Free and open source software for numerical computation

Scilab is an open source MATLAB-like programming language for numerical analysis.[2][3] It is used in many countries including non-English regions.

Developer(s)ESI Group
Stable release
6.1.0 / 25 February 2020; 4 years ago (2020-02-25)[1]
Written inScilab, C, C++, Java, Fortran
Operating systemBSDs (e.g., FreeBSD), Linux, macOS, Windows
Available inEnglish, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, Ukrainian, Chinese, Czech, Polish
TypeTechnical computing



Scilab syntax is largely based on the MATLAB language. The simplest way to use Scilab codes is to type it in at the prompt, --> , in the graphical command window.

Hello World! in Scilab:

disp('Hello World');



Scilab has many toolboxes for different tasks, such as

  • Scilab Image Processing Toolbox (SIP) and its variants (such as SIVP). This is used for image processing.[4][5]
  • Scilab Wavelet Toolbox: Used for wavelets
  • Scilab Java and .NET Module
  • Scilab Remote Access Module

More are available on ATOMS Portal or the Scilab forge.

Differences between GNU Octave


GNU Octave is also a MATLAB-like language. But it was made by different technical viewpoints.[6][7]

The original purpose of Scilab was numerical analysis[2][3] (such as numerical methods for ordinary differential equations[8]). Today, it is also used in scientific education[9][10][11][12] and optimization.[13][14]

  1. "Scilab 6.1.0 Release". Feb 25, 2020. Archived from the original on August 6, 2020. Retrieved July 7, 2020.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Mora, Á., Galán, J. L., Aguilera, G., Fernández, Á., Mérida, E., & Rodríguez, P. (2010). Scilab and Maxima Environment: Towards Free Software in Numerical Analysis. International Journal for Technology in Mathematics Education, 17(2).
  3. 3.0 3.1 Bunks, C., Chancelier, J. P., Delebecque, F., Goursat, M., Nikoukhah, R., & Steer, S. (2012). Engineering and scientific computing with Scilab. Springer Science & Business Media.
  4. Fabbri, R., Bruno, O. M., & Costa, L. D. F. (2012). Scilab and SIP for image processing. arXiv preprint arXiv:1203.4009.
  5. Thanki, R. M., & Kothari, A. M. (2019). Digital image processing using SCILAB. Springer International Publishing.
  6. Russell L. Herman (2013). A Course in Mathematical Methods for Physicists. CRC Press. p. 42. ISBN 978-1-4665-8467-9.
  7. Alain Vande Wouwer; Philippe Saucez; Carlos Vilas (2014). Simulation of ODE/PDE Models with MATLAB®, OCTAVE and SCILAB: Scientific and Engineering Applications. Springer. pp. 114–115. ISBN 978-3-319-06790-2.
  8. Wouwer, A. V., Saucez, P., & Vilas, C. (2014). Simulation of Ode/Pde Models with MATLAB®, OCTAVE and SCILAB: Scientific and Engineering Applications. Springer.
  9. Sharma, N., & Gobbert, M. K. (2010). A comparative evaluation of Matlab, Octave, FreeMat, and Scilab for research and teaching. UMBC Faculty Collection.
  10. Campos, D., Dias, N., Dias, A., & Ferreira, H. (2010). INTRODUCING NUMERICAL ANALYSIS TOOLS IN ENGINEERING. A SCILAB USER CASE IN ELECTRONICS COURSE. Proceedings of ICERI, 5178-5184.
  11. Kouroussis, G., Fekih, L. B., Conti, C., & Verlinden, O. (2012, July). EasyMod: A MatLab/SciLab toolbox for teaching modal analysis. In Proceedings of the international congress on sound and vibration, Vilnius (pp. 9-12).
  12. Liao, W., Dong, N., & Fan, T. (2009, September). Application of Scilab in teaching of engineering numerical computations. In 2009 IEEE International Workshop on Open-source Software for Scientific Computation (OSSC) (pp. 88-90). IEEE.
  13. Baudin, M., Couvert, V., & Steer, S. (2010). Optimization in scilab. Scilab Consortium, INRIA Paris-Rocquencourt.
  14. Baudin, M., & Steer, S. (2009, September). Optimization with scilab, present and future. In 2009 IEEE International Workshop on Open-source Software for Scientific Computation (OSSC) (pp. 99-106). IEEE.

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