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Mathematica is a commercial program used in scientific, engineering and mathematical fields. Here we explain how to install it.


Since Mathematica is a non-free application and upgrades may incur costs, this section lists instructions for different available versions.

Mathematica 6

Mounting iso

One way to mount the Mathematica .iso is to create a /media/iso mount directory and add the following line to the fstab:

/location/of/mathematica.iso /media/iso iso9660 exec,ro,user,noauto,loop=/dev/loop0   0 0

Now you can mount it with:

# mount /media/iso

Running the Installer

You can start the installer by navigating to:


Run MathInstaller with:

sh ./MathInstaller
Note: If you do not place the "sh" in front, then you will get an error about a bad interpreter.


Add the directories containing Type1 and BDF fonts to your FontPath.

Mathematica 7

Mathematica 7 is much easier to install.

tar xf Mathematica-7.0.1.tar.gz
cd Unix/Installer

Follow instructions.

For KDE users, the Mathematica icon may appear in the Lost & Found category. To solve this, execute the following as root:

# ln -s /etc/xdg/menus/applications-merged /etc/xdg/menus/kde-applications-merged


On 64-bit machines, two known issues are present; but solutions are provided. The second issue is present on 64-bit installs: but not yet confirmed on a 32-bit arch setup.

The first issue assumes you are trying to use nVidia, CUDA and OpenCL libraries within Mathematica.

The 64-bit archlinux nVidia and opencl driver packages install libraries in /usr/lib, not in /usr/lib64 as does nVidia's binary installer. This is not a problem: /usr/lib is the correct location for 64-bit libraries on a 64-bit arch system. However, a 64-bit install of Mathematica will assume the drivers are installed in /usr/lib64; other distributions that Mathematica has been tested on have their drivers in that location. The easiest method to overcome this is to make a symlink from /usr/lib64 to /usr/lib. Mathematica will be able to find nVidia, CUDA, and OpenCL libraries this way without further tweaking.

A second, separate but partial solution, is to set the following environment variables:

export CUDA_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/lib/

This second method, however, still will not permit Mathematica to find the OpenCL libraries in /usr/local as Mathematica seems hardwired to find them in /usr/lib64.

The second issue with Mathematica 8 in 64-bit archlinux (may also affect 32-bit environments; but not tested) is a reproducible crash when performing WolframAlpha[] functions. By default, Mathematica is configured to detect the system's proxy settings when configuring how to connect to the internet to fetch data. A "bug" exists that will eventually crash Mathematica when the calling library is used. A workaround is to avoid this library call altogether by configuring Mathematica to "directly connect" to the internet. (Edit > Preferences > Internet Connectivity > Proxy Settings). This bug has been reported to Wolfram.

Mathematica 10

Install mathematicaAUR (need historical version). The installation script is required; you will need to download this separately from, your university, etc. You will also need an activation key.

Mathematica 11

Install mathematicaAUR. Obtain from Wolfram Research, along with an activation key. Successful install may throw non-critical errors: xdg-icon-resource, mkdir, xdg-desktop-menu.

Mathematica 11 automatically creates a document folder 'Wolfram Mathematica' in $UserDocumentsDirectory, which is set by Mathematica according to XDG user directories.


Missing symbols

If you have font rendering problems where certain symbols do not show up (i.e. / appears as a square), try uninstalling font-mathematica.

Also, try this solution. It also states the issue is fixed with Mathematica version 9.

Try having applications use anti-aliasing. For KDE: System Settings > Application Appearance > Fonts > Use anti-aliasing (Enabled)

HiDPI / Retina Screens

If you have a HiDPI screen, such as an Apple Retina display, and the main text in Mathematica looks small when you open it, this can be fixed:

  • Go to Edit → Preferences
  • From the Advanced tab, click Open Option Inspector
  • In the tree on the right, go to Formatting Options → Font Options → Font Properties
  • Change the value for "ScreenResolution" to double its current setting, e.g. 72 → 144. You can also use xdpyinfo | grep resolution to get a more precise number (which will need to be doubled).

See also