MATLAB on OS X for Intel under Beta with Headaches

by Carson Reynolds

Since I am using Simulink for modeling a chip design I am working on, I am obliged to use MATLAB. Until recently, the only ways to run MATLAB on OS X were to use a hacked up version under Rosetta or to run it under a Parallels VM. However, this week Mathworks released a beta for the forthcoming Intel version. If you have a license for MATLAB, it may be downloaded here:

It is certainly a beta with all the attendant cruft. After a lot of head scratching I figured out a few of the stumbling blocks during the installation. I used Firefox to download the installation archives. I then used stuffit to uncompress the installation tarball. When I ran InstallForMacOSX I would get an error after a bit of processing. The message informed me:

Unable to run Installer back end. Error code = -60031

After some hacking I came to realize that this is because the files in matlab_installer.tar where not ending up where they were expected. And so, to fix this problem I used the terminal and:

tar -xvf matlab_installer.tar

This correctly decompressed the tar archive and then ran flawlessly, until it asked me for a license. I dutifully copied and pasted the file sent by the Mathworks. However (probably due to new line encoding) the file was prompting FlexLM errors. I corrected this by opening the file in Emacs and manually removing all of the backslashes and returns so that each line of the file started with INCREMENT … and ended with SN=… The installer liked this. Now it seems to work well. I hope these notes might help other folks similarly frustrated by the installation process.