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Install Updates, Toolboxes, Support Packages, and Add-Ons in Containers

To install toolboxes and support packages in a programmatic way in a MATLAB® container image, you can customize the MATLAB Docker Hub container image by using MATLAB Package Manager. For more information, see Building on MATLAB Docker Image.

You can also install the latest MATLAB updates or install additional toolboxes, support packages, and add-ons in an interactive manner in a MATLAB container that you obtain from Docker® Hub. You can then save the container to a new container image avoid having to reinstall your changes.

This example shows how to make changes interactively in MATLAB R2022b in a container and save the container to a new container image for later use.

Pull MATLAB Container Image

Download the MATLAB container image onto the host machine by running this command at the command line:

docker pull mathworks/matlab:r2022b

To download the container image for a different release, replace the r2022b tag with the desired MATLAB release, for example, r2022a. Downloading and extracting the container image can take a few minutes.

Run Container Session Using Virtual Network Computing (VNC)

To install toolboxes or update MATLAB, you must run the MATLAB container in VNC mode by entering this command in the terminal:

docker run --init -it --rm -p 5901:5901 -p 6080:6080 --shm-size=512M mathworks/matlab:r2022b -vnc

The option -p hostport:containerport maps ports from the Docker host instance to ports inside the container so that you can connect to the container desktop. The container uses the ports 5901 for VNC connection and 6080 for web browser connection. If you are deploying multiple containers on the same host instance, you must increment the host ports until you find a free port. For example:

-p 5902:5901 -p 6081:6080

To connect to the desktop where you can open MATLAB:

  • Use a VNC client to connect to display 1 of the Docker host machine (localhost:1).

  • If you do not have a VNC client, point a browser to port 6080 of the Docker host machine running this container (http://localhost:6080).

If your container is not running on your local machine, replace localhost with the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) of the computer on which the container is running.

The default VNC password is matlab.

Install Updates, Toolboxes, Support Packages, and Add-Ons

To install toolboxes or update MATLAB, you must run MATLAB with superuser privileges. At a terminal inside the container session, start MATLAB with root privileges using this command.

sudo matlab
Log in to MATLAB using your MathWorks® Account.

You can install updates and toolboxes from within MATLAB.

  • To install updates, see Update an Existing Installation (MATLAB).

  • To install toolboxes, support packages, and add-ons, go to the Home tab and, in the Environment section, click the Add-ons icon Add-Ons icon. For example, to add Simulink® to your MATLAB container, go to the Add-On Explorer and install Simulink. For more information about how to install toolboxes and add-ons, see Get and Manage Add-Ons (MATLAB).

After you install the updates and additional products, MATLAB restarts. To verify the updates and installation of additional toolboxes and add-ons, enter ver in the MATLAB Command Window.

Save Container

After you install the desired updates and toolboxes, save the container to a new container image for later use to avoid having to reinstall your changes. Because the --rm flag removes the container when you close it, do not close the container.

Open a new command window on your host machine. Find the container ID of the running container by listing the information related to all running containers.

docker ps -a

CONTAINER ID        IMAGE                            COMMAND             CREATED              STATUS              PORTS                                            NAMES
3d555451f07a   "/bin/"       24 minutes ago       Up 24 minutes>5901/tcp,>6080/tcp   relaxed_pasteur
The container ID in this example is 3d555451f07a.

Use docker commit with the --change flag to create a snapshot. You can use this snapshot to open the saved container using different modes next time.

docker commit --change 'ENTRYPOINT ["/bin/"]' <container ID> matlabwithtoolboxes:r2022b

This command saves the container to a new container image with the name matlabwithtoolboxes:r2022b on the Linux® operating system. For other operating systems, use the appropriate quotes. For more information see, Save Changes in Containers.

To save the container with the VNC option as well, omit the --change flag. This allows you to run the saved container using the VNC mode by default the next time.

docker commit <container ID> matlabwithtoolboxes:r2022b

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