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Re: interactive plotting functionality

From: Ben Abbott
Subject: Re: interactive plotting functionality
Date: Thu, 25 Dec 2008 14:16:54 -0500

Are you sure gnuplot is using x11 and not Aquaterm? What do when you type the following at the octave prompt? ...

        ans = aqua


On Dec 25, 2008, at 1:47 PM, Dan Mennitt wrote:

Ok, thanks for stepping through this with me.

"$gnuplot --version" returned "gnuplot 4.0 patchlevel 0" and "which gnuplot" returned "/usr/local/bin/gnuplot" which is my original installation. Macports installed a newer version of gnuplot (4.2) in opt/local/ which did not take precedence over the the first version. I removed both of these using rm. Also, was running octave 3.0.2 so I deleted that app from the applications folder and replaced it with 3.03 from your link. Also dragged the new Gnuplot app 4.2.3 from extras to the applications folder. Now, "which gnuplot" doesn't return anything. So everything should be alright, right? Well I can plot something with Octave, X11 fires up, and there are mouse coordinates in the corner of the plot but how do you zoom and rotate? clicking has no effect. . ?


Ben Abbott wrote:
Did you download Octave 3.0.3?

For this version of Octave you'll need gnuplot 4.2.3 or greater. You likely have more than one gnuplot on your mac. When you downloaded the from sourceforge it contained an "Extras" folder which contains "gnuplot-4.2.3-i386/ppc.dmg". If you installed this there should be a in your Applications folder.

Do you have a gnuplot in our Applications folder? and if so what is its version number?

My understanding is that when the octave bundle you have is run it will look to see if a gnuplot exists in the path and then look for the gnuplot bundle in your Applications folder.

To determine if there is another gnuplot in your path, open a terminal window and type "which gnuplot". What I get is below,

   $ which gnuplot

To determine the version of this gnuplot, type

   $ gnuplot --version
   gnuplot 4.3 patchlevel 0

Does "which gnuplot" return anything? ... if so, what version?

I'm running the developer's version of gnuplot which I built by adding a local package to the Fink package management system. You're results will be different.

I suspect you have more than one gnuplot installed and that one is version 4.0 and the other 4.2.

Once it is determined where the 4.0 version resides, I recommend you update or uninstall it.


On Dec 24, 2008, at 10:34 AM, Dan Mennitt wrote:

great, that's good to hear. I am using X11, although getenv("GNUTERM") simply returns:

ans =

weird. I installed octave from a .dmg from the GNU octave repository at This gives you a nice aqua-style icon to click on that starts up the terminal and runs octave. The problem may be with my gnuplot installation. Weeks ago, I installed version 4.0. While trying to get the zoom to work, I used macports to install the latest version of gnuplot. The installation went smoothly, but now when I run gnuplot from the terminal it shows 'version 4.0', whereas before i rebooted my machine it showed 4.2. What went wrong?


Ben Abbott wrote:

On Dec 23, 2008, at 9:18 PM, Ben Abbott wrote:

On Dec 23, 2008, at 8:49 PM, Dan Mennitt <address@hidden> wrote:

hey everyone,

I am using Octave 3.0.2 on mac osx with gnuplot.  I would really
like to
be able to zoom in and rotate 3d plots using the mouse with octave. After searching a bit, I have seen much chatter on this issue and the answer seems to be that its just not possible with the current version
of gnuplot.  Is anyone using an alternative plotting utility that
this functionality?


What version of gnuplot are you running?

By chance are you using Aquaterm?

If yes, try the x11 terminal instead.


I've got a better internet connection than my cell phone now. If my response is confusing, you can determine the terminal you're running by typing 'getenv("GNUTERM")' at octave's prompt.

If the response is "aqua" then you are running aquaterm. Aquaterm produces nicely rendered plots, but does not permit the mouse to zoom/rotate the plot.

I do not recall when the rotation was first supported by gnuplot, but I'm sure it does work for the x11 terminal for gnuplot version > 4.2.3.

If you are running octave with aquaterm, it is possible to switch to the x11 terminal. The method to accomplish that will depend upon how you are running octave. Where did you obtain you copy of octave from ... and how do you launch it?


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