Thursday, June 5, 2008

Mathematica problem in Linux (Hardy)

1. Backspace or delete working until i turn numlock off.

This is an old mathematica bug fised in recent versions. The Mod2 key is probably mapped to your Num Lock key. If the Mod2 keysym is mapped to Num Lock, hit the Num Lock key to turn it off.

Depressing Mod2 turns on an undocumented feature of the X front end - global selection. When global selection is activated, the mouse pointer will change from an I-beam to a hand. You cannot place a text edit cursor within a cell in this mode, but if you select a cell of a given style, then all cells of that style will be selected.

To avoid this situation in the future, simply remap Mod2 to another key using xmodmap or some other keyboard configuration utility.

It appears that by default Mandrake Linux 8 sets the Num Lock key on and maps it to Mod2. Therefore, it is suggested that you remap Mod2 to another key as described above.

source :

If you want to configure your linux machine so that Mathematica can use the NumLock key.(

I add the relevant excerpt for convenience -

If you would prefer to use the number lock key with Mathematica, you can either use xmodmap to remap the mod_2 key to something other than number lock, or you can add the following to your ~/.Xresources file:

*secondaryModifierMask: Mod3Mask

Then reload your Xresources with

$ xrdb -load ~/.Xresources

Now when you start Mathematica, the number lock key should not effect cell evaluation. You can also do this at the system-wide level by editing the following file as root:


where $TopDirectory is where you have installed Mathematica, usually something like /usr/local/Wolfram/Mathematica/5.0 or /usr/local/Wolfram/Mathematica/5.1.

In it find the following lines:

! Set these if you need to change what the FE uses for Primary (Command)
! and Secondary (Option) modifier keys.
!*primaryModifierMask: Mod2Mask
!*secondaryModifierMask: Mod3Mask

and uncomment (delete the ! mark) within the line containing secondaryModifierMask. This will cause the modifier key to be mapped to Mod3 instead of Mod2 (which is usually number lock).

2. I type but numbers and texts don't appear. Only the symbols appear.

This is because of using compiz. The text foreground color is white. Do this,


before start mathematica (or add it to ~/.bashrc or mathematica start script) solve the problem.

If still not working use bruteforce. Start mathematica with

$ mathematica -defaultvisual &

3. Xtra windows appear with mathematica

Regarding compiz and extra kernel windows, if you open Format, Option Inspector. Now select "Global preferences" in "Show option values". Then goto Notebook options, Window Properties, Window Frame and change it from "Normal" to "Generic", the extra windows will not appear when using compiz anymore.

(Note that the above commands work in all shells except the export commands. For that go into bash shell by typing bash at the command prompt.)

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