Patrick Snape

Wed 07 May 2014


Matlab Ubuntu Unity Launcher

I was having some trouble getting Matlab to play nicely with the Unity launcher in Ubuntu. It seems as though Matlab requires you to pass the -desktop flag on Linux. The default behaviour seems to be something along the lines of show the splash screen and then close. Therefore, in order to make the launcher work properly, I proceeded as follows:

  1. Install Matlab as per it's instructions
  2. Add /usr/local/MATLAB/R2014a/bin to PATH
  3. Launch matlab in a terminal
  4. Right click Matlab in the launcher and choose Lock To Launcher
  5. Close Matlab, a launcher icon should stay (though it won't work properly)
  6. Edit the file ~/.local/share/applications/com-mathworks-util-postvminit.desktop
  7. Add -desktop to the end of the line Exec=/usr/local/MATLAB/R2014a/bin/glnxa64/MATLAB -desktop

Note that these instructions should work for any version of Matlab (just change the path appropriately).

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