Maxima, a computer algebra system
"Maxima is a system for the manipulation of symbolic and numerical expressions, including differentiation, integration, Taylor series, Laplace transforms, ordinary differential equations, systems of linear equations, polynomials, and sets, lists, vectors, matrices, and tensors. Maxima yields high precision numeric results by using exact fractions, arbitrary precision integers, and arbitrarily precision floating point numbers. Maxima can plot functions and data in two and three dimensions." (from http://maxima.sourceforge.net/)
- manipulation of symbolic and numerical expressions
- Taylor series
- Laplace transforms
- ordinary differential equations
- systems of linear equations
- sets, lists, vectors, matrices, and tensors
- Via apt-get
sudo apt-get install maxima
Hints and Tips
Tutorial for Installing the Latest Version
There are two ways to go about getting the latest version of Maxima:
I. Download and install ready made Maxima deb packages.
II. Compile your own maxima package.
I. Downloading and Installing The Latest Maxima Packages
Istvan Blahota has compiled deb packages for Maxima 5.20.1-1. They can be downloaded from:
There you will find both i386 and amd64 packages. Download the package which corresponds to the architecture of your Ubuntu installation. Double click the downloaded deb package to install it.
Further, there is a choice between Maxima packages compiled with CLisp or Steel Bank Common Lisp (SBCL). Experience seems to indicate that the SBCL based Maxima packages are generally faster than their CLisp based counterparts.
To check this claim for yourself:
1. Install the CLisp based maxima package.
2. Open a terminal. Type "maxima" and press enter.
3. Execute the following command from the Maxima terminal:
At the end of the test run, some statistics including time taken will be displayed. Depending on your hardware the time taken for the test run can vary from a few minutes to a few hours.
4. Uninstall the Clisp based Maxima package.
5. Install the SBCL based Maxima package.
6. Repeat steps 2 and 3.
Go with that implementation of Maxima which is quicker in your case.
1. Istvan Blahota's Maxima packages come inbuilt with all components of Maxima including: doc, source, test etc.
2. Click on http://maxima.sourceforge.net/lisp.html to read about different implementations of Lisp and their compatibility with Maxima.
II. Compiling Your Own Maxima Package
This is a guide for installing the latest version of Maxima by compiling your own Maxima deb package.
This tutorial requires:
- an Internet connection (or an Ubuntu DVD + the latest Maxima)
- basic knowledge of how to open and use a terminal
- a web browser
Out with the old, Download, Configure, Make, and Install it
If you have an older version of Maxima installed remove it as the package "maxima-doc" must be uninstalled for this method to work,
Let the variable "latest-version" equal the latest version of Maxima (as of 3-20-007 it is 5.11.0)
In a web browser
download the package maxima-"latest-version".tar.gz by going to here, http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=4933
and clicking on maxima-"latest-version".tar.gz
In a terminal
Out with the old,
sudo apt-get remove maxima maxima-doc wxmaxima
You will need the virtual package "build-essential" for making the package and the package "checkinstall" for building a debian package. So if you don't have it or are unsure,
sudo apt-get install build-essential checkinstall
Now its time to extract, configure, make and install your package:
tar xfvz /"locationof"/maxima-"latest-version".tar.gz sudo apt-get build-dep maxima sudo dpkg-reconfigure gcl
select "yes" and enable ansi which is disabled by default.
cd maxima-"latest-version"/ ./configure --prefix=/usr --exec-prefix=/usr make sudo checkinstall
say "yes" to create a document package and paste the description of Maxima off of the website pasted bellow:
Maxima is a system for the manipulation of symbolic and numerical expressions, including differentiation, integration, Taylor series, Laplace transforms, ordinary differential equations, systems of linear equations, polynomials, and sets, lists, vectors, matrices, and tensors. Maxima yields high precision numeric results by using exact fractions, arbitrary precision integers, and arbitrarily precision floating point numbers. Maxima can plot functions and data in two and three dimensions.
When this is done type "0" then "ENTER" and enter your email address so that people know who you are if they use your package you@somewhere as an example
hit "ENTER" and hope for the best. Checkinstall attempts to build you a deb package which it automatically installs by default and is also included in the directory you made Maxima, i.e. the deb is in /"locationof"/maxima-"latest-version"/. Thus if everything goes smoothly you now have the latest version of maxima installed.
If you get stuck my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
On Compiling wxMaxima
If you want to compile wxMaxima with this maxima you must do it yourself. Do not fret. The following are instructions, https://help.ubuntu.com/community/wxMaxima to do just that. The reason is that there are dependency issues that require that "maxima-doc" be installed with the package "wxmaxima", however "maxima-doc" must be uninstalled in order for this method above to work for installing Maxima.
Other applications you may wish to look at
Front-ends for Maxima:
Extra functionality for Maxima:
- gnuplot (by default, maxima will install gnuplot-nox; you want to also install the main gnuplot package to display plots in X11)