Gnuplot is an interactive command-driven plotting package capable of producing line graphs, parametric plots, contour plots and surface plots. Additional options allow polar plots, log axes, error bars and control over labeling. Data may be read from files and/or produced or modified using C operators, C library functions or other methods. Plots may be displayed on dumb terminals, in X windows or saved as PostScript. An online help facility is included with Gnuplot

Highlights: Flexible, programming style interface. Output images are not of the highest quality.

Availability and Setup

Gnuplot version 4.2 is the default version on the Shared Computing Cluster (SCC). If you wish to use a more recent version of Gnuplot, you can do so using modules as explained here.

To run Gnuplot, simply type:

scc1% gnuplot

When you are done you can exit gnuplot by typing exit, quit or just q

Using Gnuplot

Gnuplot is a very versatile package, but in order to use it you must learn its command-line syntax. Use the online help facilities and the manuals we have to help you and experiment with producing different plots. For a simple example, type:

gnuplot> set samples 50
gnuplot> plot [-10:10] sin(x), atan(x), cos(atan(x))

Additional Help/Documentation

What hardcopy documentation we have is available in the Computer Graphics Lab (Room 203, 111 Cummington Mall). For Gnuplot, the available manuals are Gnuplot: An interactive Plotting Program (for version 3.5) and Gnuplot Quick Reference.

There are vast online help facilities for Gnuplot. Within Gnuplot, simply type help to get general information and a list of commands you can get more detailed information on. On the WWW, see Gnuplot Central which includes the Gnuplot FAQ and lots of additional information and links. There is also a manpage for gnuplot.