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Re: which Linux does Mathematica run on?

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg35086] Re: which Linux does Mathematica run on?
  • From: fjolsvit <fjolsvit at>
  • Date: Mon, 24 Jun 2002 03:21:55 -0400 (EDT)
  • References: <adsjvh$pnm$> <adv6qi$la$> <ae4et4$9cc$>
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

Ronald Bruck wrote:
> [[ This message was both posted and mailed: see
>    the "To," "Cc," and "Newsgroups" headers for details. ]]
> In article <adv6qi$la$1 at>, Timothy C. Klein
> <teece at> wrote:
>>On Sat, 08 Jun 2002 03:49:37 -0600, Pavel Pokorny wrote:
>>>  Dear Mathematica friends
>>>    Linux 2.0 or later (ELF only)
>>>   PowerPC Linux.
>>>Does it mean Mathematica 4.1 does NOT run on SuSE Linux?
>>>Or which versions of Linux does Mathematica 4.1 run on?
>>That means it will work on any Linux distribution that is recent.  ELF is
>>the type of executable encoding used, and ELF has been around for a
>>while.  RedHat 5.0 was ELF based, if I remember right, and that is pretty
>>old.  So any version of SUSE that is not 5 years old will work fine.  The
>>2.0 part is for the Linux kernel, and again SUSE will for certain have at
>>*least* that new a kernel.
>>In short, you will be fine.  WRI has done it the right way, as
>>Mathematica is pretty nuetral about the distro.
>>I am running it on Debian unstable, zero problems.
> Alas, this isn't quite right.  You must also have the libc5 libs
> installed--and SuSE 8.0 doesn't do that, by default.  You have to
> manually install the "shlibs5" from the SuSE CD's (or DVD).  So your
> Linux mustn't be too RECENT, either.
> And not even that fixes everybody's installation.  There are still
> reports of broken installations (apart from the well-known one of not
> enough fonts available on the system--that's documented by Wolfram,
> however).
> But I have no trouble running it in SuSE 8.
> --Ron Bruck

Thanks!  I'm glad you took the time to answer that question.  I had 
exactly the same problem.  There are many splinters in this product 
which make it very difficult for a person to get started using it.  I 
believe I have spent more time trying to figure out why it won't work 
than I have working with it.  I only do this as a hobby, and don't have 
a great deal to time to devote to it.  Mathematica doesn't seem to be keeping up 
  with the UI technology very well.  Perhaps there is magic burried deep 
inside (I believe there is) but I have found it very difficult to get 
to.  It's particularly frustrating when one's time is very limited. 
This means the fraction of 'getting started' time is a much greater part 
of the entire Mathematica experience.  I wonder if it still crashes taking all 
your unsaved work with it. That actually forced me to drop a course 
onece.  I had worked for hours on diagrams and graphs representing my 
lab results, and at 3am CRASH.  Sure *I* should have backed up 
periodically, but the product should do that for me!

One observation in favor of wri is that they *did* provide a temporary 
password to get me through the weekend,  This is good because by the 
time I got the product installed, and finally found you post on Google, 
wri was already closed for the weekend.  This is far superior to what 
happened when I purchased the 4.0 upgrade.  That time I lost the entire 
weekend.  I guess they have made some effort to improve usability.

I really believe they would do well to look into using QT for their UI. It is supported on all Windoze and 
better.OSs. I haven't done any QT coding, but I have been beta testing 
the KDE since it was in alpha.  The speed with which it has grown is a 
tesament to the power of QT.  I believe it is permitted to use QT for 
commercial products.  One example of a company doing so is Opera.

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