This is documentation for Mathematica 6, which was
based on an earlier version of the Wolfram Language.
View current documentation (Version 11.2)

Configuration Files on Unix and Linux

Mathematica stores preference settings and initialization data in two directories, $BaseDirectory and $UserBaseDirectory. Within each of these directories are several possible subdirectories with titles such as FrontEnd, Kernel, and Licensing.
  • Global settings that affect all users are stored in subdirectories of the directory $BaseDirectory. The default value of $BaseDirectory on Unix and Linux is /usr/share/Mathematica. To redefine the location of global preference settings and initialization data, set the environment variable MATHEMATICA_BASE.
  • Settings that only affect a particular user are stored in subdirectories of the directory $UserBaseDirectory, which is typically a subdirectory of the user's home directory. The default value of $UserBaseDirectory on Unix and Linux is ~/.Mathematica. To redefine the location of user preferences and initialization data, set the environment variable MATHEMATICA_USERBASE.
Settings in the directory $UserBaseDirectory override global settings defined in the directory $BaseDirectory.
In the pathnames that follow, replace the variables $BaseDirectory and $UserBaseDirectory with the appropriate directories for your system. To find their locations on your system, evaluate the command $BaseDirectory (or $UserBaseDirectory) in a Mathematica notebook.

Kernel

The initialization files used by the kernel contain Mathematica commands that are evaluated at startup, such as function definitions, packages to load, or kernel option settings. These commands are also available to the Mathematica front end.

$BaseDirectory/Kernel/init.m

$UserBaseDirectory/Kernel/init.m

Kernel initialization files are not created automatically.

Front End

Front end initialization files store preference settings such as the values of global options in the Option Inspector. These files are automatically updated by Mathematica when you change a setting in the front end. To make changes to this file, make your changes from within Mathematica rather than editing the file directly.

$BaseDirectory/FrontEnd/init.m

$UserBaseDirectory/FrontEnd/init.m

$UserBaseDirectory/FrontEnd/6.0_Caches/

Front end initialization files are created automatically.

Passwords

Passwords are stored in the mathpass file, described in further detail in "Registration and Passwords". In the following pathname, replace the variable $InstallationDirectory with the directory where you installed Mathematica. The default value of $InstallationDirectory on Unix and Linux is /usr/local/Wolfram/Mathematica/6.0. To find the value of $InstallationDirectory on your system, evaluate the command $InstallationDirectory in a Mathematica notebook.

$BaseDirectory/Licensing/mathpass

$InstallationDirectory/Configuration/Licensing/mathpass

$UserBaseDirectory/Licensing/mathpass