System Requirements

  • Windows / macOS / Linux – 64-bit
  • MATLAB R2017a or later (R2019a+ for visual method of making experiments, R2021a+ recommended)
    PsychBench does not run in GNU Octave.
  • Psychtoolbox most recent version (free)
  • Psychtoolbox requires GStreamer (free). See here for the Psychtoolbox page on GStreamer, which contains important notes. Links to the version Psychtoolbox currently recommends are:
            Windows: GStreamer 64-bit MSVC runtime 1.22.5
            macOS (Intel and ARM): GStreamer runtime 1.22.1
            Linux: generally already installed
            Note Homebrew installations of GStreamer will not work.

Psychtoolbox requirements

More specific requirements come from Psychtoolbox, and may depend on the functionality you need. For full information see Following are some of the main points in brief, assuming the most recent version of Psychtoolbox at the time of writing (

    Psychtoolbox tested on R2023b but generally works on other recent versions.
  • Windows:
    Psychtoolbox tested and supported on Windows 10 version 22H2.
    Compatible with Windows 7/8 but support is not available and this may fail to work soon.
    * Medium visual timing precision.
  • macOS:
    Psychtoolbox lightly tested and supported on Ventura on Intel Macs.
    Compatible with earlier versions but support is not available.
    * Our own light testing with PsychBench suggests reasonable compatibility of Psychtoolbox with ARM Macs, with MATLAB running in Rosetta 2 emulation (not ARM-native). However, support is not available from Psychtoolbox.
    * Least good visual timing precision. Not recommended for running precise timing experiments.
  • Linux:
    Psychtoolbox tested and supported on the most recent Ubuntu LTS version.
    Compatible with other versions and distributions but support may not be available.
    * Best visual timing precision. Recommended for precise timing experiments.
  • See Psychtoolbox webpage above on graphics hardware and other needs.

(Compatibility Settings)

If you see problems like failing to open or close the experiment window (especially on Mac, sometimes on Windows), you may want to use pb_prefs → screen → disable Psychtoolbox sync tests and/or enable system compositor
(or on MATLAB versions earlier than R2021a: add lines <cd>screen.doSyncTests = -1; screen.useCompositor = true;<cd> to the script pb_prefs opens). Note this generally reduces timing precision, but Psychtoolbox recommends not running precise timing experiments on such systems anyway. You can still develop and test precise timing experiments and/or run experiments that don't need precise timing. For more information from Psychtoolbox, see SyncTrouble.