gnuplot Overview

Gnuplot is a portable command-line driven graphing utility for Linux, OS/2, MS Windows, OSX, VMS, and many other platforms. The source code is copyrighted but freely distributed (i.e., you don’t have to pay for it). It was originally created to allow scientists and students to visualize mathematical functions and data interactively, but has grown to support many non-interactive uses such as web scripting. It is also used as a plotting engine by third-party applications like Octave. Gnuplot has been supported and under active development since 1986.



An older version of Gnuplot is provided by default in /usr/bin. New versions of Gnuplot are available as modules.
$ module avail gnuplot
$ module load gnuplot


Save the following script to the file example.gnu. This will be loaded by gnuplot later.
set title "Simple Plots" 
set title  font ",20" norotate
plot [-pi/2:pi] cos(x),-(sin(x) > sin(x+1) ? sin(x) : sin(x+1))

Plotting the graph

To start gnuplot, run:
$ gnuplot
At the resulting prompt, type:
gnuplot> load 'example.gnu'
This will open up a window that looks like: gnuplot-sample For more in depth info and examples, see


  • gnuplot@5.0.1%gcc@4.8.5