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Why do I get a "MATLABWindow application failed to launch" error when launching Live Editor, App Designer, or any other MATLAB/Simulink UIs on Ubuntu 18.04 using MATLAB R2017b or R2018a?

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I have recently upgraded to Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. When I try to open App Designer, Live Editor, or any other MATLAB/Simulink UIs, I get the following error message:
ERROR: >> appdesignerError using appdesservices.internal.browser.WebWindowController/startBrowser (line 87)
Unable to start App Designer due to an internal error.
MATLABWindow application failed to launch. Unable to launch the MATLABWindow application
or I get a modal dialog (pop-up box) with the following text:
The Live Editor is unable to run in the current system configuration.
For more information, see Live Editor Requirements
The above window appears despite all the published Live Editor requirements being satisfied. What could be causing this on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and how can it be fixed?

Accepted Answer

MathWorks Support Team
MathWorks Support Team on 6 Jan 2021
Edited: MathWorks Support Team on 6 Jan 2021
Issue summary:
This is occurring due to a library incompatibility between Ubuntu 18.04 and MATLAB R2017b/18a. MATLAB R2017b and R2018a were built using libglib-2.0.so.0 version 4200 and version 5400 respectively. However, Ubuntu 18.04 ships with libglib-2.0.so.0 version 5600. Therefore at run-time, one of MATLAB's calls to the libglib-2.0.so.0 library fails when the expected symbol is not found in the older version of the library. 
To narrow-down the issue to exactly the one described here, please try running the following code on the affected system:\n
>> w = matlab.internal.webwindow('http://mathworks.com')
The above line of code will show the following error message on systems which are affected by this issue: \n\n
ERROR: Error using matlab.internal.webwindow (line 310)
MATLABWindow application failed to launch. Unable to launch the MATLABWindow application
\n
Workaround:
The workaround for this issue is identical to one published in a previous bug report for a MATLAB R2017b issue with Ubuntu 17.10: 
The workaround requires modifying one of the libraries in the MATLAB installation directory. Note that the first line below may need to be changed if MATLAB is not installed in the default location. Additionally, this may require administrator privileges on your system: 
# cd /usr/local/MATLAB/R2017b
# cd cefclient/sys/os/glnxa64
# mkdir exclude
# mv libglib-2.0.so* exclude/
# exit
\nOnce the libglib-2.0.so libraries are moved, please try running the following code again:
>> w = matlab.internal.webwindow('mathworks.com')
>> w.show
\nIf the workaround has been applied correctly, the above code will launch a mini-browser window that shows the mathworks.com website.
The MATLAB developers are aware of this issue and may provide a fix for this in a future MATLAB update. 

  6 Comments

Show 3 older comments
Bernard Beitz
Bernard Beitz on 25 Aug 2020
"The MATLAB developers are aware of this issue and may provide a fix for this in a future MATLAB update." Yes, please. Your solution solved the exact same issue I had today with R2020a.

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