Maxima - Common Lisp version of MACSYMA symbolic mathematics package released
under the GNU Public License
rmaxima - A version of maxima that supports command autocompletion
Xmaxima - A graphical version of Maxima
Maxima is a version of the MIT-developed MACSYMA system, modified to run under
Common Lisp. It is an interactive expert system and programming environment
for symbolic and numerical mathematical manipulation. Written in Lisp, it
allows differentiation, integration, solution of linear or polynomial
equations, factoring of polynomials, expansion of functions in Laurent or
Taylor series, computation of Poisson series, matrix and tensor manipulations,
and two- and three-dimensional graphics. Procedures may be written using an
ALGOL-like syntax, and both Lisp-like functions and pattern matching
facilities are provided. Files containing Maxima objects may be read from and
written to disk files. Pre-written Maxima commands may be read from a file and
executed, allowing batch-mode use.
- -b file, --batch=file
- Process file in noninteractive mode.
- Process Lisp file file in noninteractive mode.
- Process string in noninteractive mode.
- -d, --directories
- Display Maxima directory information.
- Disable readline support.
- -g, --enable-lisp-debugger
- 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
- Preload lisp_file.
- -q, --quiet
- 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)
- -v, --verbose
- 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 to be given to the underlying Lisp.
Upon initialization, maxima
prints a startup message, then a command line
All Maxima commands must be concluded with either:
- a semicolon (in which case the result of the command is echoed on a
display line, prefaced by %o with an appended sequence number),
- 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
- 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
you will be able to use your output as input, by simply killing and yanking.
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
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
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.
- Execute the contents of file myfile, which is assumed to contain
- Close session file opened by a writefile command (see below).
- Execute the contents of file myfile, which is assumed to contain
Maxima commands, one line at a time.
- Print the contents of all of the available information lists.
- Print a list of the names of currently defined functions.
- Print a list of the various available information lists.
- Eliminate the object(s) contained within parentheses; kill(all)
Delete all objects created by the user, restoring Maxima to its initial
- Leave Maxima.
- Reset all Maxima control parameters to their default states.
- Print a list of the names of currently assigned scalar values.
- 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
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".
- Compiled files for lisp implementation lisp
- primary documentation directory, containing info files which are used for
the 'describe' command, and also for viewing under emacs or other info
- HTML version of info documentation.
- Maxima demo files.
- Elisp files for use with Emacs or XEmacs.
- Contributed external packages.
- Documentation for contributed external packages.
- Complete Maxima source.
- Test suite.
- Xmaxima support files.
- Maxima utility scripts.
- Points to a directory for user customization files. Maxima's default
search paths include MAXIMA_USERDIR. Default value:
- 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 is equivalent to MAXIMA_PREFIX. It is
included only for backward compatibility with older versions of
Maxima uses several other environment variables for communication between the
script and the lisp image. All such variables start with
. They should not need to be modified by the user.
- 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 user's default lisp implementation
choice to CMUCL by including the line "MAXIMA_LISP=cmucl".
- 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
- 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
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 MAC's 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