Install gnuplot on Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon

I again have updated these instructions for Gnuplot 4.4.0 RC1 and newer Ubuntu versions. Find them in this post.

Some months ago I wrote a small Howto about installing Gnuplot on Ubuntu Feisty Fawn with readline, pdf and wxWidgets terminal support. It turned out, that this howto was of interest for many people, since this blog post was the most visited until Gutsy Gibbon came out – and the readline problem was obviously solved, since it works now if you install the standard Gnuplot package. Still the pdf and wxWidgets terminal are not compiled in by default, therefore I wrote a new (shorter) howto about including this terminals.

So here are the instructions:

Instead of compiling wxWidgets on our own, we just get the libwxgtk2.8-dev package. The version number is only at 2.8.4 (and wxWidgets already reached 2.8.7) but there shouldn’t be much problems.

Than we are going to install the PDFlib lite

  • Download PDFlib Lite
  • tar xzf PDFlib-Lite-7.0.2.tar.gz
  • cd PDFlib-Lite-7.0.2
  • ./configure
  • make
  • sudo paco -lD make install (or just sudo make install if you don’t use paco)
  • sudo ldconfig

Then we compile gnuplot

  • Download gnuplot 4.2.2
  • tar xzf gnuplot-4.2.2.tar.gz
  • cd gnuplot-4.2.2
  • ./configure –with-readline=gnu (check if we have the lines “pdf terminal: yes” and “wxt terminal: yes (EXPERIMENTAL)”, if you miss the jpeg, png and gif terminal install the libgd2-xpm-dev package; also check if you find “Readline library: GNU readline library with -lncurses”, if it says only minimal readline support than install the libreadline5-dev package; you need also the libx11-dev and libxt-dev package for the X11 terminal – libxt-dev package is normally not installed by default (at the debian page about gnuplot one can find the packages necessary to build gnuplot))
  • make (if you have problems here with some latex errors than disable the latex tutorial during the configure stage with “–without-tutorial”, if you get a “103: makeinfo: not found” error message than install the texinfo package)
  • sudo paco -lD make install (or just sudo make install if you don’t use paco)

Than you have gnuplot installed with nice readline support (command line like in bash), a nice new wxWidgets terminal and a pdf terminal also on Gutsy Gibbon.

9 thoughts on “Install gnuplot on Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon

  1. why is the default gnuplot terminal set to wxt in ubuntu 8.04? it looks horrible in comparison to x11 … is there a way to set the default terminal to x11 ?

  2. Use the GNUTERM environment variable or the .gnuplot ini file. “If GNUTERM is defi ned, it is used as the name of the terminal type to be used. This overrides any terminal type sensed by gnuplot on start up, but is itself overridden by the .gnuplot (or equivalent) start-up file (see start-up), and of course by later explicit changes.” (

  3. RE “Instead of compiling wxWidgets on our own, we just get the libwxgtk2.8-dev package.”

    great job i really loved that move

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