This course will become read-only in the near future. Tell us at if that is a problem.

Task 1: Downloading and installing Scilab


Download and install Scilab for your operating system

Task deadline

May 25, 2011 before course commences


First task is to download Scilab on your system. A version of Scilab starting from 5.2 is desirable. If Scilab is alrady installed on your system there is nothing more to do to accomplish this task, but you may review the syllabus of this course and see if you still wish to continue with the course.

Scilab is available as installable binaries for Windows, GNU/Linux and MacOS X. Source coude is available and can be compiled for these or other platforms, but that is beyond me.

These are the sources from where you can download Scilab binaries:

  1. Download from Scilab website and install
  2. If you are using GNU/Linux, your repository may have Scilab and you could install it using your package manager (apt-get or synaptic on Debian/Ubuntu, yum on Fedora etc.). Note: Your software repository may not have the most recent version.

Download from Scilab Website and Install

Scilab software can be downloaded from the Scilab website. You can directly visit the download page. Current version, as of this writing is 5.3.2. Installable binaries are available for Windows (both 32 and 64 bit versions), Linux (both 32 and 64 bit versions) and MacOS X. Choose the operating system appropriate to you. Download and install on your system.

Note: It is not necessary that you have this same version of Scilab for the purpose of this course. Even a previous version as old as 4.2 (if already installed on your system) is good enough. However, Scilab has made great improvements to the user interface starting from version 5.2. Especially the editor to write Scilab functions and programs, variable inspector window, dockable windows are very good.

Downloading using your Package Manager

On Ubuntu, Scilab is available from the Universe repository. In Synaptic Package Manager main menu, Settings -> Repositories make sure Community-maintained open source software (universe) is selected. Then update the repositories and search for Scilab. Select Scilab and install.

Installing Scilab


Execute the downloaded executable file and follow instructions. Choosing all default choices during installation is good enough.


If you downloaded the binary from Scilab website, it is in the form of a tar.gz compressed archive. Expand it into a directory of its own, preferably /opt, and execute the scilab-bin script in the bin directory under the directory where you expanded the downloaded compressedd archive. Create a link on the desktop or in the Applications menu, if you want a quick way of launching Scilab.

If you installed using your package manager, there will be a link to Scilab in your menu. In Ubuntu, it is under Applications -> Programming.


Watch this screencast on YouTube

Task Discussion