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Q: How do I install MIT Student MATLAB?

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Getting Help

All support for Student MATLAB installation is now available from the MathWorks. Visit http://www.mathworks.com/support/ for more information. MathWorks may ask for your License Number.

Before You Start

Make sure you have made a note of the License Number and have downloaded the Activation Key. You can find both of these at https://ist.mit.edu/matlab/all/student (MIT student certificate required).
Make sure your computer meets the system requirements.
Mac OS X users: Make sure you have XQuartz installed.

If you are running a version of Mac OS older than 10.7.4, please read the System requirements (linked above) carefully, as you will most likely need to install an older version of MATLAB that uses a different Java-based installation procedure. OSX 10.6 and earlier are no longer supported by Apple. Please upgrade to a newer OSX release if you are still running one of these versions.

Linux users: If you do the installation as root, choose the default install location and create links in Linux step 8 below in /usr/local/bin, MATLAB will be accessible to all user accounts on your machine. If you prefer to limit access to you, install while logged in under your own (non-root) username to some location within your home directory, create links in some location within your home directory where you put executable applications and make sure this directory is on your path when you run MATLAB.
Make sure your computer is connected to the Internet. The download size will be anywhere from 700MB to 5GB depending on which components you select and what platform you have. A direct wired ethernet connection to MITNet will provide the best results.

Instructions

Click on the thumbnails to view the full size images in a new window.

  1. Go to http://www.mathworks.com and select Create Account in the top right corner of the page.
    (If you have previously created an account, you may click My Account or Log In instead, and skip to step 6).
    Mathworks homepage

  2. You will need to provide your MIT e-mail address and select a password for your Mathworks account. Please do NOT use your Kerberos password.
    Be sure that the country is set to "United States" and that "How you will use MathWorks software?" is set to "Academic use". Do NOT select "Student use..". You will also need to provide your first and last name, as listed in the MIT Directory. The rest of the form may be left blank. Scroll to the bottom and click Submit when done.
    Provide Accurate Information
    You must use your real MIT e-mail address and provide your first and last name. Accounts are audited periodically, and MIT reserves the right to disable any MathWorks accounts that appear to have fraudulent or incorrect information. Unauthorized use or distribution of MIT-licensed software is prohibited and disciplinary action may be taken.

    Create mathworks account screen

  3. On the next screen, you may optionally provide some information to the MathWorks, or you may leave it blank.
    Customize mathworks account screen

  4. You will be asked to confirm your email address.
    Confirm email address screen

  5. Once your account is created, you will be returned to the MathWorks front page. Click My Account in the top right corner of the page.
    Mathworks front page

  6. In the navigation bar on the left side of the page, click the Manage Licenses link.
    Don't see the manage licenses link? Be sure you followed step #2 correctly, and selected Academic use in your profile.
    Mathworks account page screen

  7. On this page, you will see the licenses you are associated with (if any). If you are already associated with the Student MATLAB license, you should see a list of products associated with the license; if this is the case, skip to step 11. Otherwise, click the Add License button at the top right.
    Mathworks License center

  8. You will then be asked to provide a License Number or Activation Key. Choose Activation Key and click Continue.
    Add license screen

  9. Enter the Activation Key.
    Don't have the Activation Key? Scroll back to the top of this page and re-read the Before You Start section.
  10. You should then see a message that you have successfully associated with the license. If you get prompted to associate with an additional license, simply click Cancel.
    Association complete screen

  11. You will then see a screen with the details of the Student TAH MATLAB license. To begin downloading MATLAB, click Download Products.
    Mathworks License center screen

  12. You will need to select the MATLAB version you wish to install.
    Mathworks downloads page

  13. You may be asked to select the platform you are using.
    Platform version screen

    For the remainder of the installation procedure, please select your platform:

Windows

  1. Download the installer and save it to a temporary location.
    Opening download agent page

  2. Launch the installer; a WinZip dialog box will appear and indicate that the installer is being uncompressed. Do not interrupt this process or click other buttons in the dialog box.
    WinZip self extractor

    When the GUI opens, select Log in with a MathWorks Account and click Next
    Starting installer page

  3. You will be prompted to agree to the license agreement. Select Yes and click Next.
    License agreement terms

  4. You will be asked to log in to your MathWorks account. Enter the required information and and click Next.
    License agreement terms

  5. You will be prompted to select the license. Select the Total Academic Headcount Student license (there should only be one license in the list) and click Next.
    Select a license

  6. You will now be prompted for the location where MATLAB will be installed. Keep the default location and click Next.
    Select install location

  7. You will be prompted to select the components of MATLAB you wish to install. Select these and click Next.
    Select items to install

    Result: The download process will begin. This may take some time, especially if you are not on campus.
    Download agent progress bar

    NOTE: If you have Microsoft Access installed on this computer, you may see a File Extension Warning dialog box. This is due to the fact that Microsoft Access table files have the same 3 letter extension (.MAT) as MATLAB data files. Unless you are an advanced Microsoft Access user and do a lot of database development in Access, you should click Yes to All.
    File extension warning screenshot

  8. You may be alerted to the need to take additional steps. Note these and click Next.
    Additional configuration steps

  9. Once installation is complete, you will be prompted to activate the software. Click Next, and Next at the following prompt.
    Mathworks software activation

    more Mathworks activation process

  10. Enter the activation key, and click Next.
    Don't have the activation key? Scroll back to the top of the page and re-read the Before You Start section.
    Enter MathWorks activation key

  11. Enter the Windows username of the user who will run MATLAB. You should usually accept the default value. Click Next.
    This is not necessarily your MIT Kerberos username.
    If you need to run MATLAB as a different user, you can re-activate it as that user.
    Enter Windows user name screen

  12. The activation wizard will prompt you to confirm the information you have entered. Click Confirm.
    Activation setting confirmation

  13. The activation wizard will finish. Click Finish.
    Complete activation

  14. On first MATLAB launch, you may get a firewall warning; if so, select Private networks and click Allow access
    MATLAB firewall setting

Mac OS X (10.7.4 and later)

  1. After selecting the Macintosh platform, you will be asked how to handle the .zip installer package; select Save File and save it to a temporary location.
    Macintosh Installer Download Location

  2. Extract the files and launch InstallForMacOSX.app; you may be asked to confirm that you wish to open it. Click Open and enter your administrator password when requested.
    Macintosh Installer Download Location

  3. The installer GUI launches. Select Log in with a MathWorks Account and click Next.
    OSX Use Mathworks account

  4. You will be prompted to agree to the license agreement. Select Yes and click Next.
    License agreement terms

  5. You will be asked to log in to your MathWorks account. Enter the required information and and click Next.
    License agreement terms

  6. You will be prompted to select the license. Select the Total Academic Headcount Student license (there should only be one license in the list) and click Next.
    Select a license

  7. You will now be prompted for the location where MATLAB will be installed. Keep the default location and click Next.
    Select install location

  8. You will be prompted to select the components of MATLAB you wish to install. Select these and click Next.
    Select items to install

  9. Confirm that you want to begin the installation by clicking Install.
    Result: The installation will begin.
    Confirm for installation to begin
  10. You may be alerted to the need to take additional steps. Note these and click Next.
    Additional configuration steps

  11. Once installation is complete, you will be prompted to activate the software. Click Next, and Next at the following prompt.
    Mathworks software activation

    more Mathworks activation process

  12. Enter the activation key, and click Next.
    Don't have the activation key? Scroll back to the top of the page and re-read the Before You Start section.
    Enter MathWorks activation key

  13. Enter the username of the user who will run MATLAB. Click Next.
    This is not necessarily your MIT Kerberos username.
    If you need to run MATLAB as a different user, you can re-activate it as that user.
    Enter username

  14. The activation wizard will prompt you to confirm the information you have entered. Click Confirm.
    Activation setting confirmation

  15. The activation wizard will finish. Click Finish.
    Complete activation

Linux

  1. After selecting the Linux platform, you will be asked how to handle the zip installer package; select Save File and save it to a temporary location (not the location where you want MATLAB to be installed).
    Linux Installer Download Location

  2. Extract the files and launch install. The installer GUI launches. Select Log in with a MathWorks Account and click Next.
    Linux Use Mathworks account

  3. You will be prompted to agree to the license agreement. Select Yes and click Next.
    License agreement terms

  4. You will be asked to log in to your MathWorks account. Enter the required information and and click Next.
    License agreement terms

  5. You will be prompted to select the license. Select the Total Academic Headcount Student license (there should only be one license in the list) and click Next.
    Select a license

  6. You will now be prompted for the location where MATLAB will be installed.
    Unsure about installation location? Scroll back to the top of this page and re-read the Before You Start section.
    This defaults to /usr/local/MATLAB/version, where version is a version number like R2014b. This directory is suitable for access by all user accounts on your computer but you may need to be root to install to it. If you can't run the installer as root, you can choose a subdirectory of your home directory such as MATLAB/version (which by default will limit access to your user account) and click Next.
    Matlab root folder location

  7. You will be prompted to select the components of MATLAB you wish to install. Select these and click Next.
    Select items to install

  8. Pick a location for symbolic links to launch scripts.
    Unsure about links location? Scroll back to the top of this page and re-read the Before You Start section.
    For whatever directory you choose, you must make sure it exists and is writable by the user doing the install. /usr/local/bin is appropriate for installations performed as root and intended for access by all user accounts on the machine. If it doesn't exist, create it and/or make it writable by the user performing the install before performing this step. This directory will need to be on your path in order for you to be able to launch MATLAB from the command line in any directory.
    Matlab Launch Link Location

  9. Confirm that you want to begin the installation by clicking Install.
    Result: The installation will begin.
    Confirm for installation to begin

  10. You may be alerted to the need to take additional steps. Note these and click Next.
    Additional configuration steps

  11. Once installation is complete, you will be prompted to activate the software. Click Next, and Next at the following prompt.
    Mathworks software activation

    more Mathworks activation process

  12. Enter the activation key, and click Next.
    Don't have the activation key? Scroll back to the top of the page and re-read the Before You Start section.
    Enter MathWorks activation key

  13. Enter the username of the user who will run MATLAB. Click Next.
    This is not necessarily your MIT Kerberos username.
    If you need to run MATLAB as a different user, you can re-activate it as that user.
    Enter username

  14. The activation wizard will prompt you to confirm the information you have entered. Click Confirm.
    Activation setting confirmation

  15. The activation wizard will finish. Click Finish. If the links you set up in step 8 are on your path, you can type matlab at a terminal prompt to launch it. You can also launch MATLAB by navigating to the location you selected in step 6, and then running matlab in the bin subdirectory of that location.
    Complete activation

IS&T Contributions

Documentation and information provided by IS&T staff members


Last Modified:

November 17, 2014

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  1. Feb 06, 2011

    The Linux instructions should have a step to choose Custom installation instead of Typical. Typical installation doesn't give an option to create a symbolic link as described in step 24. It seems that without a symbolic link, Matlab doesn't launch even though the installation seems to complete successfully. This has useful info: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/MATLAB

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