Octave tries to be a Matlab clone. One feature that is missing is the GUI of Matlab, where you can see the variables, types and other context related to your current session. Octave now has this type of GUI as an experimental feature, introduced in version 3.8.
Check if you have Octave version 3.8 or later:
$ octave --version
If you have an older version, then upgrade to the latest version using Octave's PPA:
$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:octave/stable $ sudo apt-get update $ sudo apt install octave
To launch Octave with its GUI:
$ octave --force-gui
Tried with: Octave 3.8.1 and Ubuntu 14.04