Section: User Commands (1)Updated: September 10, 2005Local indexUp
Maxima - Common Lisp version of MACSYMA symbolic mathematics package
released under the GNU Public License
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
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.
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.
Use Lisp implementation lisp. Use --list-avail to see the
list of possible values.
List the available Lisp and Maxima versions.
Suppress Maxima start-up message.
Process string in interactive mode.
Connect Maxima to server on port.
Note that this does not create a Maxima server; Maxima is the client.
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.
-XLisp options, --lisp-options=Lisp options
Options to be given to the underlying Lisp.
prints a startup message, then a command line prompt:
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
with an appended sequence number), or
a dollar sign (which suppresses printing of a display line).
The user types in commands which create
(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
and then invoking
distribution and use the command:
The main advantage of working inside
is that it provides a complete history of input/output.
If you execute the command
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 with
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
A library of user-contributed command files is also provided (the
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
which is assumed to contain Maxima commands.
Close session file opened by a writefile command (see below).
Execute the contents of file
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;
Delete all objects created by the user, restoring Maxima
to its initial state.
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
only one file at a time can be open, and the
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
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 viewer.
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.
Xmaxima support files.
Maxima utility scripts.
Points to a directory for user customization files. Maxima's default search
paths include MAXIMA_USERDIR. Default value: $HOME/.maxima.
Maxima looks for its input files in the directory configured at
compile time, /usr. Maxima can be relocated to a different directory
as long as the
script maintains the same relative position with
respect to the Maxima input files. If, for some reason, the
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.
Maxima uses several other environment variables for communication
script and the lisp image. All such variables start
with MAXIMA_. They should not need to be modified by the user.
maximarc is sourced by the
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
Alternatively, the user can load a Maxima initialization file with
another name or location by means of the --init-mac or --init
MACSYMA Reference Manual
(volumes 1 and 2).
The Mathlab Group,
Laboratory for Computer Science, MIT.
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.