Installing gnuplot on Windows

[updated Sep 2012]

If you are still stuck with using windows for whatever reason, don’t despair you can still use gnuplot to plot your graphs! You can get gnuplot from the gnuplot project page on sourceforge.

Browse versions to go to directory with latest updates.

Download (or latest version) which is a self extracting zip file, click on it and follow the instructions. (you don’t need to have winzip installed). You just have to copy the files to a directory on your computer, then make a shortcut to wgnuplot.

It is also useful to install ghostview, you need gs860w32.exe and gs49w32.exe (or higher?) which allows you to view postscript graphs made with gnuplot, you can copy from ghostview to the windows clipboard to insert into your word document if you so desire.

Instructions for installing ghostview can be found here;



  1. I found an alternative way which also works, installing cygwin. Cygwin allows you to have a bash shell on windows, and also enables x11 protocal for drawing xwindows. On top of the base install, in the setup, you can select gnuplot, gcc c compiler, as well as fortran compilers g77 and gfortran, as well as lots of other GPL/free software goodies.

    • how to run gnuplot in cygwin.I have installed gnuplot also from cygwin setup but still it shows an error
      gnuplot: unable to open display’ ‘
      gnuplot:x11 aborted

      • I can’t test right now but I assume that it should be possible to run
        gnuplot inside the standard cygwin terminal.

        Does this error occur when you first start gnuplot with “gnuplot”
        command at terminal, or later when you try to plot graph? In later case
        it should still be possible to use other output terminal types of
        gnuplot using “set terminal postscript” or “set terminal svg” for

        If you want to use X11 terminal type output for gnuplot you need to
        start an X11 terminal in cygwin (which requires that you have X11
        installed, and that the x11 server is started).

  2. Thanks, Installing worked ok, but I’m having trouble running gnuplot from a bat file on win xp from cmd.

    What I want it to do, as part of other stuff, is to plot a graph of data from a file (c:\plot.dat) in a window and to continue the bat file. What happens is I keep getting the gnuplot prompt and the bat file stops until I type quit.

    I’m guessing that there is extra parameter(s) needed when calling gnuplot from a bat file – btw should I use wgnuplot?

    I’m using c:\gnuplot\binary\gnuplot plot ‘c:\plot.dat

    Anyone any ideas?



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