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You can run an interactive MATLAB session on the login node, to do some quick tests, but larger calculations must be submitted through the batch system. In order to start an interactive MATLAB session, load the matlab module and type the command matlab.

[sfux@eu-login-03 ~]$ module load matlab/8.2
[sfux@eu-login-03 ~]$ matlab -nodisplay -nojvm -singleCompThread
Warning: No display specified.  You will not be able to display graphics on the screen.
Warning: No window system found.  Java option 'Desktop' ignored.

                                                   < M A T L A B (R) >
                                         Copyright 1984-2013 The MathWorks, Inc.
                                           R2013b ( 64-bit (glnxa64)
                                                     August 13, 2013

No window system found.  Java option 'Desktop' ignored.

To get started, type one of these: helpwin, helpdesk, or demo.
For product information, visit

>> vpa(exp(1),50)                                                                                                             
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If you have established an SSH connection with X11 forwarding enabled, then the matlab command will start the MATLAB GUI.