Whole Tale supports the creation, publication, and execution of Tales that rely on MATLAB software. We provide three different interfaces to MATLAB including the Web Desktop (available with MATLAB R2020b and greater), JuptyerLab with MATLAB kernel (all supported versions), and Linux Desktop via XPRA (all supported versions).

Use of MATLAB is subject to our Terms of Use.

Web Desktop

Available with MATLAB R2020b and greater, the web desktop provides access to the new MATLAB Online-style IDE that can be used from any standard web browser. The web desktop experience will be familiar to all MATLAB users.


Jupyter with MATLAB Kernel

Available for any supported version of MATLAB, the JupyterLab IDE with MATLAB kernel can be used to create and run MATLAB code or Jupyter notebooks using the MATLAB kernel. The JupyterLab terminal provides access to a Linux shell environment to run MATLAB code.


Linux Desktop via XPRA

Available for any supported version of MATLAB, Xpra HTML5 client provides remote access to the native MATLAB Linux desktop.


Customizing Your MATLAB Environment

In Whole Tale, users must declare their dependencies in a set of simple text files that are used to build a Docker image. For more information, see Customizing the Environment.

Technical Details

MATLAB Installation Media

Whole Tale requires access to the installation media for each supported release of MATLAB. Downloadable ISO images from Mathworks are converted to Docker images used for installation of the base MATLAB software and selected toolboxes. These images are private to the Whole Tale system, but anyone with an appropriate license should be able to access them from Mathworks. Instructions for creating the installation image are available in the matlab-install repository.

MATLAB BuildPack

To support the creation of custom MATLAB environments, Whole Tale has created a Binder- compatible buildpack. MATLAB environments begin with only the base MATLAB software installed and users can customize selected toolboxes by listing them in a toolboxes.txt file. The purpose of this is minimize image sizes at the time of publication by enabling the selection of only those packages required for reproduction. For example, see

License Information

Access to MATLAB on the Whole Tale platform is provided by institutional licenses from the University of Texas at Austin and Indiana University through the NSF Jetstream Cloud service. Tales that are published/exported and run outside of the Whole Tale system will require you to provide your own license information.

As noted in our Terms of Use, MATLAB on Whole Tale is for academic use only.