GNU Scientific Library 1.8 review

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The GNU Scientific Library (GSL) is a numerical library for C and C++ programmers

License: GPL (GNU General Public License)
File size: 2363K
Developer: The GSL Team
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The GNU Scientific Library (GSL) is a numerical library for C and C++ programmers. It is free software under the GNU General Public License.

GNU Scientific Library provides a wide range of mathematical routines such as random number generators, special functions and least-squares fitting. There are over 1000 functions in total with an extensive test suite.

Installation Instructions:

GSL follows the standard GNU installation procedure. To compile GSL you will need an ANSI C-compiler. After unpacking the distribution the Makefiles can be prepared using the configure command,


You can then build the library by typing,


Both static and shared versions of the libraries will be compiled by default. Compilation of shared libraries can be turned off by specifying the `--disable-shared' option to `configure', e.g.

./configure --disable-shared

If you encounter problems building the library try using the above option, because some platforms do not support shared libraries.

For notes about problems with specific platforms and compilers see the next section of this file (below).

An extensive test suite is available. After compiling the library with "make", it can be invoked with "make check" at the top level. The test output should be directed to a file rather than a terminal, with the command,

make check > log 2>&1

to allow any errors to be examined in detail. By default, only test failures are shown. To see the complete output, set the environment variable GSL_TEST_VERBOSE=1.

If you run the tests and get some failures, please see the notes on platform specific problems below. If you find failures that are not mentioned, please report them to

The library can be installed using the command,

make install

The default installation directory prefix is /usr/local. Consult the "Further Information" section below for instructions on installing the library in another location or changing other default compilation options.

What's New in This Release:
Support for discrete cumulative distribution functions was added along with new, faster Gaussian and gamma random generators.
Reported bugs were fixed.

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