Matlab

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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 matlab.science.ru.nl .... .....
        USE_SERVER

On a Windows pc, make sure you save this file as a txt file not as rtf or word !

    • 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 files (short and long) 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/etc/license.dat
      The (short) license.dat looks like:
          SERVER matlab.science.ru.nl ...
          USE_SERVER
    • Put the long form of the license file somewhere else. The long form looks like:
          SERVER matlab.science.ru.nl ...
          INCREMENT MATLAB MLM .....  \
               VENDOR_STRING=... HOSTID=ID=... DUP_GROUP=UH \
               asset_info=... SN=....
          INCREMENT SIMULINK MLM ..... \
               VENDOR_STRING=... HOSTID=ID=... DUP_GROUP=UH \
               asset_info=... SN=....
          INCREMENT ... MLM .....
               VENDOR_STRING=... HOSTID=ID=... DUP_GROUP=UH \
               asset_info=... SN=....
          INCREMENT ... MLM .....
               .....
    • cd /usr/local/matlab
    • Insert the DVD and
      mount /mnt/cdrom [en]if that doesn't happen automatically{/en].
    • /mnt/cdrom/install -t
      Accept the license agreement, enter the "File Installation Key" and answer all questions, choose the default options. After the installation, when starting Matlab for the first time, you are asked to activate the software. Choose "*without* using the internet" and point to the *long* license.dat that you received from C&CZ.
    • 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: libXp.so.6: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

install the missing software through something like:

        root# yum install libXp.so.6
  • 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.