Installing DataJoint for MATLAB

Here we will cover installing DataJoint library for MATLAB and configuring it to connect to a database server. If you don’t have a database server configured yet, be sure to checkout Getting connected to a database first!

System requirements

DataJoint for MATLAB requires MATLAB R2015b or later to function properly. Verify that you have the right MATLAB version before proceeding with the tutorial.

Installing the DataJoint Toolbox

The entire source code for DataJoint MATLAB is made available at datajoint/datajoint-matlab GitHub repository. Although you can certainly download and use DataJoint directly from the source code, DataJoint is available as a custom toolbox that you can download from MATLAB File Exchange. Follow these simple instructions to install DataJoint toolbox:

  1. Navigate to DataJoint toolbox on MATLAB File Exchange.
  2. Click on Download button and select Toolbox to start downloading the toolbox.
  3. Once the download completes, click on the downloaded DataJoint.mltbx. This will launch MATLAB automatically and bring up a pop up dialog showing details about the toolbox.
  4. Clock on Install button and follow the instructions on the screen to install the DataJoint toolbox.

And that’s it! To verify that the toolbox was properly installed, run the following command in MATLAB:

>> dj.version

If that prints out the DataJoint version without an error, you are good to go!

Upgrading DataJoint

If you already have an older version of DataJoint toolbox installed on your system and you wish to upgrade to the latest version, you can simply follow the same exact installation steps as above to download and install the latest available version of the DataJoint for MATLAB toolbox.

Configuring DataJoint

Now that you have DataJoint installed, let’s configure the library to connect to the database server. Whichever option you have selected from Getting connected to a database, you will need three pieces of information to connect to the database server: the database address, username and password.


If you have signed up for a tutorial database at you should have received an email with instructions on how to connect to the database, including the host address, username, and your temporary password.


If you have followed the Setting Up a Local Database Server tutorial to setup a local database in Docker, your host address will be, with username root and password tutorial.


If you have a non-local database server setup for your lab/institution that you would like to connect to, simply use the host address, username and password for the target database server. These information are typically provided by your database administrator.

Start MATLAB and type in the following commands:

>> setenv('DJ_HOST', 'HOST_ADDRESS')
>> setenv('DJ_USER', 'USER_NAME')
>> setenv('DJ_PASS', 'PASSWORD')

This sets the environmental variables with setenv that configure the DataJoint connection: The address of the database (DJ_HOST), the user name (DJ_USER), and the password (DJ_PASS). Be sure to replace 'HOST_ADDRESS', 'USER_NAME', and 'PASSWORD' with the actual values for your database connection! Note that these values have to be provided as character array in quotes ' '

Now that we have updated the connection configuration, let’s check the connection status by calling dj.conn():

>> dj.conn()

When you call it for the very first time after the installation, the above command will trigger the downloading of a few extra libraries needed for DataJoint and thus may take some time. If everything works, you should get a prompt like the following:

>> dj.conn()

 0: via TCP/IP             Server version 5.7.17


 ans =

 Connection with properties:

             host: ''
             user: 'root'
        initQuery: ''
    inTransaction: 0
           connId: 0
         packages: [0×1 containers.Map]
      foreignKeys: [0×0 struct]
      isConnected: 1

If you get a message that looks like above, then congratulations! You have just successfully accessed the database server using DataJoint!


The exact message will look different depending on what database server you are connected to.

Changing password

Once connected, you can easily change your password using dj.setPassword

>> dj.setPassword('your-new-password')

and that’s it!


If you have signed up to and are connected to the tutorial database on, it is strongly recommeded that you change your password from the temporary password that was sent to you in the email!

What’s next?

If everything went well, you now have a fully functional developement environment for DataJoint, with a database server. You can now move onto Building your first data pipeline to start learning how to use DataJoint to design and build data pipelines, or explore any other tutorials in this site to learn specific features of DataJoint.