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Re: managing version 6 in a locked-down environment

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  • Subject: [mg78397] Re: [mg78377] managing version 6 in a locked-down environment
  • From: John Fultz <jfultz at>
  • Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2007 06:07:45 -0400 (EDT)
  • Reply-to: jfultz at

As long as you allow writing to $UserBaseDirectory, pretty much any variant of 
the system you're proposing should work fine.

All of the paclet updates in shipping systems are saved in $UserBaseDirectory, 
and a mapping system is in place to use the $UserBaseDirectory versions of these 
files in preference to the ones in the installation directory.  If 
$UserBaseDirectory is wiped clean, then the system will start downloading 
updates from scratch.  Otherwise, the updates will be preserved, even if 
Mathematica is reinstalled.  Nothing is ever overwritten in the installation

Mathematica has long been designed to work well on systems which have the 
installation directory totally locked down.  This has helped considerably in
easing the transition to Windows Vista, incidentally.

John Fultz
jfultz at
User Interface Group
Wolfram Research, Inc.

On Fri, 29 Jun 2007 05:51:49 -0400 (EDT), Murray Eisenberg wrote:
> This is to ask whether anyone "out there", or anybody at WRI, has had
> experience with, or insights about, managing a Mathematica 6.0
> installation on a multiple-machine environment, such as in a college
> computer lab, where things are very tightly controlled?
> I have in mind the sort of environment where, for reasons of security,
> write permission is only rarely allowed except for temporary, scratch
> files in specified directories, and where any change to the program's
> system files must be done first on a master disk image and then mirrored
> to the individual machines.  And in particular where such disk
> re-imaging is only done, say, once per semester except in case of dire
> need.
> What I'm concerned about is paclet updates, of course.  (The issue of a
> "service pack" release 6.1 or 6.01 or whatever, is a separate issue
> that, in a situation such as ours, will likely be handled only when the
> image for the subsequent semester is created.)

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