Octave has its own build system for installing packages.


The OctaveBuilder and OctavePackage base classes have a single phase:

  1. install - install the package

By default, this phase runs the following command:

$ octave '--eval' 'pkg prefix <prefix>; pkg install <archive_file>'

Beware that uninstallation is not implemented at the moment. After uninstalling a package via Spack, you also need to manually uninstall it from Octave via pkg uninstall <package_name>.

Finding Octave packages

Most Octave packages are listed at https://octave.sourceforge.io/packages.php.


Usually, the homepage of a package will list dependencies, i.e. Dependencies: Octave >= 3.6.0 struct >= 1.0.12. The same information should be available in the DESCRIPTION file in the root of each archive.

External Documentation

For more information on the Octave build system, see: https://octave.org/doc/v4.4.0/Installing-and-Removing-Packages.html