13 Best Open Source Alternatives to MATLAB You Could Use

MATLAB is one of the industry standard programs used by experts for scientific computation, data analysis, and other related tasks. And it’s a tool one can understand and use with ease. You don’t even need to gain access to its source code for that to happen.

MATLAB has been a favorite tool for many prominent engineers and scientists for years. And that’s because it makes organizing, analyzing and interpretation of data a breeze.

But now, people have started shifting attention to other alternatives to MATLAB. And that’s basically because of the high cost of the tool, among other reasons.

Good news is there are other excellent programs out there whose performance is similar to MATLAB. Read to find out top MATLAB alternatives on the market!

13 Best Open Source MATLAB Alternatives

1. SageMath


Sage is a top MATLAB alternative, one with high performance. This mathematical software is also open-source, and language is also identical to the Python programming language. The syntax is neat, and it’s a great tool designed for mathematical and statistical purposes. With this tool, you can perform complex mathematical calculations.

SageMath has a free and paid version. But even the free option has many useful features. However, the monthly subscription gives you access to more RAM. But the drawback this tool has is the frequent updates of SageMath Cloud. The tool is also a bit complex to use.

2. SMath Studio

SMath Studio

SMath Studio is another incredible tool that comes loaded with features to help get complicated mathematical equations out of the way. The program also provides numerous options for studying. And it’s free to use and also runs on different platforms. These include Windows, UNIX, and web browser.

The SMath Studio is undoubtedly a powerful tool, one that can prove useful for mathematical problems of all levels. You will find the complete unit of measurements lined out in this tool. It also features the WYSIWYG editor, too. The software also has a simple layout and abundance of functions, which makes it a great one for mathware. So, if you are seeking a great MATLAB alternative, you will not regret using SMath Studio.

3. Julia


This Julia software is another powerful one. The tool is incredibly fast and runs seamlessly on numerous platforms. And if you have prior knowledge on Python, you will be comfortable using Julia, too. It has a smooth learning curve, making it one of the simplest programming languages available. The tool is also open-source and free to use. And you can view all its source code on GitHub.

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Julia is a cool tool, one that makes advanced computing and collaborations possible. So, it’s one of the few tools that will soon become the hottest MATLAB alternatives for data scientists, engineers, and programmers. It has all the features to be just that.

4. Maxima


Maxima is another MATLAB alternative and an algebra computer system that’s written in Lisp. The tool also runs seamlessly in all the POSIX platforms. These include BSD, Mac, Linux, Unix, Android, and Windows. The software is free. Another impressive thing is that the tool can calculate in the exact fractions and integers.

So, Maxima does not only specialize in symbolic operations alone. It also has an excellent numerical capacity. So, it’s a powerful CAS (Computer Algebra System) for students and anyone looking to solve complex mathematical problems. This tool can help you solve mathematic problems fast without errors.

5. NetSim


NetSim is a paid tool used by Test Universe users to test how specific protective devices behave. The reason is to have a better understanding of the said devices to be well prepared to handle or eliminate possible real-life faults. The tool is capable of testing advanced protection algorithms. It also supports end-to-end testing via the use of GPS or the IRIG-B time synchronization.

Another incredible thing NetSim does is to repeat tests using diverse parameters. And the repetitions are automatic, making it convenient to use. Also, NetSim doesn’t just allow users to create different scenarios with ease. The tool makes it a breeze for users to write custom codes. So, if you are ready to do your research work and achieve results from time and effort invested, then consider using NetSim for your project.

6. Cadabra


Cadabra is a new CAS program explicitly designed for problems faced in field theory. The software runs seamlessly on Windows, BSD, Linux and Mac operating systems. It is also an excellent MATLAB alternative with all the features you need to solve classical and quantum field theories.

However, Cadabra is a free tool. But being free doesn’t mean you won’t get the results you seek. On top of that, the program is not that difficult to set up and use. It supports abstract and component computations. And you can also program it using Python.

7. FxSolver


The fxSolver is a tool considered a math notebook for scientists and engineers alike. It contains an extensive list of classic math formulations. You will also come across a diverse collection of formulae drawn from multiple disciplines. These include computer science, chemistry, physics, mechanics, and electronics.

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This tool also has an ever-expanding library of formulae, which is increasing now and then. It’s also a web-based app and can serve as your virtual assistant when attempting math problems. So, if you are seeking a completely free, fast, and simple-to-use tool to solve math problems without seeking professional math tools, fxSolver is a wise MATLAB alternative for you.

8. Freemat


If you are seeking a free environment designed for data processing, scientific prototyping, and rapid engineering, try Freemat. The tool is incredible, even though it’s free to use. And among the numerous features, Freemat supports image display and 2D plotting. It also runs on Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems.

This tool is also similar to GNU Octave and MATLAB. It is also open-source, and you can download, install, and use it with ease, just like MATLAB. Other features include 3D rendering abilities and handle-based graphics.

9. CloudStat


CloudStat is one of the best alternatives to MATLAB. Whether you are interested in website monitoring or server backup, you will find this tool useful. It offers free server monitoring for Windows and Linux servers. In addition to that, this cloud-based monitor also helps to monitors cloud and virtual machines.

CloudStat is a breeze to set up. That’s one of the features that set it apart. It also has a clean interface and integrates well with Slack and Skype. But then, the tool could use some proper documentation, so that users can understand all its features. Besides that, CloudStat is a great tool. One fantastic feature of this tool is that it can help monitor all your servers in one place. In other words, if you have several servers from different hosting companies, CloudStat can help you extract data from all of them. You will also get notifications when something goes wrong in your network.

10. Statwing


Statwing is a web-based program explicitly built for market researchers, data analysts, and other business users. Unlike other web-based statistical tools, Statwing let you perform data analysis tasks like creating a pivot table, charting, data shuffling, and many more, in no time. In a nutshell, the tool works a bit faster and let you get things done effortlessly.

However, Statwing also helps to make things easy for users. One way it does that is to translate statistical results into plain English. Statistical tests are also picked by this tool automatically. But one of the drawbacks the software has is that it doesn’t offer advanced analysis, such as survival analysis or PCA. But overall, the software is a great tool to have.

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11. Jasymca


This MATLAB alternative called Jasymca helps to solve complex mathematical problems. It’s both a Java calculator that’s programmable and a CAS program at the same time. The user interface of this tool can also be selected from a GNU-Maxima style, Matlab, or SciLab-style.

This Java symbolic calculator can help to solve difficult math problems, just like other MATLAB alternatives on this list. It’s also written for PDAs and mobile devices. The tool can provide a solution to and also manipulate equations. It can also help to solve calculus, real-life problems, and give more insight into the use of computer algebra programs.

12. Mathematica


Mathematica is a favorite tool popularly used in mathematical, engineering, scientific and computing fields. The program offers features that make machine learning, image processing, data mining, and visualization, among others, possible. In addition to that, this tool provides everything required for learning and solving math. These include integrals, derivatives, vector operations, matrix, and even closed integrals.

This software can also help simplify your calculus study sessions, including linear algebra courses, all of which are complex mathematical problems. It would print out the solutions in an orderly manner to enable users to have a better understanding regarding how the calculations were arrived at, step by step. In a nutshell, Mathematica is a superior tool for symbolic mathematics.

13. OpenFOAM


The OpenFOAM software is an open-source program. It’s also free to use and has solver for tackling various physics problems. It is used for CFD analysis and other complex problems and can give you the right solution in no time.  And being open-source software, this tool has a large community of contributors from different parts of the world.

Being open-source software also means that anyone can modify the tool to suit their needs. In addition to that, the program is quite easy to use. But the interface of the program could use some improvement.


So, these are the alternatives to MATLAB. You have to go through the list and pick the program that best suits your needs. But whether you are looking for a tool to solve complex problems in mathematical, physics, engineering, programming, or other related fields, you will find them quite useful.

So, which of the tool in this list are you currently using or would like to use? Please make your contributions in the comment solution.

Written by Rinkesh Kukreja

Rinkesh Kukreja is very passionate about technology, cloud computing, virtual computing and the latest happenings in the tech world. He loves to write on these topics and has received accolades from various people.


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