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 Unix and Linux.
  • 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 accepted on Unix and Linux:
-cleanStartignore stored caches and rebuild the front end preferences file
-backgroundTaskDelay nspecify the time (in milliseconds) that the front end delays background tasks while waiting for input
-copyrightdisplay copyright information on the command line
-dontUpdatePrefsprevent changes to the user's preference settings
-font fspecify the font used in menus, buttons, etc.
-helpdisplay a list of all command-line options
-lmverboseprint diagnostic information to stderr when connecting to MathLM
-mathlinkmake the front end run as a child process that is capable of accepting MathLink packets
-noguiprevent the display of any kind of window or dialogues
-noSplashScreenprevent the splash screen from being displayed on startup
-noTrueTypeFontprevent the use of TrueType font in the display
-preferencesDirectory dirspecify the location where preference settings are stored
-primaryModifierMask maskspecify the primary mask to be used as the command key
-pwfile filespecify a file in which to look for Mathematica passwords
-pwpath pspecify the search path for a password file
-secondaryModifierMask maskspecify the secondary mask to be used as the command key
-singleLaunchallow only one copy of the front end per display
-stderrWindowsend stderr to a popup window instead of a terminal
-style sspecify the widget style used by the front end
-topDirectory dirspecify the location of the Mathematica installation directory
-versionprint the current version of the front end on the command line
  • When using -font, a list of possible font names can be found by using . The name can be expressed either as an X Logical Font Description or as a valid font alias.
  • When using the -wwwBrowser option, the command can contain a format argument that is replaced with the URL.
  • If you are running X, an additional menu folder named Wolfram is already installed in the desktop menu. Inside the folder is an item named Mathematica that points to the most recently installed version of Mathematica. File associations are modified such that .nb files are associated with the most recently installed version of Mathematica.