MATLAB vs Octave: What is the Difference Between them

In this blog post, We will clarify all your doubts about Matlab vs Octave.

The developers describe MATLAB as “an interactive language, visualization tool, and computing environment for numerical computations and visualizations.” Data can be analyzed, algorithms can be developed, and models can be created using MATLAB. In contrast to spreadsheets or other traditional programming languages, such as C/C++, you can explore multiple approaches and reach a solution much faster with this language, tools, and built-in math functions. 

However, Octave is characterized by its description, “A programming language for scientific computation.” octave is an object-oriented programming language primarily used for numerical computations. You can solve linear and non-linear problems numerically and perform other numerical experiments with Octave, mostly compatible with MATLAB.

Let’s begin:-

MATLAB vs Octave: A brief overview

MATLAB stands for Matrix Laboratory. It is an advanced programming language for technical computing. The language supports functional, imperative, procedural, and object-oriented programming paradigms. The language was designed by Cleve Moler. The MathWorks company has developed it. 

Octave is also known as GNU Octave. The program is available in about 19 different languages. Most numerical experiments are performed with MATLAB because they are mainly used to solve linear and non-linear problems numerically, and it is one of the free alternatives for Matlab. Octave is also a structural programming language supporting common C Standard Library functions and specific UNIX system calls and functions.

What is MATLAB?

The MATLAB program allows you to analyze data, design algorithms, and create models. In comparison to spreadsheets or traditional programming languages, such as C/C++ or Java, you can explore multiple approaches and reach a solution faster using the language and tools in Mathematica.

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Uses of Matlab

we can use Matlab to:

  1. Identify and analyze data
  2. Create models and applications
  3. Algorithm development
  4. Manipulation of matrices

What is Octave?

The software features a high-level programming language and is primarily designed for numerical computations. By using a language primarily compatible with MATLAB, Octave can help solve linear and non-linear problems numerically.

Uses of Octave

we can use octave to:

  1. offers a command-line interface for solving linear and non-linear problems.
  2. To perform a variety of numerical experiments
  3. Calculates matrices as well
  4. To solve algebraic differential equations.
  5. The application is available in 19 languages.

Matlab vs Octave: comparison table

ParametersMatlab octave
Definition:Matlab stands for Matrix Laboratory, which is used for technical computing.It is a language for numerical computations.
Programmed as:The program was written in C++, C, and Java.The program was written in C++, C, and Fortran.
Loading empty files:You can load any empty file with it.The empty files cannot be loaded.
Cost:The cost is high.It is available free of charge in beer and speech.
InterfacingThe interface is better than that of the other software.The software interface is not as good as Matlab.
RAM requirement:It requires more RAM to function properly.As compared to Matlab, it uses less RAM.
Syntax format:For exponentiation, use: ^For exponentiations, use ^ or **

Following this table, we discuss various other syntax differences.

To initiate a comment

Octave uses both the ‘%’ and the ‘#’ signs that are interchangeable with Matlab.

To block the ends

In Matlab, you need an end statement, whereas in Octave you need a block specification like ‘endif’, ‘endfor’.

For a linear programming function

If you are more indulgent, Matlab requires the inputs “a” and “b”. While Octave requires them to be a column vector.

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For error(meg) function

When a message is empty, Matlab displays no-op, while Octave shows an error.

To write a string delimiter

The old version of Matlab used ‘; however, the newer version of Matlab uses both ‘ and ” with a slight overlap in functionality. The newer version of Octave uses ‘ or ‘.

To write exponentiations

For exponentiations, Matlab needs *, while Octave needs either * or **.

For hexadecimal notation

In Matlab you need to use hex2dec(‘F0′)’), while in Octave you can use C language notation of “0xF0”.

Matlab Vs Octave: Pros And Cons

Pros of Matlab 

  • Simulink
  • Easy navigation of functions, statements, plots, and directories
  • Software development based on models
  • S-Functions
  • REPL
  • Simple variable control
  • Solve an invertible matrix

Cons of Matlab

  • The parameter-value pair syntax for passing arguments is clunky
  • Named function arguments are not supported
  • It does not allow unpacking of arguments/tuples 

Pros of Octave 

  • Free
  • Easy
  •  small code

 Cons of Octave

  • In the industry, it is not widely used.

Matlab vs Octave: which companies using it


  • double slash Net-Business GmbH
  • AMD
  • Broadcom
  • Diffbot
  • Volvo Cars


  • quantilope
  • FEATool Multiphysics
  • EsyCRM

How to run MATLAB program in Octave

Run Octave on your PC. You can usually do that with a command terminal. Choose the directory in which you want to run the Matlab program. 

By using that command:

cd home/matlab/files/

To switch directories, use the “cd” command, and the specific file will be found under the files folder. Enter the command in the terminal to execute Matlab on your computer. 

it would use the following command to run code.m in Octave:


MATLAB vs Octave Error

Octave and Matlab have different syntaxes. You must ensure there are no differences between the two programs; otherwise, you will encounter errors.

Alternatives Of MATLAB and Octave?

R Language

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The software offers a variety of statistical techniques (linear and non-linear modeling, classical statistical tests, time-series analysis, classification, clustering, etc.) and provides many graphical tools.


NumPy can be used for more than just scientific data since it can also be a multi-dimensional container of generic data. Data types can be defined arbitrarily. With NumPy, you can integrate a wide variety of databases seamlessly and quickly.


Anyone can see their data and understand it better with Tableau. Create visualizations in a few clicks, connect to almost any database, and share with a click.


In 1993, Guido Van Rossum created Python as a general-purpose programming language. Python is one of the best choices if you are new in your programming career since it has an elegant syntax and readable code.


A Python 2D plotting library generates publication-quality figures in various hardcopy formats and across multiple platforms. There is support for Python scripts, IPython shells, Jupyter notebooks, web servers, and four graphical user interface tools. 


Octave and Matlab are both programmable languages used for similar purposes; their syntax and other features are the only difference. There is a special toolbox in Matlab that is not present in Octave. As both languages are not completely compatible, you can execute code from either Matlab vs Octave and vice versa. 

The main aim of Octave programming is to give the programmer the flexibility to select the software to execute algorithms. This program is compatible with Matlab, and the written command is used within a buffer. If you do this, you can recall or edit any command within the buffer. 

If you are looking for help, you can contact our experts for your Matlab assignment help with your queries, and they will provide you with the most appropriate solutions. Our company offers expert service in Matlab vs Octave studies, and we will help you by sharing their knowledge in solving your problems. 


Which is better Matlab or octave?

There is no doubt Octave is better than Matlab in this regard. There is no cost to use it, and it is also compatible with MATLAB. Other programming languages can also be used to accelerate its functionality.

Which is the best alternative for MATLAB?

Syntax and other characteristics are the main differences. A number of specialized tool boxes are available in Matlab but not in Octave. Matlab and octave are not fully compatible, so Matlab code can be crushed by octave code. Its main advantage is the large number of tools that are ready to use.

Does Octave work in MATLAB?

With Matlab, Octave is mostly compatible. The majority of matlab functions run pretty well with Octave. If your code is carefully written, you can get it to work in both Matlab and Octave without having to make any changes. Please install octave-forge and upgrade octave to the latest development version.

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