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How To Install MATLAB On Fedora 28/29

Recently, I was required to use MATLAB for a range of tasks and assignments but I wanted to install it on Linux. Thankfully, MATLAB works on Linux quite well and it even officially supports Ubuntu, Debian, OpenSUSE and RHEL. As for Fedora, it installs MATLAB without any problems however it is missing a libnsl and also a launcher/shortcut for easy access. In this article, I will show you how you can install MATLAB on Fedora easily.


Note About MATLAB License And Disclaimer

I’m installing MATLAB using my education license which is provided by my university. The installation process shouldn’t differ however you will have to activate it with your MathWorks account.

Like any tutorial you find on the internet, it is entirely your responsibility for anything that happens to your computer. Use these commands at your own risk.



MATLAB in Fedora requires the following package to be installed in order for it to launch after the installation is complete.

$ sudo dnf install libnsl



Installation is quite straight forward as all you have to do is download MATLAB for Linux either with your license or you can get a trial version from here. Once downloaded you will have to extract it and run the following command inside that directory. If you are using GNOME shell (Fedora Workstation’s default desktop environment), you can right click in Files (Nautilus) and click “Open in Terminal”.

$ sudo ./install

This is the expected output after the installation has completed successfully.

I already have MATLAB installed on my machine but all you have to do is follow the installation steps. It will download all the relevant packages you have selected. By default, it is a 5 GB download and takes up about 15 GB in disk space.

MATLAB should launch once the installation is complete however if you want to launch it again, you can go into a terminal and type matlab -desktop. In the next section, I will show you how you can create a launcher in GNOME shell but it will also work for those on XFCE, MATE and assorted tiling window managers. If you are using KDE, you will have your own menu editor specific to your environment so please use that.


Creating a Launcher

To create a launcher, you will have to edit the menu and to do that, you need to install a program called menu-libre. You can install it with the following command.

$ sudo dnf install menulibre

Once installed you can open it up and create a launcher for MATLAB. You can do it however you like but this is how mine looks like.

This is how my entry for MATLAB looks like.

Once complete, you can save it and then open up your activities window or menu and look for MATLAB. I’ve searched for it and here is a screenshot of how it looks.

Simply pressing super/windows key and typing “matlab”.


That’s it, now you can use MATLAB in Fedora!

It just works!

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