Thursday, July 14, 2011

Using gnuplot to make simple line graphs.

Gnu plot is an amazing tool. It's great for generating quick plots from bash. I've had my programs generate statistical data and then thrown it into gnuplot so I can better understand how my program is behaving. Unfortunately every time I use it I end up having to go back to the web to relearn the basic syntax of creating a line graph. I'm going to try and save myself some time by documenting the basic usage here.

To draw a simple line graph first place the points to draw in a separate file in this case named ""

Now create the gnuplot script:

The pause line at the end keeps the gnuplot from flashing the graph and then immediately exiting. When you execute gnuplot you'll see the following:

There is a ton more you can do with gnuplot like generate png files, create different types of graphs, but I've found that as a simple programming tool this gets me 90% there. For more information checkout the gnuplot homepage.  Happy plotting