Why does MATLAB get stuck in the “Initializing” or “Busy” state or take a long time to start?

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MATLAB opens but the status states ‘Initializing’ or ‘Busy’ for a long time. MATLAB takes a long time to launch with or without a remote license manager.

It can happen that even if Matlab starts, it is stuck on initializing, you press some key, like Enter and then you get “Busy”.

I’ve found this problem on my Ubuntu 12.04 server and this can also be related to the pathdef.m file.

If you are trying to add path that are non-existent or on folders mounted on sshfs you can have this kind of problem. So be sure to edit your pathdef.m (the one matlab is loading).

Since this generally happens with the graphical interface of Matlab, start a shell interface.

$> matlab -nodesktop -nosplash
< M A T L A B (R) >
 Copyright 1984-2013 The MathWorks, Inc.
 R2013a (8.1.0.604) 64-bit (glnxa64)
 February 15, 2013
To get started, type one of these: helpwin, helpdesk, or demo.
For product information, visit www.mathworks.com.

then check your path:

>> path

and see what it’s containing. Then if it contains folders that are not accessible because sshfs failed to mount your partition, then delete them from the pathdef.m file, exit matlab and restart it in graphic mode.

This should solve your problem.