Scilab 6.1.1 in Ubuntu 2204

Scilab 6.1.1 installation on Ubuntu 22.04

Those who want to use the math software Scilab on Ubuntu or its derivatives fail when installing Scilab via package management. It does not often work as expected. This how-to describes how to install Scilab system-wide on Ubuntu Linux.

You can also apply this how-to to Ubuntu derivatives and, with minor modifications, to other GNU/Linux distributions.

Preparations

Many of the tasks in this how-to can also be used with graphical applications of the corresponding desktops. Because of the universality I used console commands here. These work the same under all desktops – in contrast to the different graphical applications of the specific desktops.

  1. If you have already installed Scilab via APT package management, uninstall it:
    sudo apt remove scilab
  2. Download Scilab  from scilab.org. The current version in June 2022 is Scilab 6.1.1.

Installation

We want to install Scilab system-wide for all users of the machine. We will store the program files in /opt and  install the start files in the local-tree in /usr.

  1. First we extract the downloaded tar archive in /opt: If the archive is in your download directory and if you downloaded version 6.1.1, type the following lines in the terminal:
    cd /opt
    sudo tar -xvzf "~/Downloads/scilab-6.1.1.bin.linux-x86_64.tar.gz"
  2. Because Scilab needs libtinfo.so.5, we install it via:
    sudo apt install libncurses5
  3. To quickly start Scilab by command (ALT-F2) or terminal, we create a symbolic link of the startup scripts in: /usr/local/bin:
    sudo ln -s /opt/scilab-6.1.1/bin/scilab /usr/local/bin/
    sudo ln -s /opt/scilab-6.1.1/bin/scilab-cli /usr/local/bin/
    sudo ln -s /opt/scilab-6.1.1/bin/scilab-adv-cli /usr/local/bin/

    Now the GUI program can be started with scilab and the terminal versions with scilab-cli or scilab-adv-cli from any directory.

    Scilab 6.1.1 in Ubuntu

    Scilab 6.1.1 in Ubuntu

  4. In order to start Scilab via icon in the program menu, however, the following steps are necessary:
    1. We have to create the directory applications in /usr/local/share/:
      sudo mkdir /usr/local/share/applications
    2. Here, we create the program starter file scilab.desktop:
      sudo nano /usr/local/share/applications/scilab.desktop
    3. In this file we copy & paste the following content:
      [Desktop Entry]
      Comment=Scientific software package for numerical computations
      Comment[fr]=Logiciel scientifique de calcul numérique
      Comment[de]=eine Wissenschaftssoftware für numerische Berechnungen
      Exec=scilab -f
      GenericName=Scientific Software Package
      GenericName[fr]=Logiciel de calcul numérique
      GenericName[de]=Wissenschaftssoftware
      Icon=/opt/scilab-6.1.1/share/icons/hicolor/256x256/apps/puffin.png
      MimeType=application/x-scilab-sci;application/x-scilab-sce;application/x-scilab-tst;application/x-scilab-dem;application/x-scilab-sod;application/x-scilab-xcos;application/x-scilab-zcos;application/x-scilab-bin;application/x-scilab-cosf;application/x-scilab-cos;
      Name=Scilab 6.1.1
      StartupNotify=false
      Terminal=false
      Type=Application
      Categories=Science;Math;Education
    4. Now we save the file using CTRL-o and exit Nano by pressing CTRL-x.

      scilab.desktop in nano

      scilab.desktop in nano

  5. Scilab should now appear as an icon in the program menu. If this is not the case, some paths are not correct. Double check.

    Scilab-Starter

 

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