Install packages in GNU Octave

GNU Octave can install third-party packages in a friendly way, analogous to the Matlab App Store or how Linux repositories work. Regardless of operating system, Octave can install these extension packages from the Octave command line. Some packages require a compiler or libraries. If package install fails, read the log output to see if installing a system library is required.

Packages are installed at the Octave command prompt, and download automatically. Prereqs are not automatically installed, but messages are given telling which package needs to be installed first. signal is a perfect example of this, given below.

“signal” is a popular Octave package, which brings many functions found in Matlab’s DSP and Communications Toolbox. We’ll see that signal needs other packages first; let’s walk through the Octave signal install. All commands are from Octave command prompt.

Try using a command that requires signal

diric(0.2, 5)

warning: the ‘diric’ function belongs to the signal package from Octave Forge which seems to not be installed in your system.

If I had already installed signal, but forgotten to load it since I started Octave, the error would have been:

warning: the ‘diric’ function belongs to the signal package from Octave Forge which you have installed but not loaded.

Install signal Octave package

pkg install -forge signal

The -forge option indicates to use the Octave-Forge repo for automatic download.

This returns a warning saying that control is required.

Install control:

pkg install -forge control

this requires the gfortran compiler.

pkg install -forge signal

Use Octave packages in a Matlab-compatible way simply by enclosing in try end

function d = twicediric(x)
    pkg load signal

  d = 2*diric(x)

If the package isn’t installed, the message on reaching the missing function tells which package is needed.