Ongoing development of gnuplot

The development version of gnuplot is currently 5.3. The development version contain bugfixes and many new cool features. Development versions are not "officially" supported, but you can get help and participate at the mailing list mentioned below. See ChangeLog for the latest contributions to the gnuplot code. Online browsing of sources is available via cvs; for a complete download, see below.

Table of contents

Corresponding links



Mailing lists for gnuplot development

You are welcome to participate in the gnuplot development. Join the developers mailing list with its archives at

or use the Patches section at SourceForge if you have a contribution.

Downloading sources from the CVS repository

Up-to-date source code of gnuplot (development version of gnuplot, currently 5.3) resides at SourceForge group gnuplot (group_id=2055). Download of sources requires program cvs (not ftp!), which is available for every platform. Execute the following commands:
  cvs login
  cvs -z3 co -P gnuplot
or in bash
  cvs login
  cvs -z3 checkout gnuplot
Note: hit Enter when asked for a password.

Building from CVS

Compiling the development version of gnuplot on unixes

Compiling can be done from inside the gnuplot source directory by the following commands:

A. You are not root, and you wish your single-user installation goes to $HOME/usr (thus the executable will be $HOME/usr/bin/gnuplot, etc.):
  # Run configure, with any option(s) you like:
  ./configure --prefix=$HOME/usr --with-readline=gnu
  ./configure --prefix=$HOME/usr
  # Now make:
  # Now "make install", or "make install-strip" (no debugging symbols)
  make install-strip
B. You can become root: install gnuplot to /usr/local (thus the executable will be /usr/local/bin/gnuplot, etc.):
  # Run configure, with any option(s) you like:
  ./configure --with-readline=gnu
  # Now make:
  # Now "make install", or "make install-strip" (no debugging symbols)
  make install-strip


  1. The full list of options for ./configure can be listed by ./configure --help.
  2. With the --with-readline=gnu you build gnuplot with GNU readline: you get autocompletition of filenames via Tab key, Ctrl-R searching functionality, etc.
  3. Command ./prepare creates configuration scripts. It may require some decently new version of automake, autoconf and other tools. This step is not needed for oficially released gnuplot.
  4. Single-user installations may require presence of directories $HOME/usr/bin, $HOME/usr/lib, $HOME/usr/man, $HOME/usr/info, and $HOME/usr/share. You should have $HOME/usr/bin listed in your PATH first, e.g. in your $HOME/.profile you need

Hint: You can install gnuplot through rpm package system by

  checkinstall make install-strip requires package checkinstall, which may be a part of your Linux distribution. This way you can easily deinstall this new gnuplot any later.

Compiling the development version of gnuplot on other operating systems

Firstly, read INSTALL for instructions. Then use the prepared Makefile.* in directory gnuplot/config. Actively maintained are Makefile.os2 for OS/2, Makefile.cyg, Makefile.mgw and Makefile.nt for Windows, and probably some others; you are welcome to contribute for your operating systems and compilers). Usually, what you want to do is to edit the particular config/ and then execute make -f ../config/ from the src/ directory.

Compiled testing binaries and source code snapshots

The development version of gnuplot is available as source via cvs. We also provide scripts for configuring and compiling. Occasionally someone contributes a pre-compiled snapshot of the development tree for testing. testing binaries for few systems such as DOS, OS/2 and Windows These are not kept up-to-date.

Important notice: These binaries are *always* older than the current development sources. If you notice any problem, please get and recompile up-to-date gnuplot yourself, and don't report bugs found in obsolete binaries unless you proof the problem is still present and has not been fixed in the meantime.

Go back to gnuplot homepage.
Last change: June 2017