Content-type: text/html Man page of MATHEMATICA


Section: User Commands (1)
Updated: 22 July 2000
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mathematica - Mathematica system for X  




The mathematica command runs the full Mathematica system including the notebook front end under X.

Mathematica is an integrated system for technical computing, with extensive numerical, symbolic, graphical, programming, and interfacing capabilities.

The mathematica command starts the Mathematica notebook front end, which calls the Mathematica kernel when computations need to be performed.

The notebook front end supports Mathematica notebook documents. Notebook documents can contain text, graphics, and executable Mathematica input. Shift-Return is normally used to evaluate Mathematica input. The first evaluation in a session usually requires starting the kernel and will therefore be slower.

On initialization, Mathematica reads application-specific resources from the XMathematica file. An XMathematica file in your home directory will override any system-wide XMathematica file.  


Same as combining the options -querySingleLaunch and -forceSaveAs.
-backgroundTaskDelay t
Tells the front end to delay background tasks like PostScript rendering by t milliseconds while waiting for input. The default setting is 100.
Tells the front end to use an optimal visual, depth, and colormap combination.
Tells the front end to ignore caches stored in the user's preferences directory, $PreferencesDirectory/FrontEnd/Caches, and rebuilds the front end global preferences storage file, $PreferencesDirectory/FrontEnd/init.m. This option can also be abbreviated as -clean.
Tells the front end to display copyright information from the command line.
Specifies the font that the front end uses in menus, buttons, etc. The X program xfontsel can be used to obtain a font name. The font name may be expressed as either an X Logical Font Description or as a valid font alias.
Forces the front end to bring up the Save dialog box when closing a file passed to it on the command line. This option is useful for configuring web browsers to launch Mathematica when notebooks are downloaded.
Prints a listing of all available command-line options.
Prints diagnostic information to stderr on connecting to the license manager. This is useful for diagnosing problems related to the license server.
Causes the front end to work in MathLink mode. In MathLink mode, the front end runs as a child process that is capable of accepting MathLink packets. This option may be useful when the front end is used as a typesetting or graphics rendering service.
Tells the front end not to display stderr messages in a popup window.
Tells the front end not to watch the CLIPBOARD property for change in ownership. The CLIPBOARD property allows items to be shared between X applications via Copy and Paste commands. If this option is specified, you can only paste items within Mathematica; items pasted into the CLIPBOARD from other applications are ignored.
-preferencesDirectory file
Allows you to specify the location where preferences are stored. By default this is set to ~/.Mathematica/4.1/FrontEnd.
Sets the modifier mask to use as the command key. The default is Mod1Mask.
-printCommand command
Takes one argument that should be a command that sends the file to the printer, such as lpr or lp. This command appears in the Print dialog box. If the -printCommand option has been used before and it is used again without first clearing the "Print To" field in the Print dialog box, the option will not work. If Mathematica is started with the -cleanStart option, the -printCommand option will work again.
Disables key bindings involving modifier keys that are defined by the operating system. This option may need to be given in order for some front end keyboard commands to work correctly. For example, some systems may reserve Control-6 for internal use and then the front end cannot use this to typeset superscripts. Key bindings involving the ShiftKey key are not disabled by this option.
-pwfile file
Tells the front end to get its password from the specified file.
-pwpath path
Tells the front end to search along the specified path for a mathpass file containing a valid password.
-querySingleLaunch [file]
Brings up a dialog box to ask the user if a file specified on the command line should be opened in the currently running front end. The dialog box appears only if the current front end was also launched with the -querySingleLaunch option.
-screenXResolution n
Sets the horizontal screen resolution of the notebook display to n dots per inch. For example, if the default screen resolution is 75 dpi, setting the option to 150 causes the contents of the notebook window to scale horizontally by a factor of two.
-screenYResolution n
Sets the vertical screen resolution of the notebook display to n dots per inch. For example, if the default screen resolution is 75 dpi, setting the option to 150 causes the contents of the notebook window to scale vertically by a factor of two.
Sets the modifier mask to use as the option key. The default is Mod2Mask.
-singleLaunch [file]
Allows only one copy of the front end per display. Multiple launches are prevented only if the currently running front end was launched with the -singleLaunch or -querySingleLaunch option.
Specifies the directory where Mathematica is installed, typically /usr/local/mathematica.
Prints the version number of the front end from the command line.
Starts the front end by first putting up the Visual Chooser. This is a dialog box that allows you to specify system parameters such as visual ID, depth, and colormap.
Tells the front end to watch the CLIPBOARD property for change in ownership. This is the default. The CLIPBOARD property allows items to be shared between X applications. If this option is set, then you can paste items into Mathematica from other applications.
-wwwBrowser command
Gives the command to execute when opening URL links from the front end. The command can include a %s format argument that is replaced with the URL.


File locations are determined at installation time, or when the Mathematica distribution CD-ROM is mounted. Preferences are stored in ~/.Mathematica/4.1. Preferences from previous versions of Mathematica are stored in separate directories and therefore will not be used with Mathematica 4.

Mathematica requires that special fonts be installed.  


math(1), mathlm(1), mcc(1)

Online documentation available through the Help menu within Mathematica

S. Wolfram, The Mathematica Book, 4th ed., Wolfram Media/Cambridge University Press, 1999

Getting Started with Mathematica (distributed with Mathematica)

Wolfram Research web site,



Wolfram Research, Inc.



Mathematica and MathLink are registered trademarks of Wolfram Research.

Copyright (c) 2000 Wolfram Research, Inc. All rights reserved.




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Time: 02:43:04 GMT, October 02, 2010