Matlab installation guide

In order to make assignments you will use Matlab. Here you can find small guides on how to get access to Matlab inside/outside the university.

Option 1:  CIP pool

Log in to any CIP-pool machine and use the remote desktop program (Sun Remote Desktop). Under the default GUI you find it in Applications->StudCS Applications. You will be asked for your login+password. After that you will be able to run any of applications installed including Matlab.

Option 2: remote connection to application server

This is almost the same as previous way. Use your CIP-pool account to connect to the remote application server. Here is the server address:

Open it in your favorite web browser and enter your CIP-pool account credentials.
*the running applet asks for the approvement of security certificates and so on. I have no experience with that so i can’t say how secure it is.


unfortunately there is no way to use this option outside the university. To do so, you need to establish VPN connection (thanks to Georg Haass). You still can connect to CIP pool machines (g***** via ssh and run local matlab executable (if available, at /installer/arch/bin/matlab). It can be not so fast but this works.

Option 3: using ssh (special thanks to Stefan Neumann)

According to the info on the bottom of Machine Learning Group page, you can do the following:

Matlab is available on cip[101-114] and cip[220-238], gpool[01-27]
The path is /usr/local/matlab/bin.
For the sun workstations you have to select in the menu Applications/studcsApplications/Matlab
Access from outside should be possible via ssh: ssh -X

Option 4: download Sun Secure Global Desktop Client

You can try to run the client after downloading it from here:

On my machine it runs the browser, asks for Java update but still logs in successfully.

Option 5: the long way

Recently Matlab/Simulink and many other toolboxes became available for free for all students in Saarland University. This means that you can now install licensed Matlab to your own machine. Here you can find the guide (in German) explaining how to do this:

The basic steps sequence looks like the following:

  • Go to
  • Select any of available products. Actually it looks like the selection doesn’t matter since you will have to fill in the same online form later. So you can select “Matlab/Simuklink r2012a” under the “Studierende der Universität des Saarlands” license. Take one for you 🙂
    Click “Kaufen”.
    *the guide says that you should use Netzwerklizenz but it seems to be problematic in usage*
  • You will see kind of receipt. Click “Bestellen”.
  • Fill in the form. Under “Universität/Einrichtung” select “Studierende der Universitat des Saarlands”. For “E-Mail-Adresse” please use your mail address. This helps you to receive all the needed letters in future (the usage of other mail servers can prevent you from receiving it). You can use your private mail address but then the whole process can become non-trivial. (screenshot)
    You also will need to choose your login and password.
  • Check your email. You will receive Kundennummer.
  • Go to Mensa/Campus and make a copy of Immatrikulationsbescheinigung (which looks like this)
  • Send the scanned copy/picture of Immatrikulationsbescheinigung together with the Kundennummer, and your login name (to be on a safe side) to
  • Check your email again. You should receive the confirmation that you are eligible to use the software.
  • Go to the again and choose the product you need.  Again, i did this using “Einzelplatzlizenz” for “Studierende der Universität des Saarlands”, although it is said that “Einzelplatzlizenz” should be used only in exceptional cases.
  • Download *.txt files (activation key is there) and the needed ISO image file for your OS.
  • After downloading ISO image mount it and run the installation. Installation guide can be found in ISO. For linux systems it is sometimes needed to obtain root-level rights to install.
  • In the very beginning you should choose “Use Internet” for installation.
  • You will have to create MathWorks account. Again, it is better to use your your mail address. And you will also have to insert the Activation Key. You find this in the text file you have downloaded together with ISO image. (screenshot)
  • Check your email and you will find the letter with verification link. MathWorks account is created on this stage.
  • Go back again to the Matlab installer. Choose your installation type. I used Custom since not all the toolboxes are of urgent need. I recommend you to leave “Symbolic Toolbox” checked.
  • When it asks for “Create symbolic links” it is good to do this. You will have an opportunity to run matlab just by typing “matlab” in the terminal (for sure you can create those symbolic links later by your own).
  • Click “Activate Matlab”. Specify your MathWorks account name and complete the installation.
If you haven’t created symbolic links to matlab tool it is sometimes not so easy to find where it is. You can try:

whereis matlab
locate matlab

In my case it is in /usr/local/MATLAB/R2012a/bin.

One thought on “Matlab installation guide

  1. Hey!
    I tried to use the toolbox both on linux 64bit and mac 64 bit. While under linux, i am not able to use the provided mex-mac files and get “building under linux is not supported” if i try to build them myself, i am not able to use half of the functions under mac os.
    For example, the function for computing the betweenness-centrality for each node calls another function that does not exist.
    Am I doing something terribly wrong or is the toolbox just that broken?


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