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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 5.2.5
  • 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 and
  • 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 a 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 dialog 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 the prompt to top of the terminal for clarity.

Press Control Shift K on keypad.

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 space 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 sudo 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.
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 options are 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 dialog 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 changed 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 and
  • 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.

For more details, 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