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Licensed Software

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Licenced software on DICE

Some of this software is also available on self-managed machines - see below.


MATLAB is provided to us by the Matlab Total Academic Headcount (TAH) agreement (see our announcement blog post). For all license administration queries please see the IS MATLAB help pages in the first instance.

Typically we will provide a single default version of MATLAB on SL7, presently 2018a. You can launch this from the Applications Menu under "Programming", or by typing "matlab16" at a terminal.

We also have selected older versions available — these versions may be made available on request for specific hosts. While we remain under the MATLAB TAH agreement we can also theoretically provide any up-to-date version on request, but please note such requests can take a while to fulfil if you're the first to ask.

We operate a local research licence server [link accessible only within Informatics] for remaining users of R2010b, but this licence is no longer updated / maintained.

Known issues

Under some circumstances (including remote X access) MATLAB R2018a an error on launching, and shuts down. It's a known fault which we're investigating with other schools. In these cases you can work around the bug by launching matlab from a terminal with the argument:

 matlab18 -softwareopengl

or, if you don't need the graphical "desktop" environment at all,

 matlab18 -nojvm

If this presents an insurmountable problem to anyone, we can downgrade MATLAB on individual machines until the bug is fixed, but note no version will permit accelerated OpenGL over a remote X connection on DICE.


We continue to offer "legacy" Maple 9 under perpetual licence, but have also in the past maintained a more modern version. Please visit the Maple page for details of its availability.


(Robotics Simulator) — Statistics are not available for this software but it is appropriately licensed for concurrent usage. Do not be alarmed by expiry messages on starting Webots for the first time; no action is needed on the users' part as these simply warn of pending expiry (or lack of support for future versions). See also webots on self-managed machines.

Software for restricted user groups

Licensed software is also maintained for restricted user groups:

  • Qualnet — licences [link accessible only within Informatics]
  • SIMICS — licences [link accessible only within Informatics]
  • Xilinx — licences [link accessible only within Informatics]

Often these licences can be shared or expanded at lesser cost. If you are considering using any of the above software it's recommended that you contact support so we can put you in touch with other users within Informatics.

Licensed software for self-managed/personal machines (including vDICE)

Some software may be distributed by us for use on personal hardware, for example self-managed desktops or personal licences. Usually you must contact support to get copies of such software, which will typically require you to accept a licensing agreement.

  • Matlab — This is available for staff and students for personal installations on Linux, Windows and MacOS under a Campus Agreement. There are instructions on how to register an account, download and install this software.
  • Sicstus Prolog — is free to students of Informatics. Contact Support to get a copy. You'll be asked to sign a form declaring that the software is for your own personal use and that you won't give other people the software or the instructions on how to obtain it.
  • Windows and other Microsoft Software: The School has a number of routes for obtaining licences for Microsoft software.

Purchasing software

For software not covered under this agreement, an appropriate licence must be purchased. Please fill in the computing support form providing details of the Institute and R number to which the software should be charged.

Other software available from the University

The University has a number of agreements in place providing software; the IS Software Services page has more details. Some software may be available free of charge through current site licenses or for significantly less charge than purchasing it directly from an external provider.

SPSS — available on the Windows PCs and Macs in the Open-Access labs (e.g. George Square Main Library)
Users considering SPSS should read David Reitter's notes on R and consider using it and/or pipestat, free alternatives available on DICE.

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