GNUPLOT Version 5.2.4 Release Notes

These release notes are for version 5.2 patchlevel 4 (5.2.4).

This release contains
- a fix for a serious regression in 5.2.3 (spurious evaluation of logscale coordinates as UNDEFINED)
- re-implementation of the "refresh" command to correct regressions in 5.2.0 through 5.2.3
- sanity checks for several invalid command sequences found by fuzzing - several minor bug-fixes
- two recent minor changes back-ported from the development version

Please see the ChangeLog file for a complete list of changes made during the course of development from 5.0 to 5.2.

Release Notes date: 31-May-2018






Backward compatibility

Gnuplot development assigns very high priority to backward compatibility with earlier versions. However changes introduced in version 5 can affect the operation of some version 4 scripts. Please see section "Differences from Version 4" in the User Manual.

Deprecated commands

The "update" command is still recognized in version 5.2 but is deprecated and will be removed in the next version. Use "save fit" instead.

Scope of variables

The control variable of an iteration loop is strictly limited in scope to the iteration it controls. The value of any previous variable with that name is restored after iteration. The same is true for an iteration associated with a sampling range in a plot or splot command.

Other minor changes


Demo plots illustrating new and old features are online at



Obsolete or deprecated components

The "gnuplot mode" elisp and TeX files for use with emacs are now maintained as a separate project: so there is no longer a configuration option --with-lisp-files.

The TeX tutorial produced by --with-tutorial is horribly out of date.

./configure --enable-backwards-compatibility will allow use of some deprecated syntax from old gnuplot versions. However the result of using these deprecated commands may not match the old version output.

Configuration options for interactive use

The 5.2 source code supports three primary cross-platform interactive modes in addition to several platform-specific modes.

  1. Qt The qt terminal supports interactive display with menu-driven output to png, svg or pdf. If either Qt4 or Qt5 is detected by the configure script, this will be the default terminal. It is now the fastest and most full-featured interactive terminal option.

    To disable this terminal:

    ./configure --without-qt

    To force use of Qt4 even if Qt5 is present:

    ./configure --with-qt=qt4

  2. Cairo/pango/wxWidgets This set of terminals includes
  3. X11 (the "classic" interactive interface)

    This used to be the preferred interactive interface, but the newer wxt and qt terminals offer nicer output and a wider range of features.

Options for output to files

Of course the terminals (output modes) present in previous gnuplot versions are also still available. These include, among many more obscure options:

Options for generating interactive plots for web display



You can download a source tarball for gnuplot version 5.2.3 from the gnuplot development site on SourceForge.

Installation instructions are available in the source itself; the short version for linux/unix-like systems is to unpack the tarball and then

build it:
      cd gnuplot-5.2.3 ; ./configure ; make
test it:
      make check
install it:
      make install

Pay careful attention to the output of the ./configure script. It may indicate that some output drivers have been omitted because the necessary support libraries were not found. In general you need to have previously installed the "-devel-" versions of these libraries.


Please report all bugs and installation problems to the bug tracker on SourceForge:

There is also an gnuplot discussion forum on usenet group


Gnuplot development is ongoing. The development branch contains preliminary implementations of new features. The current development version is 5.3 (odd minor number) and will eventually be released as version 5.4 (even minor number). Bugfixes to version 5.2 will appear in patchlevel releases 5.2.1, 5.2.2, etc., approximately twice a year or as needed to correct a serious problem.

Note: development has recently moved from cvs to git. Many of the files in the 5.2.4 source distribution still contain a cvs version identifier $RCSid and date, but these are not current if the file has been changed since the move to git.