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A.8.1 Mathematica Distribution Files

A full Mathematica installation consists of something over 2200 separate files, arranged in a total of about 280 directories under the main installation directory. The location of the main installation directory is determined at install time. From within a Mathematica kernel, its name is given by the value of $InstallationDirectory.

Default locations for the Mathematica installation directory.

The executable programs that launch Mathematica are typically in the main installation directory. Sometimes there may also be links to them, or scripts accessing them, in other locations. From within a Mathematica kernel, First[$CommandLine] gives the full name of the executable program corresponding to that kernel.

Typical executable programs accessible from the installation directory.

The main installation directory has three standard subdirectories that contain material distributed with Mathematica. Under normal circumstances, none of the contents of these directories should ever be modified, except, for example, if you choose to edit a shared style sheet.

Top-level subdirectories of the main installation directory.

Particularly on Unix systems, Mathematica often has executable files for different computer architectures and systems stored in a single overall directory structure. Each system is in a subdirectory with a name given by $SystemID. Some resource directories may also contain files specific both to particular languages and particular computing environments. These files are given in subdirectories such as Japanese/Windows.

Typical subdirectories of the SystemFiles directory, part one.

Typical subdirectories of the SystemFiles directory, part two.

Bundled with versions of Mathematica are various standard add-on items. These are placed in the AddOns subdirectory of the main installation directory.

Typical subdirectories of the AddOns directory.

The default contents of the Mathematica Help Browser are stored in the Documentation directory. BrowserCategories files in each subdirectory set up the categories used in the Help Browser. BrowserIndex files provide data for the master index.

Typical subdirectories of the Documentation directory.