Getting started

Glenn Thompson edited this page Oct 12, 2016 · 29 revisions
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To use GISMO you will need MATLAB (we recommend version 2014a or above, including the Signal Processing and Statistics toolboxes). Some of the code is compatible with Octave (and earlier versions of MATLAB), but this is not guaranteed.


There are two ways to download GISMO:
(1) Download a zip file from MATLAB File Exchange
(2) Clone the git repository from this GitHub site

The first way is easier, but means you have to download the whole GISMO package each time you want the latest update. The second way makes the update procedure trivial, and is the best choice if you may eventually want to contribute to GISMO (please do!).

(1) Download from MATLAB File Exchange

  • Download GISMO as a zip file from MATLAB File Exchange.
  • Unzip (extract) the zip file - your computer will do this automatically if you double-click the file icon.

(2) Clone the git repository

If you have the version-control system git installed on your computer, you can "clone" the GISMO repository at a command prompt with:

git clone

Move the GISMO folder to a sensible location

You should now have a 'GISMO' directory, probably in your "Downloads" directory.

Move the GISMO directory to somewhere sensible, e.g.:


on Linux


on Mac, or


on Windows

From now on we will assume the directory is /home/username/src/GISMO.


Let's assume your copy of GISMO is stored locally on your filesystem as /home/username/src/GISMO.

Start (or restart) MATLAB. At the MATLAB prompt (>>), type:

>> edit startup.m   

MATLAB looks for a startup.m file when it starts up. If it finds it, it runs it. So by creating/modifying your startup.m file, you are telling MATLAB to run things automatically when it starts up. Find out more about startup.m files at In this case, our goal is to get MATLAB to call startup_GISMO, which adds paths to all the GISMO files. So startup.m must call startup_GISMO. You do this by adding these two lines to the end of your startup.m file:


Again, remember, here you must replace home/username/src/GISMO by the path where you placed GISMO on your system. Now you can either restart MATLAB, or simply tell MATLAB to run startup.m now by typing startup at the MATLAB prompt (>>):

>> startup

If you have installed GISMO correctly, the command:

>> which Catalog

should return:


Again, the /home/username/src/GISMO part will be different on your system.

Stay informed

If you are using GISMO we strongly recommend you join The GISMO Users Group for advice and updates. Any questions relating to GISMO can be posted there.