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Oct2Py: Python to GNU Octave Bridge

Oct2Py is a means to seamlessly call M-files and Octave functions from Python. It manages the Octave session for you, sharing data behind the scenes using MAT files. Usage is as simple as:

>>> oc = oct2py.Oct2Py()
>>> x = oc.zeros(3,3)
>>> print x, x.dtype
[[ 0.  0.  0.]
 [ 0.  0.  0.]
 [ 0.  0.  0.]] float64

If you want to run legacy m-files, do not have MATLAB(TM), and do not fully trust a code translator, this is your library.


  • Supports all Octave datatypes and most Python datatypes and Numpy dtypes.
  • Provides OctaveMagic for IPython, including inline plotting in notebooks.
  • Supports cell arrays and structs with arbitrary nesting.
  • Supports sparse matrices.
  • Builds methods on the fly linked to Octave commands (e.g. zeros above).
  • Nargout is automatically inferred by the number of return variables.
  • Thread-safety: each Oct2Py object uses an independent Octave session.
  • Can be used as a context manager.
  • Supports Unicode characters.
  • Supports logging of session commands.
  • Optional timeout command parameter to prevent runaway Octave sessions.


You must have GNU Octave installed and in your PATH. On Windows, the easiest way to get Octave is to use an installer from SourceForge. You must have the Numpy and Scipy libraries installed. On Linux, it should be available from your package manager. Linux users should also install pexpect prevent Syntax Errors from closing the Octave session. Unfortunately, there is no such option on Windows.

To install Oct2Py, simply:

$ pip install oct2py

Or, if you absolutely must:

$ easy_install oct2py


Documentation is available online.

For version information, see the Revision History.

Recent activity

Steven Silvester

Commits by Steven Silvester were pushed to blink1073/oct2py

b9a61d5 - Fixed top-level test method, pep8 fix in _matread
Steven Silvester

Commits by Steven Silvester were pushed to blink1073/oct2py

89b2f7a - Added documentation, restart method, deferred dummy cell file creation
Steven Silvester

Commits by Steven Silvester were pushed to blink1073/oct2py

44f7535 - Added reverse roundtrip test, improvements to cell array handling
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