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Re: Installation question

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg97937] Re: Installation question
  • From: Bob F <deepyogurt at>
  • Date: Thu, 26 Mar 2009 05:20:44 -0500 (EST)
  • References: <gqd1v9$o15$>

On Mar 25, 4:44 am, daniele <danielelin... at> wrote:
> Hi, I'm about to install version 7 of Mathematica and I was wondering
> whether it's possible to keep the previous version (v6) that I have
> already installed on my machine. I have an Intel Mac.
> Thank you very much,
> Daniele

I think you can. I do the following on my mac. Just rename the old
application to (or whatever is the real version
or whatever you like actually) before installing the new version 7.

You probably should also need to separate them the library folders
that Mathematica uses so you might want to keep two versions of the
two folders:

     /Library/Mathematica --  rename to /Library/mathematica-6
     ~/Library/Mathematica -- rename to ~/Library/Mathematica-6

before doing the install - make sure Mathematica is not running when
doing this renaming. Then do the install and name the new App and

     /Applications/ -> /Applications/
     /Library/Mathematica -> /Library/Mathematica-7
     ~/Library/Mathematica -> ~/Library/Mathemtica-7

And then you need to create a couple of small shell scripts that
switch between the two versions. Something like:

# Script to go from 6 to 7 in a file called "switch-to-7"
#  We are switching from Mathematica 6 to Mathematica 7, so we need
#  first move the current generic /Library/Mathematica to the
#  then move the current generic ~/Library/Mathematica to the specific
mv  /Library/Mathematica  /Library/Mathematica-6
mv ~/Library/Mathematica ~/Library/Mathematica-6

# Then need to move the 7.0.1 directories to the generic name
mv  /Library/Mathematica-7.0.1  /Library/Mathematica
mv ~/Library/Mathematica_7.0.1 ~/Library/Mathematica

and the other script to go from 7 to 6 would look something like:

# Script to go from 7 to 6 in a file called "switch-to-6"
#  We are switching from Mathematica 7 to Mathematica 6, so we need
#  first move the current generic /Library/Mathematica to the
#  then move the current generic ~/Library/Mathematica to the specific
mv  /Library/Mathematica  /Library/Mathematica-7
mv ~/Library/Mathematica ~/Library/Mathematica-7

# Then need to move the 6 directories to the generic name
mv  /Library/Mathematica-6  /Library/Mathematica
mv ~/Library/Mathematica_6 ~/Library/Mathematica

Then to switch back and forth run one script and do work in that
version. Then exit Mathematica, run the other script and do your work
in that version.

Make sure you don't accidently run the same script twice in a row. You
can always tell what version you currently have setup by just looking
at the names, ie if there is a /Library/Mathematica-7 then you are
currently setup for Mathematica 6, and if you see /Library/
Mathematica-6 then you are currently setup for Mathematica 7. If you
do run the same script twice you might/will have problems!!! Would
suggest having a backup of both just in case of accidents. Or just
make a spare copy in some other folder. Each one of the

Hope that helps. The reason for switching all the names is to help
minimize the chance of putting some version 7 stuff into the version 6
and vice versa, like palette names and other stuff that can be version
specific. I can't promise this will prevent any problems but I have
been doing this for a while to do some testing with both versions and
have not had any problems yet. Your mileage may vary so be careful and
have a backup just in case. You will also have to be carefull of what
version of Mathematica was used to create your notebooks, but you will
always get a warning if you try and open a 7 notebook in version 6,
but not the other way around. This also ensures that both versions
have their own init.m file (which is located in the ~/Library/
Mathematica/FrontEnd folder).

You could conceivably have several versions, but I wouldn't think you
need to do this except for major versions, ie 5, 6, or 7, as replacing
7.0 with 7.0.1 should not be any big deal, but that is just my
opinion, and is not based on anything other than intuition, so it's
very likely in error ;-)

You might want to run this by Wolfram to see if there is any problems
in doing this. I make no guarantee that this wont cause problems, so
do a little more investigating if you need to be certain. So far, I
have not had problems doing this, but it's possible I have had em and
just have not noticed em ;-)

The extra overhead for keeping two copies of the libraries is just a
couple of megabytes typically (that's what I see for my setup) plus
the extra 1.4 GB for the application (1.4 GB for
7.0.1, and about 1.1 GB for 6.0.3)

This all assumes you are comfortable with using the Terminal app on
your Mac and several other things. If that is not the case, then you
might just want to ignore everything I have talked about, or learn
about using these aspects of you Mac system.

CASE SOMETHING ODD HAPPENS!!! Any whatever you do, don't try and run
two versions at the same time. I don't have any reason for this, but
don't think it's a good thing to try unless someone with a lot of
Mathematica expertise says it's no problem. I would not consider
myself an expert at Mathematica by any stretch of the imagination!!!

If anyone on the group sees any problems with doing this, please let
us know.


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