A13: Compiled EEGLAB

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EEGLAB now exist as a compiled binary for Mac, Windows and Ubuntu and may be downloaded on the EEGLAB download page.



Eeglab compile.png


  • Download the ZIP file for the EEGLAB compiled version on the download page and uncompress it
  • Each zip file contains 2 folders "for_redistribution" and "for_redistribution_files_only." Start by starting the installer in "for_redistribution" folder. If all goes well, this is the only thing you have to do to install EEGLAB.
  • If for some reason the installation process fails (permission issue for example), you may use the files in the folder "for_redistribution_files_only." Note that these files requires that the Matlab runtime engine be installed on your system - this step should have been done automatically above but we will assume here that this step fails. These are available as separate download here (the version needed should appear when you start EEGLAB).
  • Notes for MacOS and Linux users: Apparently the compiled version of EEGLAB need to be installed using root user credentials. If you experience problems during the installation process on Mac, after downloading the zip file, open a terminal, go to the folder for_redistribution/MyAppInstaller_web.app/Contents/MacOS and type in sudo ./setup. This will start the installation as root. Once installed, you can run EEGLAB under your non-root account.

Starting EEGLAB

  • Click "EEGLAB" to start EEGLAB (however see below)
  • Create shortcuts if necessary on the Desktop and in the "Start" menu
  • It is often preferable to have the command line output of EEGLAB as it contains relevant information. On windows, start EEGLAB using the file "eeglab_run_this_one_on_windows.bat." On OSx and Ubuntu, use the file run_EEGLAB.sh (might require to have it permission changed to be executable otherwise the content of the script will be shown).

Similarity between the compiled and the Matlab version

  • Both version graphical interface are identical
  • There is nothing in the graphic interface that you can do under Matlab that is not possible to do in the compiled version. This includes using all the plugins and all the external modules attached to EEGLAB, saving scripts and running Matlab scripts.

What is not possible to do using the compiled version

  • It is not possible to add new plugins or download and install third party plugins. To do so EEGLAB needs to be recompiled with the additional plugins.
  • When using scripts, is not possible to use external custom Matlab functions or to define new functions
  • When using scripts, the range of possible Matlab command usable is limited to the Matlab core commands, all EEGLAB commands and a few commands from the signal processing, the statistics and the optimization toolbox (commands which are included in the compiled code).
  • It is not possible to modify EEGLAB source code.

Can I compile EEGLAB myself?

Compiling EEGLAB usually consist in opening the "eeglab.prj" file (in the root EEGLAB folder) using the Matlab Compiler Graphical App, then pressing the package button. However, there might be some path issue that require fixing on your system. This page contains notes we use to compile EEGLAB in our lab (it is relatively complex because we have automated nightly build for 3 operating systems).

Frequently asked questions

  • Can I run some of my own Matlab scripts using the EEGLAB compiled version? Yes as long as they use standard Matlab functions or EEGLAB functions.
  • Is the compiled code faster than the non compiled one? No, it is the same speed as it is still interpreted by the Matlab runtime engine.
  • What version of Matlab was used to compile the code? As of 2019, we provide a compiled version for every released EEGLAB version.
  • Is it legal since I do not own Matlab? Yes, it is perfectly legal. Although it is illegal to run cracked version of Matlab, it is perfectly legal to distribute the Matlab Runtime Engine and compiled Matlab code.
  • Can I use this program for commercial applications such as my clinical private practice? EEGLAB is a research software not a clinical software. The program is provided as is with no warrantee of any kind. Although the EEGLAB core code is released under a BSD 2.0 license that allows for commercial use, some of the plugins included in the compiled version are not (this includes plugins handling source reconstruction for example).
  • Trouble shooting! Do not hesitate to submit a bug or comment on the EEGLAB Gihub issue tracker if you encounter a problem running a compiled version of EEGLAB.

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