Resources for learning GNU Octave

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GNU Octave is a high-level interpreted language, primarily intended for numerical computations.  That is exactly how it is described on its official web site  Unofficially it is also described as a “MatLab clone” although it only aspires to be compatible with MatLab.  It is also free software.

If you are new to GNU Octave this post will give you some good resources to get you started.


GNU Octave has a hefty manual (over 500 pages) that you can buy from this link: GNU Octave Manual .  The project gets $1.00 for each purchase, so I encourage you to buy it from that site.  The manual was written by the lead developer John W. Eaton.

If you want to get an overview of Octave commands check this reference card: GNU Octave Reference Card

Free written tutorials

There are a lot of tutorials available, many of them very similar. Because this is a “getting started” post I will only recommend what I think are good ones to start with:

  1. General tutorial covering main Octave features (56 pages)
  2. WikiBooks tutorials.  This wikibook also covers most main Octave features in a gentle manner.  They have a recommended tutorial path for beginners.

After going through those tutorials you may want to jump to the GNU Octave Manual or to the GNU Octave Beginner’s Guide book.

Video tutorials

I have compiled a playlist of videos related to Octave in other post: GNU Octave Videos.  Many of them are demos of Octave capabilities. This new playlist contains the few spoken tutorials I found in YouTube:


I excluded tutorials where there was no voice.  I think they are a little annoying for someone looking for a quick start in learning something.


Besides the GNU Octave Manual there are a few other available books, but the GNU Octave Beginner’s Guide is the most appropriate to get your feet wet with Octave.

Do you know of more remarkable resources for people to get started with using GNU Octave?

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Related posts:

  1. GNU Octave videos
  2. Octave clone for Android