How to install Matlab 2017b on Ubuntu 16.04

Download software

Go to the download page and download the installation file as a zip.

You may have to log in using your matlab credentials before downloading the installation file.


  1. unzip the installation file to anywhere you like.

  2. open terminal, type the command below:

    sudo sh install

  3. change any settings as you see fit and install the software to its preferred location /usr/local/MATLAB

  4. active MATLAB with your credentials

Create desktop entry (optional)

Type the following commands in the terminal.

sudo wget -O /usr/share/icons/matlab.png
sudo touch /usr/share/applications/matlab.desktop
sudo gedit /usr/share/applications/matlab.desktop

Paste the following into the document and save it. (You may need to update the path to the matlab executable file if it is not installed in the default location, e.g. Exec=/usr/local/MATLAB/R2017b/bin/matlab -desktop )

#!/usr/bin/env xdg-open
[Desktop Entry]
Name=MATLAB R2017b
Comment=Start MATLAB - The Language of Technical Computing
Exec=matlab -desktop -useStartupFolderPref 

Press super and then you should be able to find the MATLAB icon in the Unity Search.

Change initial working directory (optional)

By default, Matlab startups with the folder in which you run the matlab command. To use the folder specified by the Initial working folder preference, use the -useStartupFolderPref startup option and change the initial working directory as below.

On the Home tab, in the Environment section, click Preferences Select MATLAB > General. Choose an option for the Initial working folder preference.

Enjoy using Matlab!

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