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I have Mathematica 5 - a powerful CAS. I have a cheap netbook (running Windows XP), wich not only is too slow to run mathmatica on, I doubt it has the harddrive space.

I do however have remote access to a number of very powerful computers, (most of wich run variose Linuxes, but one of which is Windows Server 2008, though I'ld rather not use this one*). Mostly over SSH but other protocols can be arraged for some, I'm sure.

So I'ld like to install Mathematica onto one of these machine and then run it remotely.

Either from the command line via Putty or via some other method.

I glanced through the mathematical documentation and read something about using some MathLink program, which links the front end installed on my computer to a remote kernel.

Anyone have any experience with this?

I'm not sure if this belongs here or in SuperUser.

  • At the moment, it's being tinkered with, and when the tinkering stops it'll likely be used to run multiple thin terms. As compared to the Linux machines: I have access to a dual 2.4 Xeon with 3GB RAM, which the rest of the world seems to have completely forgotten about (runs freeBSD!).
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Install Mathematica/Linux on one of your linux boxes, make sure you have the base X11 libraries installed on it as well, then install an X11 server on your netbook (which I assume is running Windows), i.e. Cygwin/X, and also an SSH client (i.e. Putty). In the client options for SSH, make sure you enable X11 forwarding (in Putty Config, it's in the tree under Connection->SSH->X11) and then you can connect to your linux box with SSH, start Mathematica and the program (including graphics) will be displayed on your local system.

If your netbook is running Linux, you would just issue a command like ssh -X username@mathbox to connet to the remote system.

If you prefer to use the Windows Server, you could use the Terminal Server capabilities of W2008, but it might be possible you would need a Client Access License for this. Then, you would use the Remote Desktop Connection program on your Windows client to connect to W2008 server.

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I see the benefit of this. I mean forwarding the X-screen. But I worry that forwarding a graphical enviorment would be high bandwidth. I'm almost excusively working wirelessly, and often the connection is bad/slow. – oxinabox Mar 14 '10 at 13:29
OK, X11 over a bad wireless connection isn't fun, in this case the MathLink option seems to be a much better alternative, as it optimized for transferring Mathematica session data. I haven't used this though, so I can't comment on it. Another option might be to look into NX (, which is highly optimized for low bandwidth connections and which I very often use to connect to remote displays over my 3G data card. – Sven Mar 14 '10 at 13:44
up vote 1 down vote accepted

In 2012, I made a script to solve this. It is now (in 2015) available on github

It should make running Mathematica on the command-line pleasant and fine, over SSH. Should work on any Unix-like system.

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