I've installed octave with homebrew (via brew install octave), and it seems to work fine, including gnuplot support. However, it looks like it's missing curl support. I'm getting the message "error: urlread: curl: No error" when trying to execute str = urlread(url, 'post', params).

I've tried making homebrew install curl by adding depends_on 'curl' to the octave formula and setting the CPPFLAGS and LDFLAGS environment variables to point to homebrew curl, but that didn't seem to change anything.

  • Is cURL in your path? What does which curl say?
    – Ian C.
    Commented Mar 21, 2012 at 19:17
  • Good point Ian. Note that curl is part of Darwin so it is on the path. It's installed on Macs by default in /usr/bin/. If that is what the output of the call to which reports then it could be the issue. You could simply put an alias statement in your .bashrc to point to the homebrew install. Aliasing a call to curl will only work from the terminal (or something else that sources your .bashrc).
    – ephsmith
    Commented Jun 23, 2012 at 21:01
  • It's probably not actually shelling out to curl; it's using libcurl, according to the Octave readline doco at gnu.org/software/octave/doc/interpreter/URL-Manipulation.html. And it's probably finding libcurl fine, since it comes with the os like @ephsmith says. May be an error with the particular URL or parms combo. Does a simpler str = urlread('www.example.com') work? Try POSTing to some other simpler URLs? Commented May 2, 2013 at 4:54
  • Try using RequestBin (requestb.in) to test it, so you can isolate the URL you're hitting from the urlread mechanism. A default Homebrew Octave install on OS X 10.8.3 works fine for me, hitting requestb.in with a post: urlread('http://requestb.in/1c3x8id1', 'post', {'hello','world'}) succeeds. Commented May 2, 2013 at 18:31

1 Answer 1


I had a similar problem a while back that was caused by having my proxies set up funny. I ended up disabling them to get it to install.

Also, are you sure curl is installed correctly? You could try installing it manually as well: http://curl.haxx.se/docs/install.html

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