Sunday, February 04, 2007

gnuplot 4.2

gnuplot is one of those programs I can't live without. It's fair to say that 70% of the graphics I've published in my work were created with gnuplot, and the only reason that figure isn't higher is that I wrote a lot of papers before I found out about gnuplot.

The version supplied with Dapper is 4.0, but I found from an email that 4.2.rc4 was recently released. Going to the project home page I found that this release included support for animated GIFs, something that I was trying to create more or less by hand for an upcoming talk. Now expecting the new version to be available in Dapper is a bit much, so I went to SourceForge and downloaded the tarball. (Click on "Download gnuplot development," then on "4.2.rc4." It's not obvious.)

After a bit of tweaking, I found that I had to fire up synaptic and install the libreadline5-dev and libgd2-dev packages. These let me compile in readline support, so I can do things like tab-complete file names, and support for gif and png files, for the aforesaid animated gifs.

From there it's straightforward, using the checkinstall to create the .deb file:

$ untar gnuplot-4.2.rc4.tar.gz
$ cd gnuplot-4.2.rc4
$ ./configure --with-readline=gnu --enable-history-file
$ make
$ sudo checkinstall -D make install-strip

This makes, and installs,


which works. Once I get the paper cleared and presented, I'll see about putting up one of the animated gifs as an example.


Kurt Wikarski said...

great work... I'm using Ubuntu Feisty Fawn and had problems with missing png-export in gnuplot 4.2 after manually installing the tarball from sourceforge (--with-png is no valid ./configure-option anymore) but with your configure-options everything seems to work fine!

rcjhawk said...

Thank you for reminding me. Since I just upgraded to Feisty, I have to recompile gnuplot as well.