Accessing Matlab

  • On-campus labs (recommended): the easiest and fastest way of accessing Matlab is to work in one of the open computer labs managed by IST (use your UManitoba account) or the CS department (use your CS computing account). Click the links to see the locations of these labs. On the CS linux machines, Matlab is installed at /usr/local/matlab. You should put /usr/local/matlab/bin in your shell path. For BASH shell, you should add the following to your .bash_profile file:

    export PATH

    Then you can simply type "matlab" from any directory when you login.
  • Off-campus: you can ssh to the IST Linux login servers, or any of the linux machines managed by the CS department. Click here (you need to have CS computing account to see this page) to get a list of the names of the machines that you can remotely access. You need to enable X11 forwarding with ssh if you want to show figures, plots, etc in Matlab.

    Personally, I like to work in the text-only mode of Matlab (matlab -nodesktop), since Matlab GUI can be slow (especially when working remotely).
  • Purchase your own copy of Matlab(*not necessary*): you can purchase a student edition of matlab for 99USD from the university bookstore (or directly from Mathworks online). By default, the student edition should include the image processing toolbox. Note that the most recent edition of Matlab (R2012a) also has a compute vision toolbox which is not included in the student edition. The computer vision toolbox might be useful for your final project, but you DO NOT need this toolbox for doing the assignments (MATLAB on campus does not have the computer vision toolbox).

    Update (Sep 8): I just checked with UM bookstore. It does not have Matlab on stock anymore. If you want to purchase your own copy, you need to do it online from Mathworks.

Matlab license issues

The Matlab licenses are shared across the whole university. We only have a limited number of licenses, especially for some of the toolboxes (e.g. the image processing toolbox). Please be considerate to others and follow these guidelines when you are using the university licenses:
  • Shut down your Matlab sessions when finished. Do not let it run in the background.
  • Try to limit "excessive" use (especially of the toolboxes), by which I mean running multiple Matlab jobs at the same time, each costing a license. There are situations where this excessive use might be natural, e.g. when you are processing a large amount of data for your project and you want to distribute the jobs on different machines. But you should be aware of the impact it can have. For assignments, such excessive use is definitely not necessary.
  • If you do need to run multiple jobs, consider using the Matlab "compiler" to generate standalone code which does not require any Matlab licenses. Then you can run this code on multiple machines.
  • Try not to use more than 1 image processing toolbox at the same time.
We will closely monitor the Matlab usage over the semester and try our best to resolve any issues that might arise.

Using Matlab