|-b file, --batch=file|
|Process file in noninteractive mode.|
|Process Lisp file file in noninteractive mode.|
|Process string in noninteractive mode.|
|Display Maxima directory information.|
|Disable readline support.|
|Enable Lisp debugger.|
|-h, --help||Display a brief usage summary.|
|Load the Maxima and Lisp initialization files string.mac and string.lisp at startup.|
|Load the Maxima initialization file file at startup.|
|Load the Lisp initialization file file at startup.|
|-l lisp, --lisp=lisp|
|Use Lisp implementation lisp. Use --list-avail to see the list of possible values.|
|List the available Lisp and Maxima versions.|
|-p lisp_file, --preload-lisp=lisp_file|
|Suppress Maxima start-up message.|
|-r string, --run-string=string|
|Process string in interactive mode.|
|-s port, --server=port|
|Connect Maxima to server on port. Note that this does not create a Maxima server; Maxima is the client.|
|-u version, --use-version=version|
|Launch Maxima version version. Use --list-avail to see the list of possible values.|
|Use directory for user directory (default is $HOME/maxima for Windows, $HOME/.maxima for others)|
|Print extra information from the Maxima wrapper script.|
|Print the (default) installed version.|
|Suppress expression labels and the Maxima start-up message.|
|-X Lisp options, --lisp-options=Lisp options|
|Options to be given to the underlying Lisp.|
Upon initialization, maxima prints a startup message, then a command line prompt:
All Maxima commands must be concluded with either:
1) a semicolon (in which case the result of the command is echoed on a display line, prefaced by %o with an appended sequence number), or 2) a dollar sign (which suppresses printing of a display line).
The user types in commands which create Maxima objects (such as functions and system variables) and which manipulate these objects.
On UNIX it may be preferable to run Maxima under Gnu Emacs or XEmacs. You can do this by invoking shell mode in emacs, and then invoking maxima. Preferably, install maxima.el from the distribution and use the command:
you will be able to use your output as input, by simply killing and yanking.
M-x maxima The main advantage of working inside emacs is that it provides a complete history of input/output. If you execute the command display2d: false
Lisp is built into Maxima. The function to_lisp() enters the Lisp read-eval-print loop. The Lisp function (run) may be used to return to Maxima. Alternatively, single Lisp commands may be invoked by starting a command line with :lisp.
The reference manual can be accessed from the Maxima input prompt. A description of a given command can be obtained by typing the command
searches the list of functions for the string command. Demonstration files provide complete examples of problems solved with Maxima, and may be accessed with the command demo(command);. A library of user-contributed command files is also provided (the share library), directed toward a variety of problems.
The reference manual is provided in both info and html formats.
This list includes only commands which the beginner might find useful to know about prior to studying the reference manual and other texts.
batch( myfile ); Execute the contents of file myfile, which is assumed to contain Maxima commands. closefile( myfile ); Close session file opened by a writefile command (see below). demo( myfile ); Execute the contents of file myfile, which is assumed to contain Maxima commands, one line at a time. ev(infolists); Print the contents of all of the available information lists. functions; Print a list of the names of currently defined functions. infolists; Print a list of the various available information lists. kill(objectlist); Eliminate the object(s) contained within parentheses; kill(all) Delete all objects created by the user, restoring Maxima to its initial state. quit(); Leave Maxima. reset(); Reset all Maxima control parameters to their default states. values; Print a list of the names of currently assigned scalar values. writefile( myfile ); Write record of session to file myfile; only one file at a time can be open, and the closefile command must be invoked prior to leaving Maxima to flush the buffer.
Maxima is capable of producing 2- and 3-dimensional plots. Here is a simple 2-dimensional example
plot2d (sin(x), [x, -2*%pi, 2*%pi]);
and a simple 3-dimensional example
plot3d (2^(-u^2 + v^2), [u, -5, 5], [v, -7, 7]);
By default plots are made by the gnuplot plotting package. Plots can be made by other means; see "? plot_options". For more information about plotting, see "? plot".
/usr/local/lib/maxima/5.37.3/binary-lisp Compiled files for lisp implementation lisp /usr/local/info primary documentation directory, containing info files which are used for the describe command, and also for viewing under emacs or other info viewer. /usr/local/share/maxima/5.37.3/doc/html HTML version of info documentation. /usr/local/share/maxima/5.37.3/demo Maxima demo files. /usr/local/share/maxima/5.37.3/emacs Elisp files for use with Emacs or XEmacs. /usr/local/share/maxima/5.37.3/share Contributed external packages. /usr/local/share/maxima/5.37.3/doc/share Documentation for contributed external packages. /usr/local/share/maxima/5.37.3/src Complete Maxima source. /usr/local/share/maxima/5.37.3/tests Test suite. /usr/local/share/maxima/5.37.3/xmaxima Xmaxima support files. /usr/local/libexec/maxima/5.37.3/ Maxima utility scripts.
Maxima uses several other environment variables for communication between the maxima script and the lisp image. All such variables start with MAXIMA_. They should not need to be modified by the user.
MAXIMA_USERDIR Points to a directory for user customization files. Maximas default search paths include MAXIMA_USERDIR. Default value: $HOME/.maxima. MAXIMA_PREFIX Maxima looks for its input files in the directory configured at compile time, /usr/local. Maxima can be relocated to a different directory as long as the maxima script maintains the same relative position with respect to the Maxima input files. If, for some reason, the maxima script needs to be relocated independently, MAXIMA_PREFIX needs to be set to point to the top of the tree holding the input files. MAXIMA_DIRECTORY MAXIMA_DIRECTORY is equivalent to MAXIMA_PREFIX. It is included only for backward compatibility with older versions of Maxima.
maximarc maximarc is sourced by the maxima script at startup. It should be located in $MAXIMA_USERDIR (see above). maximarc can be used, e.g., to change the users default lisp implementation choice to CMUCL by including the line "MAXIMA_LISP=cmucl". maxima-init.lisp At startup, Maxima will load the lisp file maxima-init.lisp if it is found in the search path. For user customization, maxima-init.lisp should be placed in the $MAXIMA_USERDIR (see above). Since Maxima typically has a system maxima-init.lisp in the Maxima share directory, the user may want to copy the contents of the system maxima-init.lisp into his/her custom file. Alternatively, the user can load a Lisp initialization file with another name or location by means of the --init-lisp or --init command-line options. maxima-init.mac At startup, Maxima will load the file maxima-init.mac if it is found in the search path. For user customization, maxima-init.mac should be placed in the $MAXIMA_USERDIR (see above). Alternatively, the user can load a Maxima initialization file with another name or location by means of the --init-mac or --init command-line options.
Old Reference: MACSYMA Reference Manual (volumes 1 and 2). The Mathlab Group, Laboratory for Computer Science, MIT. Version 10. January 1983.
Newer references: http://maxima.sourceforge.net
Maxima is a complex system. It includes both known and unknown bugs. Use at your own risk. The Maxima bug database is available at
New bug reports are always appreciated. Please include the output of the Maxima function "build_info()" with the report.
MACSYMA (Project MACs SYmbolic MAnipulation System) was developed by the Mathlab group of the MIT Laboratory for Computer Science (originally known as Project MAC), during the years 1969-1972. Their work was supported by grants NSG 1323 of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, N00014-77-C-0641 of the Office of Naval Research, ET-78-C-02-4687 of the U.S. Department of Energy, and F49620-79-C-020 of the U.S. Air Force. MACSYMA was further modified for use under the UNIX operating system (for use on DEC VAX computers and Sun workstations), by Richard Fateman and colleagues at the University of California at Berkeley; this version of MACSYMA is known as VAXIMA. The present version stems from a re-working of the public domain MIT MACSYMA for GNU Common Lisp, prepared by William Schelter, University of Texas at Austin until his passing away in 2001. It contains numerous additions, extensions and enhancements of the original. The original version of this manual page was written by R. P. C. Rodgers, UCSF School of Pharmacy, San Francisco, CA 94143 (firstname.lastname@example.org) in 1989. It was extensively revised by James Amundson in 2002.
Maxima is now developed and maintained by the Maxima project at <http://maxima.sourceforge.net>.
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