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About the MATLAB Runtime

The MATLAB® Runtime is a standalone set of shared libraries, MATLAB code, and other files that enables the execution of MATLAB files on computers without an installed version of MATLAB. Applications that use artifacts built with MATLAB Compiler SDK™ require access to an appropriate version of the MATLAB Runtime to run.

End-users of compiled artifacts without access to MATLAB must install the MATLAB Runtime on their computers or know the location of a network-installed MATLAB Runtime. The installers generated by the compiler apps may include the MATLAB Runtime installer. If you compiled your artifact using mcc, you should direct your end-users to download the MATLAB Runtime installer from the website

See Install and Configure MATLAB Runtime for more information.

How is the MATLAB Runtime Different from MATLAB?

The MATLAB Runtime differs from MATLAB in several important ways:

  • In the MATLAB Runtime, MATLAB files are encrypted and immutable.

  • MATLAB has a desktop graphical interface. The MATLAB Runtime has all the MATLAB functionality without the graphical interface.

  • The MATLAB Runtime is version-specific. You must run your applications with the version of the MATLAB Runtime associated with the version of MATLAB Compiler SDK with which it was created. For example, if you compiled an application using version 6.3 (R2016b) of MATLAB Compiler™, users who do not have MATLAB installed must have version 9.1 of the MATLAB Runtime installed. Use mcrversion to return the version number of the MATLAB Runtime.

  • The MATLAB paths in a MATLAB Runtime instance are fixed and cannot be changed. To change them, you must first customize them within MATLAB.

Performance Considerations and the MATLAB Runtime

MATLAB Compiler SDK was designed to work with a large range of applications that use the MATLAB programming language. Because of this, run-time libraries are large.

Since the MATLAB Runtime technology provides full support for the MATLAB language, including the Java® programming language, starting a compiled application takes approximately the same amount of time as starting MATLAB. The amount of resources consumed by the MATLAB Runtime is necessary in order to retain the power and functionality of a full version of MATLAB.

Calls into the MATLAB Runtime are serialized so calls into the MATLAB Runtime are threadsafe. This can impact performance.