Setup a lab to teach MATLAB

MATLAB, which stands for Matrix laboratory, is programming platform from MathWorks. It combines computational power and visualization making it popular tool in the fields of math, engineering, physics, and chemistry.

If you're using a campus-wide license, see directions at download MATLAB installation files to download the MATLAB installer files on the template machine.

In this article, we'll show how to set up a class that uses MATLAB client software with a license server.

License server

Before modifying the template machine for your lab, you'll need to set up the server to run the Network License Manager software. These instructions are only applicable for institutions that choose the networking licensing option for MATLAB, which allows users to share a pool of license keys. You'll also need to save the license file and file installation key for later. For detailed instructions on how to download a license file, see the first step in the install Network License Manager with internet connection article.

Detailed instructions to covering how to install a licensing server are available at install Network License Manager with Internet Connection. To enable borrowing, see the Borrow License article.

Assuming the license server is located in an on-premise network or a private network within Azure, don’t forget to peer the virtual network to your lab account. The network peering must be done before creating the lab so the lab virtual machines can access the license server.

Lab configuration

To set up this lab, you need an Azure subscription to get started. If you don't have an Azure subscription, create a free account before you begin. Once you get an Azure subscription, you can either create a new lab account in Azure Lab Services or use an existing account. To create a new lab account, see the setup a lab account tutorial.

To create a new lab, follow set up a classroom lab tutorial. Apply the following settings:

Virtual machine size Image
Medium Windows 10

MATLAB is supported on more operating systems. See MATLAB system requirements for details.

Warning

Don’t forget to peer the virtual network for the lab account to the virtual network for the license server before creating the lab.

Template machine

After the template machine is created, start the machine and connect to it to complete the following major tasks.

  1. Download the installation files for the MATLAB client software.
  2. Install MATLAB using the file installation key.

Installing MATLAB will be a multi-part process. The first part will download the files for MATLAB and any other products you want installed. Using a file installation key requires that all the installation files for products to be installed are pre-downloaded. The second part will be installing the MATLAB software on the template VM and activating the software. If the template VM is configured to activate using the license server, the student VMs will do the same.

Download installation files

You must be a license administrator to download the installation files as well as get the license file and file installation key. Steps to download the installation files are below.

  1. Log into your account for https://www.mathworks.com.
  2. Choose My Account.
  3. Under the My Software section of the account page, click on the license attached to the Network License Manager setup for the lab.
  4. On the license detail page, click Download Products.
  5. Wait for the installer to self-extract.
  6. Start the installer.
  7. On the Sign in to your MathWorks Account page, enter your MathWorks account.
  8. On the MathWorks License Agreement page, accept the term and click the Next button.
  9. Click the Advanced Options drop-down and choose I want to download without installing.
  10. On the Select destination folder, click Next.
  11. Select Windows as the platform of the computer you're going to be installing MATLAB.
  12. On the Select product page, make sure MATLAB is selected along with any other MathWorks products you would like to install.
  13. On the Confirm Selections and Download page, click Begin Download.
  14. Wait for the selected products to download. Click Finish.

You can also download an ISO image from the MathWorks website.

  1. Log into your account for https://www.mathworks.com.
  2. Go to https://www.mathworks.com/downloads.
  3. Select the release of MATLAB you wish to install.
  4. Click the “Get {version}.iso image” link beneath the Related links where {version} is something like R2020a.
  5. Click the blue download release link for Windows.

Run installer

Once the files are downloaded, the second step is to run the installer. Once again, you must be a license administrator to complete this step. Only license administrators can install MATLAB with a file installation key.

  1. Check the downloaded license file and verify the SERVER line lists the license server correctly. For information regarding how the license file should be formatted, see update network license, license borrowing, and find host ID articles.
  2. Launch the MATLAB Installer.
  3. On the Sign in to your MathWorks Account page, enter your MathWorks account.
  4. On the MathWorks License Agreement page, accept the term and click the Next button.
  5. Click the Advanced Options drop-down and choose I have a File Installation Key.
  6. On the Install using File Installation Key page, enter the file installation key for the license server. Click Next.
  7. On the Select License File page, navigate to the license file saved when downloading the installation files earlier.
  8. On the Select Destination Folder page, click Next.
  9. On the Select Products page, click Next.
  10. On the Select Options page, click Next.
  11. On the Confirm Selections and Install page, click Begin Install.
  12. On the Installation Complete page, verify Activate MATLAB is checked. Click Finish.

Cost estimate

Let's cover a possible cost estimate for this class. This estimate does not include the cost of running the license server. We'll use a class of 25 students. There are 20 hours of scheduled class time. Also, each student gets 10 hours quota for homework or assignments outside scheduled class time. The virtual machine size we chose was medium, which is 55 lab units.

Here is an example of a possible cost estimate for this class:

25 students * (20 scheduled hours + 10 quota hours) * 55 lab units * 0.01 USD per hour = 412.50 USD

Important

Cost estimate is for example purposes only. For current details on pricing, see Azure Lab Services Pricing.

Next steps

Next steps are common to setting up any lab.