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mathicsscript is a command-line interface to Mathics.


See the screenshot directory for a description and another example.


  • prompt_toolkit and GNU Readline terminal interaction. This includes:
    • saving command history between sessions.
    • variable completion, even for symbol names like \\[Sigma]
    • limited ESC keyboard input; for example esc p esc is π
  • Syntax highlighting using mathics-pygments which includes dynamically created variables and functions.
  • Automatic detection of light or dark terminal background color.
  • Optional Graphics rendering via matplotlib for 2D graphics, and Asymptote for 3D graphcs.
  • Entering and displaying Unicode symbols such as used for Pi or Rule arrows
  • Provision for running in non-interactive batch mode which an be used inside POSIX shells


To install, run :

$ make install

To install from git sources so that you run from the git source tree:

$ make develop


Once install run using mathicsscript:

$ mathicsscript
Mathicscript: 3.2.2.dev0, Mathics 3.1.0.dev0
on CPython 3.7.10 (default, Feb 23 2021, 10:13:46)
using SymPy 1.8, mpmath 1.2.1, numpy 1.20.2, cython 0.29.22

Copyright (C) 2011-2021 The Mathics Team.
This program comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY.
This is free software, and you are welcome to redistribute it
under certain conditions.
See the documentation for the full license.

Quit by evaluating Quit[] or by pressing CONTROL-D.


For batch use: :

$ mathicsscript -c "N[Pi, 30]"

To read from a file

In file /tmp/test.m:

Print["Results: ",{sum,integral}]

Feeding this into mathicsscript:

$ mathicsscript --no-prompt </tmp/test.m
Results: {4, x}

For a full list of options, type mathicsscript --help.

Why not IPython via Jupyter?

There will always be a need for simple terminal-like interaction. Although there is IPython support via Jupyter all of this is pretty heavy-weight. To code to this protocol, a developer needs to write a kernel, and use a wire protocol. This adds complexity not only for the person developing this package, but also for the user who needs to load the extra layers that aren't used. And when something goes wrong, it is harder to track down problems.

At the other end of the spectrum, if the dependencies of this package are too onerous and you want even simpler, lighter-weight terminal interaction without any of the features mentioned above, use mathics which is distributed as part of the core Mathic3 package.