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MATLAB® is the high-level language and interactive environment used by millions of engineers and scientists worldwide. It lets you explore and visualize ideas and collaborate across disciplines including signal and image processing, communications, control systems, and computational finance. At DESY it's usually pre-installed on linux-boxes, and installable on windows via Netinstall. In all other cases we offer Downloads which can be deployed manually on the computing hosts.



  • Source

  • License: commercial
  • Code: Fortran, C/C++
  • Path:  /opt/matlab/<version>  
  • Licensing: concurrent
  • License server: only accessible from within the DESY network


RedHat SL6pre-installed in /opt/matlab/ (linked into afs). Local installation possible if needed provided sufficient disk space (>100G) in /opt/ is available.
RedHat EL7pre-installed in /opt/matlab/ (linked into afs). Local installation possible if needed provided sufficient disk space (>100G) in /opt/ is available.

sudo apt-get install matlab.r2014b-afsu matlab.r2014b-aliasu dl-optafs # should do it for an afs-linked installations (for v2014b)

For local installations fetch the zip-archive and follow the installation instructions.

Other linuxfetch the zip-archive and follow the installation instructions. 
WindowsAvailable as NetInstall package. If not, also available as installer from download page
Mac OSXavailable as installer from download page. Use Munky!

Using matlab (linux)

Usually matlab can be invoked directly as a versioned command

[me@pal ~]$ /usr/local/bin/matlab_R2015a   # or simply
[me@pal ~]$ matlab_R2015a                  # as /usr/local/bin will usually be in the PATH.

There is however no unversioned command "matlab". To always use the most recent available version 

[me@pal ~]$ module load matlab            # to use the newest version
[me@pal ~]$ module load matlab/R2014b     # to use a specific version
[me@pal ~]$ matlab

Running Matlab

Matlab comes with extensive documentation and demos. Other resources like community forums can be found on the Mathworks site

Please note: access to license servers is only possible from within the DESY network. The same is (more or less) true if you are using the license serves of the University of Hamburg or the Max-Planck Society. To access the Matlab license server you should connect via VPN. Some VPN connection do not allow certain broadcasts. If the license server is unreachable despite a working VPN connection, change the Matlab license file to:

SERVER 021169072116 27001

The license file can usually be found under <matlab-installation-path>/licenses/. You can also place a license file at any location and define a variable MLM_LICENSE_FILE pointing to that file.

If a VPN-connection is not an option it might be possible to use Matlab from outside DESY via an ssh-tunnel. 

We can not offer any standalone or home-use licenses.

Another concern: please close Matlab after you've done with your calculations! It will otherwise block the license and any toolbox-license used during a matlab-session. In particular toolbox-licenses will be blocked for the entire session, not only for the duration of the toolbox-usage.

Installing Matlab manually

The installation procedure is very similar for Linux, Mac OSX and Windows. All information needed can be found under Matlab Downloads & Licenses. The folder is only accessible with a DESY username and password.There you can also found a detailed installation description for Linux. A detailed capture of the installation for Mac OSX can be found under Matlab Installation for Mac OSX

Please note: IF you are a member of the Max-Planck Institutes or the University of Hamburg you must choose the proper license server!

Installing Matlab on Linux

If matlab is not installed on a Linux-host, you can install Matlab via standard package tools. Matlab comes in two variants, either as a full, local installation or by just creating links to AFS-hosted installations. To install the AFS-version:

[me@rhel ~]$ sudo yum install matlab.R2014b-alias matlab.R2014b-afs                   # RedHat EL based systems like SL6
[me@rhel ~]$ sudo yum install matlab.R2014b-alias matlab.R2014b                       # For local installations if repos are configured accordingly
[me@ubun ~]$ sudo apt-get install matlab.r2014a-afsu  matlab.r2014a-aliasu dl-optafs  # Ubuntu Debian
If repositories are not configured, packages can also be found in afs:
[me@ubun ~]$ cd /afs/
[me@ubun ~]$ sudo dpkgi -i  matlab.r2014b-afsu_2014b-2_all.deb matlab.r2014b-aliasu_2014b-2_all.deb dl-optafs_1.0-2_amd64.deb	 

Installing Matlab on Windows

Provided your PC is a member of the DESY windows domain, use the Netinstall Installer & Uninstaller, Matlab can be found under "Scientific Software". Be aware that the Matlab installation can easily take 30 minutes or more. So even if the installlation shows nothing than a blue screen and no progress-bar, let the installation continue until it's really done. You can still use your PC during the installation, just swap the application in focus with "CTRL-ALT-TAB". 

If the PC is not part of the windows domain, please refer to the manual installation.

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