How to install GNU Octave on Debian 10

In this article, we will explain how to install GNU Octave, a high-level interpreted language intended primarily for numerical calculations. It offers opportunities for the numerical solution of linear and nonlinear problems and for other numerical experiments. It also offers ample graphical capabilities for visualizing and manipulating data. Octave is typically used through an interactive command line interface, but can also be used to write non-interactive programs. The Octave language is very similar to Matlab, so most programs are easily portable.

We ran the commands and procedures mentioned in this article on the Debian 10 Buster system.

Install GNU Octave 4.4.1 via Software Manager


For a person who does not want to open the command line much, installing the software present in the Debian repository through the user interface is very simple. On the Actions toolbar on the desktop, click the Debian Software icon.

In the next window, click on the search icon and type GNU Octave in the search bar. Search results will display GNU Octave as follows:

GNU Octave

This is a package supported by the Debian main repository. However, this may not be the latest version of Octave, which at the time of this writing was Octave 5.1.0. If you want to install the latest version of this software, see the last section of this article.

In the software manager, click on the GNU octave record to open the following view:

GNU Octave Installation Package

Click the Install button to start the installation process. The next authentication dialog will show you the opportunity to provide your authentication information, since only an authorized user can install the software in Debian.

Authenticate as administrator

Enter your password and click the Authentication button. After that, the installation process will begin, displaying a progress bar as follows.

Install GNU Octave

After that, GNU Octave will be installed on your system, and after successful installation, you will receive the following message:

run GNU Octave

In the above dialog box, you can directly launch GNU Octave and even uninstall it immediately for any reason.


You can start GNU Octave through the user interface at any time by entering the appropriate keywords in the Application Launcher or access it directly from the application list.

GNU Octave Icon

The first time you open Octave, the following dialog opens:

Welcome to octave

This dialog box gives you information that Octave will create a configuration file in the current user’s home directory in the .config (hidden) folder.

Please click Next to create the configuration file necessary for Octave to work. The following dialog opens:

Octave Community News

In this dialog box, you can configure whether you want Octave to connect to the official Octave website and provide you with Community News, which includes current news and information. You can uncheck this box and check community news through the Help menu in the Octave GUI only when you want it. Press “Next.

Enjoy using Octave

This is just information on how to access Octave support and documentation. Please click Finish, after which you are ready to use Octave.

GNU Octave

Install the latest version of Octave

As mentioned above, the official Debian repository does not currently include the latest version of Octave. You can check which version of Octave you have by selecting the About Octave option in the Help menu of the GNU Octave GUI.

Version Information

The official Octave website lists Octave 5.1.0 as the latest version. If you want to get this version, follow these steps:

Open the Debian command line, Terminal, by searching in the Application Launcher. Currently, no PPA storage contains the latest and stable version of Octave, so we will use the Flatpak utility to install Octave from the Flathub storage.

Please enter the following command to install Flatpak if it is not already installed on your system:

$ sudo apt-get install flatpak

Install Flatpack

The system will ask you to enter the password for sudo, since only an authorized user can install, uninstall and configure the software in Debian. The system prompts you to enter Y / n to confirm the start of the installation procedure. Type Y, then press Enter. The installation process will begin, which may take some time depending on the speed of your Internet. After that, Flatpak will be installed on your system.

The next step is to add the Flathub repository, which contains the latest Octave package, using the following command:

$ flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub

Add GNU Octave repository to FlatPak

Flathub storage will be added to your system.

Finally, enter the following command to install the latest version of Octave:

$ flatpak install flathub org.octave.Octave

Install GNU Octave with Flatpak

Enter Y to start the installation procedure. The Octave package size is about 1.3 GB and can take a lot of time depending on the speed of your Internet.


To run this package, rather than the traditional GNU Octave package, run the following command in your terminal:

$ flatpak run org.octave.Octave


If you want to remove the GNU Octave package installed via Flatpak, you can use the following command:

$ flatpak uninstall org.octave.Octave

Then you can remove flatpak if necessary with the following command:

$ sudo apt-get remove flatpak

We hope that when the official Debian repository is updated to the latest version of Octave, the installation procedure will be much easier. Until then, this article is here for your help!

How to install GNU Octave on Debian 10

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