Fix Matlab network license authorization loop on Linux

Matlab R2015b and newer on Linux have an issue writing network.lic, even when running as sudo. This results in an license authorization loop every time you start Matlab, which becomes unusable.

Fix Matlab network license authorization

In short, install Matlab to an /opt subdirectory owned by your non-root, non-sudo user. Yes, other users will be able to run Matlab too.

  1. Make a directory that will be owned by any user other than root. Assume your username is joe

     sudo mkdir /opt/matlab
     sudo chown joe:joe /opt/matlab
  2. Start the Matlab install NOT as root or sudo

  3. Choose to install to a directory under /opt/matlab say /opt/matlab/r2016b
  4. Activate via Internet and sign in, selecting the network license key
  5. select the license.dat file from your institution

Now you can start Matlab as any user on that machine.