INSTALL Installing FreeMat

Section: Introduction and Getting Started

General Instructions

Here are the general instructions for installing FreeMat. First, follow the instructions listed below for the platform of interest. Then, run the

which brings up the path setup tool. More documentation on the GUI elements (and how to use them) will be forthcoming.


For Linux, FreeMat is now provided as a binary installation. To install it simply download the binary using your web browser, and then unpack it
  tar xvfz FreeMat-<VERSION_NUMBER>-Linux-Binary.tar.gz

You can then run FreeMat directly without any additional effort


will start up FreeMat as an X application. If you want to run it as a command line application (to run from within an xterm), use the nogui flag

  FreeMat-<VERSION_NUMBER>-Linux-Binary/Contents/bin/FreeMat -nogui

If you do not want FreeMat to use X at all (no graphics at all), use the noX flag

  FreeMat-<VERSION_NUMBER>-Linux-Binary/Contents/bin/FreeMat -noX

For convenience, you may want to add FreeMat to your path. The exact mechanism for doing this depends on your shell. Assume that you have unpacked FreeMat-<VERSION_NUMBER>-Linux-Binary.tar.gz into the directory /home/myname. Then if you use csh or its derivatives (like tcsh) you should add the following line to your .cshrc file:

  set path=($path /home/myname/FreeMat-<VERSION_NUMBER>-Linux/Binary/Contents/bin)

If you use bash, then add the following line to your .bash_profile


If the prebuilt binary package does not work for your Linux distribution, you will need to build FreeMat from source (see the source section below). When you have FreeMat running, you can setup your path using the pathtool. Note that the FREEMAT_PATH is no longer used by FreeMat. You must use the pathtool to adjust the path.


For Windows, FreeMat is installed via a binary installer program. To use it, simply download the setup program FreeMat-<VERSION_NUMBER>-Setup.exe, and double click it. Follow the instructions to do the installation, then setup your path using pathtool.

Mac OS X

For Mac OS X, FreeMat is distributed as an application bundle. To install it, simply download the compressed disk image file FreeMat-<VERSION_NUMBER>.dmg, double click to mount the disk image, and then copy the application FreeMat-<VERSION_NUMBER> to some convenient place. To run FreeMat, simply double click on the application. Run pathtool to setup your FreeMat path.

Source Code

The source code build is a little more complicated than previous versions of FreeMat. Here are the current build instructions for all platforms.
  1. Build and install Qt 4.3 or later -
  2. Install g77 or gfortran (use fink for Mac OS X, use gcc-g77 package for MinGW)
  3. Download the source code FreeMat-<VERSION_NUMBER>-src.tar.gz.
  4. Unpack the source code: tar xvfz FreeMat-<VERSION_NUMBER>-src.tar.gz.
  5. For Windows, you will need to install MSYS as well as MINGW to build FreeMat. You will also need unzip to unpack the enclosed archive. Alternately, you can cross-build the WIndows version of FreeMat under Linux (this is how I build it now).
  6. If you are extraordinarily lucky (or prepared), you can issue the usual ./configure, then the make and make install. This is not likely to work because of the somewhat esoteric dependencies of FreeMat. The configure step will probably fail and indicate what external dependencies are still needed.
  7. I assume that you are familiar with the process of installing dependencies if you are trying to build FreeMat from source.
To build a binary distributable (app bundle on the Mac, setup installer on win32, and a binary distribution on Linux), you will need to run make package instead of make install.