Install MATLAB Ubuntu 12.04

Here is a quick summary of how to install MATLAB on Ubuntu 12.04 and create a launcher file for it.

1) Download the software from

2) Once the software is downloaded, don’t continue with the automatic installation.  You need to install the software as the root user. Otherwise you will be forced to install the software in your home directory.  Run the following in a terminal, replacing the download path to suit your needs:

$ sudo /tmp/mathworks_downloads/R2012a/install

3) Follow the default prompts and activate your software.

4) Get an icon for MATLAB

sudo wget -O /usr/share/icons/matlab.png

5) Using your favorite text editor, create the following launch file and save it as /usr/share/applications/matlab.desktop

[Desktop Entry]
Exec=/usr/local/MATLAB/R2012a/bin/matlab -desktop

6) You should now be able to find MATLAB from the search menu and lock the icon to the launcher


2 thoughts on “Install MATLAB Ubuntu 12.04

  1. I have installed matlab r2011b in my home folder ( I saw this post after the installation). When I am trying to create matlab.desktop file gEdit informs me that I do not have the rights to save files in /usr/share/applications/ folder, although I am the only user of my PC. Any suggestions?

  2. Ok I figured it out by myself. If any other has the same problem as me, this is what I did:

    1) I created in my desktop the file matlab.desktop but instead /usr/local/MATLAB/R2012a
    after Exec=, I wrote the name of the folder where matlab is installed in my computer
    2) I press alt+f2 and type gksu nautilus
    3) I go to /usr/share/applications/ folder and drag and drop the matlab.desktop file from desktop
    (steps 2 and 3 are from )

    that’t it!

    Thanks for the useful site guys!

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