Posting this question on behalf of GNU Octave trying to troubleshoot execution problems. We've recently had a handful of Windows users install the software and be unable to run the program. Often they get no errors, messages, or useful feedback, they double click the startup icon and nothing happens.
In a recent case, we were able to work with the user to narrow the problem down to his system being unable to execute VBS scripts. Octave uses an
octave.vbs file (called with wscript) to set path and environment variables and start the program.
Current diagnostic attempts:
- The user created a simple test script on his desktop as per this example to just pop up a system dialog. He is unable to execute the script, and gets no popup or error message.
- Had him move the file to different locations, like
C:\temp, the same folder as Octave, etc., and the file would not execute.
- Verified wscript's existence by having him run
wscriptfrom the run dialog, and the "Windows Script Host Settings" dialog popped up.
- Right clicking the script file and checking Open With shows the default file association is with "Microsoft windows based script host" as it should be (and clicking that produces no script execution.)
- Shift-right click and 'run as administrator' makes no difference.
- Temporarily disabling Antivirus real time protection makes no difference.
- Checked registry entries to make sure there is no Enabled=0 key as per this article (there is not).
Can anyone provide guidance on what Windows or other settings would prevent vbs scripts from running, and how we can correct this issue? Or what further things to check to identify the problem? Is there some new default security setting in Windows or coming with updates that would account for this?
User is running Windows 10 Home and the built-in Windows Defender and the latest updates. It's not a managed system. No special security settings were ever changed deliberately/knowingly by him. Version info below:
- Windows specifications:
- Edition: Windows 10 Home
- Version: 2004
- Installed on: 2020-01-10
- OS build: 19041.421
- Experience: Windows Feature Experience Pack 120.2212.31.0
For reference the original discussion thread with this problem can be found on the Octave discussion forum, but I think I've captured all relevant information above.
EDIT: Adding a note from a maintainer list discussion - for users that cannot run a vbs file for any reason, the
octave.bat file is still present on the system, located in the
mingw64/bin folder. A user can change the desktop shortcuts to point to that file instead of the
octave.vbs file and octave should run without issue, although there might be some aesthetic changes with additional command prompt windows visible at times.
EDIT2: just a note for posterity - Since Octave 7, vbs scripts are no longer used to launch the program. A
octave-launch.exe file is used instead. The
.bat launchers are still present, but VBS launch issues as described in this question are now less of an issue.