license that C&CZ has arranged for the use of Matlab. When one has bought a share, the installation DVD of Matlab (latest version Release 2008a) for either Linux x86, Linux x86_64, Mac (PPC), Mac (Intel), Sun SPARC Solaris10 or for MS-Windows (XP, Vista), but also older versions, can be borrowed from C&CZ system administration.

This network license with a lot of toolboxes can only be used by computers on the Internet. For standalone use, one can try to use a free alternative like Scilab or Octave. The license purchase costs for on average 1 concurrent Matlab-user are EUR 241,- excl. VAT. Maintenance costs depend on the number of users, but are roughly EUR 50,- per year.

When a department regularly uses Matlab without yet having bought a share in the network license, one should contact Astrid Linssen. The use of Matlab is logged on the license server. At the end of each year C&CZ calculates the average peak-use per week of each department, this should correspond to the number of Matlab-licenses bought. During the highest peak-use a department thus uses more licenses than bought, but this is no problem due to the shared network license: not all departments peak at the same time.

Matlab is available on the Solaris Suns and MS-Windows or Linux PCs managed by C&CZ.

  • Windows: installing Matlab roughly means:
    • Put the license.dat, that C&CZ sent by mail, somewhere on your hard disk. That license.dat contains 2 lines that look like:
        SERVER .... .....
    • Insert the software DVD
    • Choose "Install manually without using the Internet".
    • Check "I have the File Installation Key"
    • For MS-Windows: Enter the File Installation Key' that C&CZ sent by mail. It looks like:
    • Choose "Typical Installation"
    • Point to the directory where you stored the license.dat.
  • Linux installation
    • Contact C&CZ for the current license file and File Installation Key.
    • Become (if you want) root
    • mkdir /usr/local/matlab
    • mkdir /usr/local/matlab/etc
    • cp -p license.dat /usr/local/matlab/license.dat
      The license.dat looks like:
          SERVER ...
    • cd /usr/local/matlab
    • Insert the DVD and
      mount /mnt/cdrom
    • /mnt/cdrom/install -t
      Accept the license agreement and answer all questions, choose the default options, except for the installation method, you should choose "Install automatically *without* using the internet". Wait for the succes report.
    • umount /mnt/cdrom
    • eject

Known problems:

  • Linux installation:
    • If you get the error message:
       /media/MATHWORKS_R2008A/update/bin/glnx86/xsetup: error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

install the missing software through something like:

        root# yum install
  • Firewalls:
    • When one is separated from the license server by a firewall, one needs to open 2 ports: one on which the license server is listening and 1 return portnumber. Contact C&CZ for details, the portnumbers might change due to an upgrade of Matlab.