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

Launching Mathematica on Unix and Linux

Launching Mathematica Locally

To run Mathematica using a network license, both the client machine and the license server must be on the network and MathLM must be running.

To launch Mathematica:

Make sure that you are running MathLM. Then, from a shell, type mathematica and press Enter.

To launch only the Mathematica kernel:

From a shell, type math and press Enter.

Launching Mathematica from a File Server

Rather than installing Mathematica on every client machine, you can install Mathematica on a file server and export the installation directory to the clients. To display the front end, the clients must have access to the Mathematica fonts. For information about configuring the X server on the client machines to find the Mathematica fonts, see "Fonts on Unix and Linux". Once the fonts are properly configured, the client machines can run Mathematica as though it were a local installation.

Mathematica Command-Line Options


The math command starts the kernel from within a shell. The kernel is the part of Mathematica that handles calculations. This is also used by the front end.

Command-Line Options

-initfile file




-password str

-pwfile file



The mathematica command runs the X front end. In order for the front end to run, the DISPLAY environment variable must be set and the front end must be able to locate the fonts included with Mathematica.

Command-Line Options






-font f







-preferencesDirectory dir

-printCommand command

-pwfile file



-style s

-topDirectory dir


-wwwBrowser command