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E.1.3 External Packages

The following external packages are required:


Basic Linear Algebra Subroutine library. Accelerated BLAS libraries such as OpenBLAS ( or ATLAS ( are recommended for best performance. The reference implementation ( is slow and suffers from certain bugs in corner case inputs.


Linear Algebra Package (


The Perl Compatible Regular Expression library (

The following external package is optional but strongly recommended:

GNU Readline

Command-line editing library (

If you wish to build Octave without GNU readline installed, you must use the --disable-readline option when running the configure script.

The following external software packages are optional. Octave can be built without them but certain features might be missing:


Library for the solution of large-scale eigenvalue problems ( ARPACK is required to provide the functions eigs and svds.


Library for transferring data with URL syntax ( cURL is required to provide the urlread and urlwrite functions and the ftp class.


Library for computing discrete Fourier transforms ( FFTW3 is used to provide better performance for functions that compute discrete Fourier transforms (fft, ifft, fft2, etc.)


Portable GUI toolkit ( FLTK can be used to provide windows for Octave’s OpenGL-based graphics functions.


Library for configuring and customizing font access ( Fontconfig is used to manage fonts for Octave’s OpenGL-based graphics functions.


Portable font engine ( FreeType is used to perform font rendering for Octave’s OpenGL-based graphics functions.


GNU Linear Programming Kit ( GPLK is required for the function glpk.


OpenGL to PostScript printing library ( gl2ps is required for printing when using OpenGL-based graphics toolkits (currently either FLTK or Qt).


Interactive graphics program ( gnuplot can be used as a graphics renderer for Octave; prior to Octave 4.0, gnuplot was the default graphics renderer.


Image processing library ( GraphicsMagick++ is used to provide the imread and imwrite functions.


Library for manipulating portable data files ( HDF5 is required for Octave’s load and save commands to read and write HDF data files.

Java Development Kit

Java programming language compiler and libraries. The OpenJDK free software implementation is recommended (, although other JDK implementations may work. Java is required to be able to call Java functions from within Octave.


API for portable 2-D and 3-D graphics ( An OpenGL implementation can be used to provide a renderer for Octave’s graphics functions. Octave’s OpenGL-based graphics functions usually outperform the gnuplot-based graphics functions because plot data can be rendered directly instead of sending data and commands to gnuplot for interpretation and rendering. Since Octave 4.0, the default graphics renderer ("qt") has been OpenGL-based.


PortAudio ( provides a very simple API for recording and/or playing sound using a simple callback function or a blocking read/write interface. It is required for the audio processing functions audioplayer, audiorecorder, and audiodevinfo.


Computational geometry library ( Qhull is required to provide the functions convhull, convhulln, delaunay, delaunayn, voronoi, and voronoin.


QR factorization updating library ( QRUPDATE is used to provide improved performance for the functions qrdelete, qrinsert, qrshift, and qrupdate.


Source code highlighter and manipulator; a Qt port of Scintilla ( QScintilla is used for syntax highlighting and code completion in the GUI.


GUI and utility libraries ( Qt is required for building the GUI. It is a large framework, but the only components required are the GUI, core, and network modules. Since Octave 4.0, the default graphics renderer ("qt") has been Qt-based, which has been OpenGL-based.


A fast JSON parser/generator for C++ with both SAX/DOM style API ( RapidJSON is required to read or write from or to JSON files with the functions jsondecode and jsonencode.


Sparse matrix factorization library ( SuiteSparse is required to provide sparse matrix factorizations and solution of linear equations for sparse systems.


The SUite of Nonlinear and DIfferential/ALgebraic Equation Solvers ( is required for the Ordinary Differential Equations (ODE) solvers ode15i and ode15s.


Data compression library ( The zlib library is required for Octave’s load and save commands to handle compressed data, including MATLAB v5 MAT files.

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