This is documentation for Mathematica 8, which was
based on an earlier version of the Wolfram Language.
View current documentation (Version 11.1)


starts the full Mathematica system including notebook interface on Windows and Mac.
  • The Mathematica notebook interface provides dynamic interactivity and enhanced graphics functionality, and calls the kernel via MathLink to perform calculations.
  • The first calculation in a notebook may take slightly longer, as it typically launches the kernel.
  • The following command-line options are typically accepted:
-mathlinkmake the front end run as a child process that is capable of accepting MathLink packets
-pwfile filespecify a file in which to look for Mathematica passwords
  • The following additional command-line options are accepted on Mac:
-cleanignore stored caches and rebuild the front end preferences file
-preferencesDirectory dirspecify the location where preference settings are stored
-topDirectory dirspecify the location of the Mathematica installation directory