Main Differences Between Matlab vs Octave Programming

Matlab Vs Octave

Whether you agree on it or not, programming has become the need of the hour. The rate at which the modern world is expanding, if you are an expert in programming, coding, it means you are good at everything. Being a developer, you need to create different mobile and desktop applications, software systems, etc, for all those things you need to have a stronghold on different programming languages. When we talk about programming, it is a sort of agreement between computers and human beings where the data is provided in the form of instructions and later gets executed in the form of codes. Coding on the other hand is a method involved with changing those instructions and guidelines into a composed arrangement so that it becomes effectively justifiable for the PC to execute.

Programming offers a wide range of data analysis software systems that play a very crucial role in developing or creating any application using various types of codes and programming languages. In fact, the whole process of creating any application, software system, etc depends on different computer languages that form the basis of programming. 

So, in today’s article, I will explain to you some of the main differences between two crucial programming languages MATLAB vs OCTAVE. We will discuss merits and demerits, strengths and weaknesses, and the importance of both these programming languages. So, let’s begin with the introduction. 


The word “MATLAB” stands for Matrix Laboratory. It is a multi-programming numerical computing language mostly used for technical and statistical purposes all around the world. It was developed in the year 1984 by Cleve Molar under the distribution of MathWorks INC with the aim to provide powerful performance for all the queries related to technical computation and software systems. Apart from this, it also offers various kinds of matrix manipulations, plotting, and arrangements of different functions, development of user interfaces, and implementations of algorithms, etc. Different types of programming languages like C, C++, Java are used in Matlab and mostly support operating systems like Windows, Linux, Mac, etc all based on numerical computing calculation software. Moreover, the Matlab function library provides a variety of graphical tools that provide high-level commands for 2d and 3d visualization of data, animation, and image processing.  

Merits and Strengths of MATLAB

  • It provides a smooth command-line interface that makes the coding process easier.
  • It is an independent platform that supports a variety of operating systems like Linux, Windows, Vista, Macintosh, etc.
  • Matlab provides a compiler that combines various programs into a real executable that helps the codes to run at a very faster rate.
  • Errors are easy to fix as Matlab is an interpreted language
  • It can create, develop and interpret large amounts of datasets at the same time which is one of the main differences between Matlab vs Octave.

Demerits and Weaknesses of Matlab

  • As Matlab is an interpreted language so it takes more time to execute the programs as compared to C, C++, Java, etc.
  • A full package of Matlab software costs five or ten times more than a normal C or Fortran compiler which is considered one of the biggest disadvantages of Matlab
  • It requires a large amount of memory to interpret the programs as compared to other programming languages
  • Users need to buy a licensed version even for the trial from MathWorks.Inc


Octave is one of the most popular high-level programming languages primarily used for numerical computations. It was developed by John W. Eaton in 1980 and is mostly written in C, C++, and Fortran languages. Octave uses a text and graphical interface along with machine learning algorithms for solving various kinds of linear and non-linear numerical problems. Moreover, it uses an interpreter to execute multiple graphical programs such as the creation of plots, graphs, etc. Octave comes up with a syntax that is mainly matrix-based used for performing a number of matrix operations in the form of calls or scripts. Apart from this, an octave is available in more than 19 languages which makes it one of the highly used programming languages all over the world. 

Merits and Strengths of Octave

  • Octave loads modules dynamically which are not possible in any other programming language.
  • It provides a GUI (Graphical User Interface) to interpret the programs which makes it quite faster and easy to use.
  • It is open-source software that allows you to access any information free of cost. 
  • It requires less amount of memory, even if you large amounts of datasets it will store than consuming less memory than Matlab.
  • Octave provides a number of data structures and features such as complex numbers, inbuilt mathematical functions, an extensive function library, and much more

     Demerits and Weaknesses of Octave 

  • It depends on the syntax to perform any task which makes it quite slower than other programming languages and it is one of the main differences between Matlab Vs Octave
  • As Octave is open-source software and anybody can use it freely, so you cannot load the empty files as its interface is not so good as Matlab
  • In Octave, you have to measure the length of the matrix as its GUI is not as powerful as Matlab
  • Octave is not a commercial product, it is developed by a particular community. So its toolboxes are not so powerful as Matlab
  • You cannot compile a large number of programs at the same time in Octave which is considered one of its greatest disadvantages. 


All the points mentioned above differentiate Matlab Vs Octave effectively. Though the programming languages have their own strong and weak points Matlab is more powerful and highly trustable for numerical computations. It offers a variety of functions to deal with different kinds of datasets which is not possible in the case of Octave. On the other hand, if you are looking for a high salary package, you must go with Octave. 
These were some of the major differences between Matlab Vs Octave and it might have cleared your doubts regarding both the programming languages and why there is a need of studying them separately.


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