In this tutorial we will walk through the steps required to install xolotl and make sure everything works well. You will need:

  1. MATLAB (xolotl will not work on GNU Octave)
  2. An internet connection

Download xolotl here and drag the downloaded file (xolotl.mltbx) onto your MATLAB workspace. MATLAB should automatically open a prompt asking you if you want to install it.

Then we need to install a C/C++ compiler, and get MATLAB to work with that. Follow these instructions based on your operating system:

Installing on macOS

  1. Install XCode
  2. Open XCode, and accept the license agreement.

Installing on Windows

  1. Download and install the MinGW compiler from the Mathworks FileExchange. You'll need to log in using a Mathworks account. This ridiculous restriction is Mathworks' fault.

You can also get the compiler as a MATLAB "add-on."

Installing on GNU/Linux

  1. Use your favorite package manager to install a C and C++ compiler. For example, on Debian-based systems, use sudo apt install gcc & sudo apt install g++
  2. Verify that your compiler is on the MATLAB path by running system('which gcc') from within MATLAB

Configure MATLAB to use compilers

Run this in your MATLAB terminal:

mex -setup c++
mex -setup c

You should see something like this:

% This is what you'll see on macOS. The precise message
% may be different on other operating systems
MEX configured to use 'Xcode Clang++' for C++ language compilation.
MEX configured to use 'Xcode with Clang' for C language compilation.

Verify your installation

OK, let's make sure everything works. Copy and paste the following code into your MATLAB terminal:


You should see this plot appear:


If you don't see this plot, or see some horrible error message, click on this link so we can figure out what went wrong