Derek Lamb

These instructions apply to Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon, but they will most probably be useful for other Ubuntu versions. For this installation to work your computer must have access to Internet. Make sure you do have access to the internet by visiting some known web page with Firefox.

On the top bar select Sytem -> Administration -> Synaptic Package Manager

The synaptic package manager application will open up. Close any message windows that popup by clicking on Close. In the synaptic manager choose Settings -> Repositories. A Software sources window will popup. On that window click on the Third Party tab and then on the Add button.

A new window will pop up where you can insert text. Write on the APT line:

deb stable main contrib non-free

Click on Add Source and then on Close. This will close the Software sources window. If a message pops up just click on Close.

On the main window of Synaptic click on Reload. Wait a few minutes for the system to load the list of packages available. At the end an error message might come up telling you that that some public key is not available. Just ignore this message by clicking on Close.

After that, on the main synaptic window click on Search and search for


by writing that word in the Search entry and clicking on Search. On the search result listing on the right side of the window, click on the little box to the left of pdl, a selection menu will come up. Click on Mark for installation on that selection. On the popup window click on Mark

After that follow the same procedure by clicking again on Search and search for


Click again on the boxes to the left of the search results of pgplot5 and then click on Mark for installation in both cases. Click again on Mark on the popup window in both cases.

Follow again the same procedure for the packages libterm-readline-gnu-perl, g77, libc6-dev, libx11-dev and netpbm. Search for them and mark them for installation, together with whatever comes up sugested for installation.

Click on Apply and then again on Apply on the popup window and wait a few minutes for the packages to be installed. Close the Changes applied window by clicking on Close

You can now close Synaptic. Click on File -> Quit

Open a terminal by selecting on the top bar Applications -> Accessories -> Terminal

Now we have to install the perl module that gives some of the plotting capabilities of PDL, which is called PGPLOT. We must get into CPAN shell mode, by writing on the terminal

 sudo perl -MCPAN -e shell

Type no when the question Are you ready for manual configuration? comes up.

Now type

 install ExtUtils::F77

and then

 install PGPLOT

Take the default proposal when asked Default Device for plot tests? by just hitting the ENTER key.

Get out of the CPAN shell window by typing


Now, on the regular terminal shell write


This will let you use the PDL command line. In there you can type demo to get a list of demos. Run any of them to get a feeling for PDL.

Et voila!!


Wiki: Installing_PDL_the_quick_and_easy_way