Convert IDL code to MATLAB

IDL2Matlab automatically partially converts IDL code to MATLAB / Octave code. However, this project appears to be abandoned; there haven’t been updates in a few years.

Alternatives to converting IDL code

I avoid converting code if possible, because it can introduce subtle errors. Here are some alternatives allowing you to run the unmodified IDL code for free.

free GDL (GNU Data Language)

If the issue is that you don’t want to install IDL, try using free GDL that is compatible with IDL.

Call IDL from Python

call IDL from Python or Python from IDL

Call GDL from Python

from Python, simply import GDL see PYTHON.TXT

Install idl2matlab

This procedure is for Linux.

Download prereqs and code:

apt install libbison-dev flex

git clone

cd idl2matlab

Prepare to install in your ~ directory

./configure --prefix=$HOME

Edit Makefile

CFLAGS = -g -fno-stack-protector

Compile and install under ~

make && make install

The MATLAB code that idl2matlab produces uses a sort of cumbersome Matlab script that calls its own Matlab functions to do common tasks. The converted code can be further optimized. Still, probably easier than doing it all manually.

You’ll need to know basics of IDL, like what findgen and randomu mean in Matlab. Not plug and play, but not totally manual.