Installation and updates

Brainstorm is available in two distinct forms: an open-source Matlab application (Matlab license required) and a stand-alone Java executable (Matlab license not required).
Both are available for download in the same package.


With Matlab

Without Matlab

Hardware recommendations

Working with MEG/EEG recordings involves a lot of computational resources and large display windows. Therefore we recommand that you use a computer with a decent processing capacity and a screen larger than 13".

You would also add to your comfort by using an external mouse instead of your laptop pad. Most of the manipulations are done with the mouse, and some involve an intensive use of the scrolling operation. A mouse wheel or the "two-finger move" on MacBooks are perfect for this, but this operation is not always easy to perform on some laptops.


  1. Go to the Download page, complete the quick and free registration process
    (it helps us keep track of our users' demographics)

  2. Download the latest archive
  3. Unzip it somewhere on your computer, for example:

    • Windows: Program Files\brainstorm3

    • Linux: /usr/local/brainstorm3 (or ~/brainstorm3 if you are not admin)

    • MacOS: Applications/brainstorm3

  4. Create a new folder "brainstorm_db" for the Brainstorm database, for example:

    • Windows: My documents\brainstorm_db

    • Linux: /home/username/brainstorm_db

    • MacOS: Documents/brainstorm_db

Start Brainstorm

With Matlab

  1. Start Matlab
  2. Do NOT add brainstorm3 folder to your path: this will be done automatically

  3. Go to the brainstorm3 folder
  4. Type "brainstorm" in the command window
  5. When asked for the location of the Brainstorm database folder, pick the folder "brainstorm_db" you have just created
  6. We recommend you visit the Tutorials pages to learn how to use most features of the software.

Without Matlab

  1. Download the MCR R2014a (8.3) for your operating system: Mathworks website

  2. Install the MCR:
    • Windows: Double-click on the .exe and follow the instructions
    • Linux: From a terminal, unzip .zip, then run ./install
    • MacOS: Click on the zip file to unzip it, then click on "InstallForMacOSX".
  3. Run the program in brainstorm3/bin/R2014a/
    • Windows: Double-click on brainstorm3.bat

    • MacOS: Double-click on brainstorm3.command and wait for instructions

    • Linux: From a terminal, run:
      cd brainstorm3/bin/R2014a/

  4. Problems with MacOS or Linux:
    • From a terminal, make sure that the file "brainstorm3.command" is executable:
      chmod a+x brainstorm3.command

    • If nothing happens, run:
      ./brainstorm3.command MCR_DIR
      MCR_DIR is the MCR 8.3 folder (ex: /Applications/MATLAB/MCR/v83)

    • Try with another binary release: Matlab 2012b, Matlab 2013b

  5. On Linux or MacOS, you will be prompted to select the folder where you installed the MCR.
  6. When asked for the Brainstorm database folder, pick the "brainstorm_db" you have just created.
  7. Follow all the 12+3 introduction tutorials: Tutorials


Brainstorm is quickly improving and evolving. We have chosen not to go through a stable-release policy but rather, we established a quick and easy way to update the software seamlessly for you. Although this approach has its shares of risks of possibly seeing new bugs emerging from the most recent update, it has the great advantage of being dynamic and of rapidly disseminating new, important features. We encourage our users to report bugs through our forum, and our experience shows fixes are completed quickly enough to avoid disruptive downtime to our users.

For these reasons, we recommend that you update Brainstorm regularly using the following options:

Installation (last edited 2014-05-06 21:41:23 by agrippa)