Setting up Eigen

Posted on August 20, 2012

What is Eigen?

Eigen is a C++ template library for linear algebra: matrices, vectors, numerical solvers, and related algorithms. It is completely contained within header files, there’s no library linking, and it is standard C++98, it should compile on everything recent.

Why Eigen

Eigen is efficient, trusted for scientific applications, and doesn’t have amateur limitations which custom implementation usually have.



Follow the UNIX-like instructions.

Packages do not install it the same way, the debian package for example will install to eigen3/Eigen.


Follow the UNIX-Like instructions.

Brew for some reason wants to compile extra stuff in FORTRAN, which doesn’t make much sense for a header only library.


Execute the following. If there is a newer version of Eigen avaliable,

cd Downloads
tar -xzvf 3.1.1.tar.gz
cd eigen-eigen-43d9075b23ef
sudo cp -r Eigen /usr/local/include/


This one is actually simple, as there are no libraries.

Go and download the zip archive, unzip it and go into the folder, it should be named eigen-eigen- and then part of a seemingly random string of hexadecimal characters. Open until you see several folders, including Eigen.

Open in another window your Visual Studio VC directory. Mine for example is like C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 10.0\VC Go to the include directory, and paste the Eigen folder in.

I believe you are done now.


Generated Documentation holds several tutorials and advanced topics.

It provides many code examples with the outputs for what was executed.

Overall it seems like this is one of the best documented libraries I’ve seen so far.