Compile Octave 4 using 16/32 bits colour – Ubuntu

Hello there,

This post is a little different of I’m using to write, but yet very useful for us engineers! It’s about how to compile octave to be able to load 16 or 32 bits colour images. First of all, what’s Octave?
Octave is a gnu version of Matlab (and it almost compatible with it. Actually most of commands are identical, so migrating for Matlab to Octave should not be very hard. The official site is here!
Ok, what’s the problem? The problem is that Octave uses GraphicsMagick (an image processing program) and by default it comes configured in 8bits in Ubuntu. So, we need to recompile GraphicsMagick to use 16 or 32 bits and then recompile Octave with the new GraphicsMagick. I’m using Ubuntu 12.04, Octave-3.6.3 and GraphicsMagick-1.3.12.
Here you are the steps:
1) Download all packages needed.

2) Download GraphicsMagick sourcefrom Ubuntu repository

3) Configure and install GraphicsMagick.If you want 16 bits set –with-quantum-depth=16!

4) Set GraphicsMagick libs path

5) Download Octave

6) Configure and install Octave

Here some links that can help you if you have any problems:
GraphicsMagick wiki
Discussed in forum


*** UPDATE Octave 4***

As Octave 4 now has a GUI based in QT, some additional libs must be installed:


Download, configure and install




Marcelo Jo

Marcelo Jo is an electronics engineer with 10+ years of experience in embedded system, postgraduate in computer networks and masters student in computer vision at Université Laval in Canada. He shares his knowledge in this blog when he is not enjoying his wonderful family – wife and 3 kids. Live couldn’t be better.


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