Loading mat files in matlab created from octave

191 views (last 30 days)
I have this .mat file created from octave, which contains structures. When I wanted to load the mat files from matlab, it shows an error. How to load these files?
>> y = load('murikhao.mat')
Error using load
Unable to read MAT-file murikhao.mat: not a binary MAT-file.
Try LOAD -ASCII to read as text.
adding '-ascii' parameter didnt help.

Accepted Answer

Robert on 30 Nov 2014
Really late reply, but I came across this issue today and wanted to post the solution. Try using the option -mat7-binary in your octave save command.
save -mat7-binary 'filename' 'var1' 'var2'
I'm using R2014a on my osx host and octave 3.8.1 on a linux vm.
Michael Jung
Michael Jung on 15 Sep 2016
Thanks all. This worked perfectly for me as well. R2016a on Ubuntu16.04 OS

Sign in to comment.

More Answers (4)

James Tursa
James Tursa on 3 Jul 2014
If MATLAB can't load it, then I would guess that it was not written properly in Octave. Double check the way Octave is writing this file.
Stephen23 on 18 Oct 2018
Edited: Stephen23 on 19 Oct 2018
"this is something that mathworks should fix"
Octave's default so-called .mat file format is not a binary .mat file at all, it is in fact a text file format that Octave developed for itself. This is explained in the Octave documentation: "Save the data in Octave’s text data format. (default)". This proprietary text format is not (and never has been) compatible with any of the publicly documented .mat binary file formats. Note that Octave does support reading/writing proper binary .mat files, so this issue only relates to their nonsensical decision to make a text file which is incompatible with MATLAB's own .mat operations the Octave default. You would have to ask the Octave developers why they made that decision.
So why should TMW "fix" Octave's bad design decision? Should MATLAB fix the bad design decisions of every other language too? Where does this stop?

Sign in to comment.

kkyaj on 19 Oct 2018
"_this issue only relates to their nonsensical decision to make a text file which is incompatible with MATLAB_"
Is this to suggest that MATLAB is somehow fundamentally incapable of reading octave text files? Every other format I've thrown at Matlab seems to be readable (read "compatible") using some script or toolbar.
Stephen23 on 19 Oct 2018
Edited: Stephen23 on 19 Oct 2018
"Is this to suggest that MATLAB is somehow fundamentally incapable of reading octave text files?"
Not at all, I explained that Octave's proprietary text format is incompatible with MATLAB's optimized .mat operations, which I think is completely reasonable: TMW designed the .mat format, and those operators are designed to work with exactly that format.
Of course MATLAB's textfile importing tools can import the proprietary Octave text file format, and you could even write a little routine that parses the contents back into the correct variable classes (at least, as much as is reasonable for transferring data between two different applications that might support quite different classes, etc.).
"this is something that mathworks should fix"
To be honest this is very strange discussion. Consider that someone develops a spreadsheet tool (lets call it "Octcell") and decides to use the file extension .xls for their own Octcell mark-up text file: would we be surprised that Microsoft Excel does not handle the Octcell text files like its own binary .xls files, and throws an error? Who would we complain to: the Octcell designer who decided to use the already existing .xls file extension for a totally unrelated file format; to the Octcell users who don't read the documentation; or to Microsoft because of Octcell's incompatible textfile format? What happens when Octcell forks into one thousand derivative projects, each developing their own special textfile format... can all of those projects demand that Microsoft has to recognize their totally incompatible proprietary textfile formats as being exactly equivalent to its binary .xls files? Where does this end?
That sounds like a fun weekend project: write a word processor ("Octword") that saves its own special, essentially undocumented text file with a .doc file extension, upload Octword onto the web, and then complain to Microsoft that Word must be buggy because it does not load Octword's special .doc files. I wonder what their reply would be.

Sign in to comment.

kkyaj on 19 Oct 2018
"proprietary octave text format"
i admit ignorance here and won't argue semantics, but i never thought of gnu projects as having proprietary components.
i do understand and accept your arguments here, although i still see no reason for matlab to include no support to octave *.mat files by overloading the 'load' function or including a '-octave' flag. i know that it would have saved me hours of work in the past.
Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 20 Oct 2018
Built-in Variable: default_save_format
This variable specifies the default format for the save command. It should have one of the following values: "ascii", "binary", float-binary, or "mat-binary". The initial default save format is Octave's text format.

Sign in to comment.

kkyaj on 20 Oct 2018
Edited: kkyaj on 20 Oct 2018
The default_save_format in octave is a nice feature which I did know existed. Thanks, Walter. That is helpful.
I believe that we agree the solution to "how can i load octave *.mat files not written in mat-binary format into matlab?" is that matlab will not do this natively.
One needs to externally load/resave using octave (with '-mat7-binary' flag) or scipy (with io.loadmat, io.savemat), which is to say that there is no matlab solution to this.
  1 Comment
Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 22 Oct 2018
It is possible that someone has written code to import octave save format into MATLAB, but that functionality is not built into MATLAB.

Sign in to comment.

Community Treasure Hunt

Find the treasures in MATLAB Central and discover how the community can help you!

Start Hunting!