Matlab is a program for numeric computation and visualization. The basic data element for Matlab is a matrix. Matlab is used for general-purpose numeric computation, algorithm prototyping, and special-purpose problem solving with matrix formulations that arise in various disciplines such as automatic control theory, statistics, and digital signal processing (time-series analysis).

Matlab also has a group of application-specific solutions called "toolboxes." Toolboxes available for University of Delaware use include the following. All are available on Strauss except as noted:

  • Control System Toolbox
  • Image Processing Toolbox
  • MATLAB C Compiler
  • Neural Network Toolbox
  • Optimization Toolbox
  • Partial Differential Equation Toolbox
  • Robust Control Toolbox
  • Signal Processing Toolbox
  • SIMULINK Model Analysis and Construction Functions
  • SIMULINK Block Library
  • SIMULINK Demonstrations and Samples
  • Symbolic Math Toolbox (not available on Strauss)
  • System Identification Toolbox
  • Wavelet Toobox


Where to Find Matlab

  • Where Can I Use Matlab on Campus?

    Matlab is available on Strauss. You can get it by typing the matlab command. The matlab ver, from a matlab sessoin, will give you a list of all available add-on packages and their version numbers

    >> ver 
    MATLAB Version (R2009a)
    MATLAB License Number: 129273
    Operating System: SunOS 5.10 Generic_120011-14 sun4u
    Java VM Version: Java 1.6.0_04-b12 with Sun Microsystems Inc. 
    Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM mixed mode
    MATLAB                                                Version 7.8        (R2009a)
    Simulink                                              Version 7.3        (R2009a)
    Aerospace Blockset                                    Version 3.3        (R2009a)
    Aerospace Toolbox                                     Version 2.3        (R2009a)
    Bioinformatics Toolbox                                Version 3.3        (R2009a)
    Communications Toolbox                                Version 4.3        (R2009a)
    Control System Toolbox                                Version 8.3        (R2009a)
    Curve Fitting Toolbox                                 Version 2.0        (R2009a)
    Database Toolbox                                      Version 3.5.1      (R2009a)
    Fuzzy Logic Toolbox                                   Version 2.2.9      (R2009a)
    Genetic Algorithm and Direct Search Toolbox           Version 2.4.1      (R2009a)
    Image Processing Toolbox                              Version 6.3        (R2009a)
    MATLAB Compiler                                       Version 4.10       (R2009a)
    Model Predictive Control Toolbox                      Version 3.1        (R2009a)
    Neural Network Toolbox                                Version 6.0.2      (R2009a)
    Optimization Toolbox                                  Version 4.2        (R2009a)
    Parallel Computing Toolbox                            Version 4.1        (R2009a)
    Partial Differential Equation Toolbox                 Version 1.0.14     (R2009a)
    Real-Time Workshop                                    Version 7.3        (R2009a)
    Robust Control Toolbox                                Version 3.3.3      (R2009a)
    Signal Processing Blockset                            Version 6.9        (R2009a)
    Signal Processing Toolbox                             Version 6.11       (R2009a)
    Simulink 3D Animation                                 Version 5.0        (R2009a)
    Simulink Control Design                               Version 2.5        (R2009a)
    Spline Toolbox                                        Version 3.3.6      (R2009a)
    Statistics Toolbox                                    Version 7.1        (R2009a)
    Symbolic Math Toolbox                                 Version 5.2        (R2009a)
    System Identification Toolbox                         Version 7.3        (R2009a)
    Wavelet Toolbox                                       Version 4.4        (R2009a)

    For availability of Matlab at computing sites, please see the web pages at

  • How Can I Obtain Matlab for my Personal Computer?

    Please see the software distribution pages at udeploy


Matlab Instructions

  • Running Matlab on Strauss

    To use all the features of Matlab on Strauss you must logon in an X-windows environment.

    At the UNIX prompt, type


    The Matlab Desktop will startup in a separate window. The desktop is in a large window with pull down menus on the top, and several sub-windows including "Current Directory", "Command History" and "Command Window". If you are new the matlab desktop you should take some time looking at the help system starting with Help -> Using Desktop.

    The default way to run Matlab is called desktop mode, and is useful for beginners since it manages all the important tasks in one window - browsing for files, editing files, running programs, debugging etc. Matlab commands are entered in the command sub-window of the desktop window.

  • Running Matlab on Strauss in command line mode

    Advanced users can enter all matlab commands in the terminal window using command line mode. You have access to all of Matlab's commands and can program in matlab. This is a faster way to use Matlab on a slow connection, but features such as interactive graphics, demos, and some documentation are not available in command line mode.

    At the Strauss UNIX prompt, type

    matlab -nodesktop

    The Matlab startup screen, similar to the following will appear:

                                < M A T L A B (R) >
                      Copyright 1984-2009 The MathWorks, Inc.
                     Version (R2009a) 64-bit (sol64)
                                 February 12, 2009
      To get started, type one of these: helpwin, helpdesk, or demo.
      For product information, visit

    To terminate the Matlab session, at the Matlab prompt >>, type


  • Hints when using Matlab command line mode:

    • To use the Matlab edit command you must first set your EDITOR environment variable to your preferred visual editor - typically vi or emacs.
    • You may find it more convenient to open a second window on Strauss and edit your Matlab file in that window. Save the file to disk and execute your command in the Matlab command line window.
    • You can plot using standard Matlab plotting commands and print the figure to a file to be displayed in a separate window.

  • Running Matlab remotely from a local X-windows enviroment

    To run Matlab from the SunRay terminals just use the launch menu.

    Launch -> UD Applications -> Matlab

    This is launches Matlab on Strauss using the Sun Ray as a local X-windows environment. You can do this from your own local X-windows system by using the commnand.

    ssh -Y -f matlab -desktop

    If you have configured ssh to connect to strauss with no password, or you have ssh-askpass installed in your environment than this command can be used outside of xterm. The X11 server still needs to be running on your PC or Mac.

    The details of how to use this command depends on your local environment.


More Help

If you need help quickly, you may call the IT Help Center at 831-6000 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Or, you can submit a question through e-mail.


Last modified: October 1, 2009
This page maintained by Dean C Nairn.