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Unix: Mathematica 5.0 is installed in Kellogg's Unix server, skew4

August 6,2003 update -- Desktop copies (Windows, Macintosh, Linux, Unix): NUIT has recently signed a license agreement with Wolfram Research for use of Mathematica on campus. Distribution for Windows and Macintosh workstations has been made through NUIT's "chocolate" server. The annual workstation license fee is expected to be $99; the first year (through August 31 2004) will be covered by a special stipend from NUIT for faculty and staff. Please go to to order.


Mathematica is a system for technical computation, with numerical, symbolic, graphical, programming, and interfacing capabilities.

Vendor information

Wolfram Research, Inc.
100 Trade Center Drive
Champaign, IL 61820-7237
Phone: (800) 965-3726


Running Mathematica

  1. Interactive mode
    • If you access skew4 through Xwindows, then you can type "mathematica" and get a graphic interface.
    • Type "math" you will see a terminal window interface
    • To exit, type:

      at the Mathematica prompt

  2. Batch mode:

math < infile > outfile

To run this batch job in the background, and continue to run after logout, type the following command.

nohup math < infile > outfile &

The infile is a text file composed of the necessary Mathematica input commands and the outfile is the file that is written by Mathematica that contains the evaluations of each of the input commands It is sometimes useful to make the first line in the infile AppendTo[$Echo, "stdout"] so that the input lines will also be included in the output file. Also, the input file should always end with an empty line. (This information appears on page 32 of the Getting Started with Mathematica for X/Unix.)

NOTE: a standard Mathematica notebook (.nb) that is saved in the interactive mode can not be directly used as an input to batch mode (as opposed to a plain text file with only Mathematica commands described above). To convert an interactive notebook into a valid batch input file, use the following procedure:

  • Running the interactive mode, select all cells (CTRL-a) and set them as Initialization cells: Cell -> Cell Properties -> check "Initialization Cell".
  • Save the notebook (File -> Save). It will prompt you to create a package, say "yes"
  • Mathematica will create a file in the same directory with the same name and an extension ".m". Use that file as the batch input: e.g.
  • math -noinit -batchinput -batchoutput < infile.m > outfile.txt &

Examples and solutions

  • NOTE: if you want to use MATHEMATICA on skew3 via XWin32, you need to download the latest Mathematica font file (ZIP format). Create a folder in "\Program Files\StarNet\X-Win32\Common\Lib\Fonts" and uncompress the contents of in it. Then. use XConfig to add this new folder to the font paths. The Mathematica font files on Startnet/NU site have not been updated to work with Mathematica V5.

  • How do I export graphics to EPS/GIF/PBM/WMF format? This is desirable particularly if you run Mathematica in batch mode and want to save the graphic output for later use. In Mathematica 4.0 and above, the Export function will do. In the earlier versions, you can use Display function:

Manuals available at Research Computing

Online manuals (at Wolfram Research):


Version 4:

  • Varian, Hal R. (ed.) (1996). Computational Economics and Finance. Modeling and Analysis with Mathematica. Springer-Verlag. View the table of contents.
  • Standard Add-on Packages (version 4.0, 1999)
  • The Mathematica Book (version 4, fourth edition, 1999)

Version 3:

  • System Administrator's Guide (version 3.0, 1996)
  • Getting Started with Mathematica 3.0 under UNIX and X (1996)
  • Standard Add-on Packages (version 3.0, 1996)
  • A First Look at Mathematica 3.0 (1997 - Excerpted from The Mathematica Book)
  • The Mathematica Book (version 3, third edition, 1996)

Useful links

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