Portable version of Matlab

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tatiana kravchenko
tatiana kravchenko on 31 May 2015
Answered: Rik on 26 Apr 2023
Hello Do you have a portable version of Matlab and preferably the latest?
  1 Comment
Image Analyst
Image Analyst on 31 May 2015
Mine's portable - it's on my laptop :-)

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Answers (4)

Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 31 May 2015
There is no MATLAB for any Smartphone or iPAD or the like. MATLAB only runs on the x86 and x64 Intel architectures, under MS Windows, Linux, or OS-X. There is no "Java MATLAB" or any other "portable" implementation.
But as Image Analyst points out, you can put MATLAB onto a laptop, or even on to a device such as the MacBook Air (but not on to an iPAD)
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Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 2 Aug 2021
(In the time since the above posting, MATLAB has also become available for Mac computers with M1 processor, which is ARM based rather than x86 or x64. But still not smartphones or ipad support.)

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Jan on 31 May 2015
Although it might be possible to create a portable version of Matlab which is not bounded to a specific computer, this is most likely not covered by the license conditions. So ask the technical support before you try it.
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Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 31 May 2015
I have been seeing references to Mathworks Hosted license manager, but I have not figured out yet what kind of licenses are handled that way. If someone were to put MATLAB on a USB drive and they had a Network Named User kind of license, and the license was hosted at Mathworks, then it would not be a license violation. For that matter, within any given organization, a networked named user license travels with the user, and so could be installed on a USB drive and taken around, as long as the user authenticated properly. And of course an organization can serve Concurrent Licenses, where only the count is important and not who is using them.

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Steven Lord
Steven Lord on 12 Jan 2021
Two other options that I believe did not yet exist when this question was originally asked in 2015 are MATLAB Online and MATLAB Mobile.

Rik on 26 Apr 2023
Besides some trickery with a networked license, it is very likely against the license agreement to have a portable Matlab installation in the traditional sense (think Thinstall).
As Steven mentions, you can use MATLAB Online and MATLAB Mobile to get most of the way there.
If neither option suits you, you may need to look elsewhere. GNU Octave is a mostly Matlab-compatible runtime. The one major benefit is that it is free to use under most circumstances. The performance is worse (depending on your exact task), many functions/features are not implemented (e.g. no string or table datatypes), the graphics are less robust, the documentation is not as pollished, and especially on Windows the experience is less pollished. Let me summarize Octave like this: I develop in Matlab and I test for compatibility in Octave.
@Walter, I am aware of your opinion on GNU as an organization and their philosophy. However, I don't think that discussion is within the scope of this question. When I finally get round to posting that threat comparing the pros and cons of Matlab vs Octave, I'll tag you so we have a centralized place to have that discussion.


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