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[Title of script: Introduction to gnuplot

Author: Rani Parvathy

Keywords: gnuplot, video tutorial, spoken tutorial, software installation, set term, check installation, build, compile, download files, extract files from the tar ball

Visual Cue Narration
Slide Number 1
Title Slide
Introduction to gnuplot
Welcome to the tutorial on Introduction to Gnuplot
Slide Number 2
Learning Objectives

In this tutorial, we will

  • Download and install gnuplot 5 dot 2 dot 5
  • Test the installation
  • Test terminal capability

Slide Number 3
System and Software Requirement

To record this tutorial, I am using

Debian Linux

Gedit text editor 3 point two two

Firefox Web browser 52 point 5
Slide Number 4

To follow this tutorial, learners must be familiar with,

Basic computer and internet skills

Have working internet to download gnuplot

Have concept of graph and Mathematics knowledge
Slide Number 5
Download link

Download link for gnuplot is gnuplot dot info

The software is available for all operating systems
Open web browser First, I will use Firefox web browser to download the latest version of gnuplot
Click on Search your computer and online resources icon Press the windows key on keyboard
Type Firefox and press enter In the search form type Firefox and press enter
Firebox web browser opens for me
type and press enter In the address bar, type gnuplot dot info and press enter
Go to
This loads the official web page of gnuplot

I will scroll down
Hover mouse next to current version and release 5.2.5
The current version of software is 5 point 2 and release is 5 point 2 point 5

This is the version number at the time of recording this tutorial
Hover mouse over Release notes, User manual and demonstration gallery Notice links for the latest Release notes, user manual and demonstration gallery
Click on link for Release 5.2.5
When you practice this tutorial, the current version or release may be different

Click on the link for current release.
Next, let's download the required files.
Click on the Parent folder Click on the Parent folder link and scroll down
Notice the different versions and upgrades on the software
Click on 5.2.5 link Click on 5 point 2 point 5 link
The latest version release link is seen in green color
Scroll down the refreshed page and notice the various downloadable files.
Hover mouse next to .exe , .html readme files
Dot exe files are compiled for windows operating system.

If you are windows user, download the dot exe files

Double click to install them
Hover mouse next to gnuplot-5.2.5.tar.gz file We need the tar dot gz file for compiling program in Linux system
Click on gnuplot-5.2.5.tar.gz Click on gnpulot hyphen 5dot 2 dot 5 dot tar dot gz
Page refreshes, and after a short pause, a save dialogue box opens
Choose save file, click ok
Choose save file option.

Click ok to download the tar, zipped file
Allow file download to complete
Let's extract required files and install gnuplot using terminal commands
The downloaded file is in my Downloads folder
Open a terminal by pressing Control Alt T keys together
A terminal opens
Type ~/Downloads and press enter In terminal prompt, type cd space tilda backslash Downloads and enter
>tar -xvf gnuplot-5.2.5.tar.gz and enter
To extract files from the tarball, type the command,

tar space hyphen xvf space gnulot hyphen 5dot 2 dot 5 dot tar dot gz

Press enter to execute the command
Hover mouse next to newly created directory gnuplot-5.2.5 A new directory gnulot 5dot 2 dot 5 is created in Downloads folder
Ctrl + shift + k
The files are extracted to the new directory

I will clear the screen and bring prompt to top of the terminal for clarity.

Press control shift K on keyboard
cd gnuplot-5.2.5 and enter
Go to the newly created directory

Type cd space gnulot hyphen 5dot 2 dot 5 and enter
>gedit RELEASE_NOTES Type gedit RELEASE underscore NOTES and enter
Open file Release notes, scroll down
The file opens in a text editor.

Let's scroll down to the installation section
Hover mouse next to Installation has three parts, build, test and install as seen from the file.
Commands required for installation are mentioned here
Close gedit, click on 'x' sign
To compile and install we will use terminal commands.

So, let's close gedit. Click on the x sign.
Go back to the terminal
Type sudo bash ./configure
Type, sudo space dot backslash configure to build

Press enter after each command to execute it.
If prompted for password enter sudo password.

Allow the process to complete

Have system administrator install program, if you do not have permission
Examine the output of script on the screen.

If there are difficulties, have system administrator address them
Ctrl shift K
I will also clear the screen for clarity in the video.
Press control shift k on keypad
Type make and enter

Press control shift K
Type sudo space make

From now on, please press enter to execute command

I will not mention it separately.

Press control shift k on keypad
Type sudo make check and enter

Press control shift k
Type sudo space make space check to test the build

A graphics window appears and disappears.

Press control shift k on keyboard
Type sudo make install and enter Enter the command, sudo space make space install, to install program
The program gets installed on the computer.

Wait for the installation to complete.
Watch messages generated on the screen for error messages.

If you get any, take required actions or contact the system administrator.
I do not get any error messages.

Next, I will open gnuplot and check if installation is okay
Press control shift k

Press control shift k on keypad

Enter command gnuplot to get gnuplot prompt
Hover mouse next to qt

This shows terminal type as qt

Type test and enter
This tests, terminal capabilities.

A graphic gnuplot window 0 opens
Hover mouse next to menu bar There is a menu bar on top.
Template:Anchor Hover mouse next to square icon We can export, copy or print from the first square icon
Hover mouse next to replot and grid icon
The Green circular arrow is for replot.

Clickable icon to draw grids is seen next to it.
Hover mouse next to zoom options
Previous zoom option is available too

Sometimes the menu buttons do not work. Please do not worry about it.
Hover mouse next to setting icon
Click open the setting option.
It is on the right side.

If you change settings via menu they are retained in next session and not reset.
Click on settings icon and then on select background color.
Let's change background color via menu.

Click on settings icon and then on select background color.
Click to select the yellow color.
A select color dialogue box opens.

Click to select the yellow color.
Click ok
Click ok
Click ok to close the color selection box.

ok again for terminal configuration.

Now background color change to yellow.
Change back to white color.

Click on settings icon and then on select background color.
This change will be retained in subsequent sessions of gnuplot.

So let's change it back to white color.

Click on settings icon and then on select background color.
Select white background, click ok and ok. Select white background, click ok and ok again to revert the change.
Click on x sign in graphic window Close the graphic window by clicking on the 'x' sign on top left corner
Slide Number 6

Now let's summarize.

In this tutorial, we

  • Downloaded and installed gnuplot

  • Tested terminal capability for the software

Slide Number 7

For assignment activity, please do the following.

  • Install gnuplot in your computer
  • Familiarize with the software

Slide Number 8
Spoken Tutorial Project

This video summarises the Spoken Tutorial Project

Please download and watch it.
Slide Number 9
Spoken Tutorial workshops

The Spoken Tutorial Team conducts workshops and gives certificates.

Please write to us.

Slide Number 10
Forum for specific questions:
Post your timed queries in the forum.
Slide Number 11


Spoken Tutorial Project is funded by NMEICT, MHRD, Government of India.
This is Rani from IIT, Bombay. Thank you for joining.

Contributors and Content Editors

Madhurig, Nancyvarkey, Rani.parvathy, Ranipv076