Julia language interface for Mathematica/Wolfram Engine
102 Stars
Updated Last
5 Months Ago
Started In
September 2014



This package provides access to Mathematica/Wolfram Engine via the MathLink library, now renamed to Wolfram Symbolic Transfer Protocol (WSTP).


The package requires an installation of either Mathematica or the free Wolfram Engine. It will attempt to find the installation at build time; if this fails, please see the installation troubleshoot below.


The main interface consists of the W"" string macro for specifying symbols. These are call-overloaded for building more complicated expressions.

julia> using MathLink

julia> W"Sin"

julia> sin1 = W"Sin"(1.0)

julia> sinx = W"Sin"(W"x")

To parse an expression in the Wolfram Language, you can use the W cmd macro (note the backticks):

julia> W`Sin[1]`

weval evaluates an expression:

julia> weval(sin1)

julia> weval(sinx)

julia> weval(W"Integrate"(sinx, (W"x", 0, 1)))
W`Plus[1, Times[-1, Cos[1]]]`

Keyword arguments can be used to pass local variables

julia> weval(sinx; x=2.0)

The algebraic operators

MathLink also overloads the +, -, *, / operations.

julia> using MathLink

julia> W"a"+W"b"
W`Plus[a, b]`

julia> W"a"+W"a"
W`Plus[a, a]`

julia> W"a"-W"a"
W`Plus[a, Minus[a]]`

One can toggle automatic use of weval on-and-off using set_GreedyEval(x::Bool)

julia> set_GreedyEval(true);

julia> W"a"+W"b"
W`Plus[a, b]`

julia> W"a"+W"a"
W`Times[2, a]`

julia> W"a"-W"a"

Fractions and Complex numbers

The package also contains extensions to handle fractions.

julia> weval(1//2)
W`Rational[1, 2]`

julia> (4//5)*W"a"
W`Times[Rational[4, 5], a]`

julia> W"a"/(4//5)
W`Times[Rational[5, 4], a]`

and complex numbers

julia> im*W"a"
W`Times[Complex[0, 1], a]`

julia> im*(im*W"c")
W`Times[-1, c]`

Matrix Multiplication

Since the arithmetic operators are overloaded, operations such as matrix multiplication are also possible by default.

julia> P12 = [ 0 1 ; 1 0 ]
2×2 Matrix{Int64}:
 0  1
 1  0

julia> set_GreedyEval(true)

julia> P12 * [W"a" W"b" ; W`a+b` 2] == [ W"b" 2-W"b" ; W"a" W"b"]

W2Mstr - Mathematica conversion

Sometimes one wants to be able to read the Julia MathLink expressions back into Mathematica. For that purpose, W2Mstr is also supplied. This implementation is currently quite defensive with parentheses, which gives a more verbose output than necessary. Here are a few examples

julia> W2Mstr(W`x`)

julia> W2Mstr(W"Sin"(W"x"))

julia> W2Mstr(weval(W`a + c + v`))
"(a + c + v)"

julia> W2Mstr(weval(W`a^(b+c)`))
"(a^(b + c))"

julia> W2Mstr(weval(W`e+a^(b+c)`))
"((a^(b + c)) + e)"

julia> W2Mstr(W"a"+W"c"+W"v"+W"Sin"(2 +W"x" + W"Cos"(W"q")))
"(a + c + v + Sin[(2 + x + Cos[q])])"

julia> W2Mstr(im*2)

julia> W2Mstr(weval(W"Complex"(W"c",W"b")))

julia> W2Mstr(W"c"+im*W"b")
"(((1*I)*b) + c)"

julia> W2Mstr(W`b/(c^(a+c))`)
"(b*((c^(a + c))^-1))"

LateX printing in JuPyter Notebooks

Printing in Jupyter notebooks is, by default, done in latex. This can be turned off with the command MathLink.set_texOutput(false)

Installation Troubleshoot

The package requires an installation of either Mathematica or the free Wolfram Engine. It will attempt to find the installation at build time; if this fails, you will need to set the following environment variables:

  • JULIA_MATHKERNEL: the path of the MathKernel executable
  • JULIA_MATHLINK: the path of the MathLink dynamic library named
    • on Linux
    • ml64i4.dll/ml32i4.dll/libML64.dll/ libML32.dll on Windows

After setting, you may need to manually build the package

(@v1.X) pkg> build MathLink

A separate workaround is to directly edit the deps/deps.jl file, which should be located (on Linux) at ~/.julia/packages/MathLink/<version dependent>/deps/deps.jl

The contents of deps.jl could for instance, read

const mlib = "/usr/local/Wolfram/Mathematica/11.3/SystemFiles/Links/MathLink/DeveloperKit/Linux-x86-64/CompilerAdditions/libML64i4"
const mker = "WolframKernel"

After creating the file deps.jl try loading MathLink the usual way

(@v1.X) pkg> using MathLink

If you do not have a Mathematica installation at all, the above trick still works, but then you must leave the path blank

const mlib = ""
const mker = "WolframKernel"

Loading MathLink then proclaims

julia> using MathLink
[ Info: Precompiling MathLink [18c93696-a329-5786-9845-8443133fa0b4]
[ Info: Pretending fake installation works


  • Mathematica, Wolfram, MathLink are all trademarks of Wolfram Research.

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