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Complete Setup on Windows With No Builds Required

This page gives instructions for making a complete Axiom environment on Windows without doing any builds. It should be accurate for the currently available downloads but may become out of date. Since this is a Wiki, feel free to update this page if you have better information.

Axiom is mostly developed on UNIX systems, and its Windows support is minimal. You can, however, achieve a reasonably good working environment. No X functionality is currently provided on Windows, but you can use OldTeXmacs for your GUI. It works quite well and is possibly better then the Axiom GUI in any event.

These are the caveats:

  • The binary downloads do not support X, so even if you have a working X server, it will not be used. This means you will not have the built-in Axiom GUI interface, Hyperdoc, or any drawing.
  • .axiom.input is not supported on Windows.

Open Axiom

Follow these steps:

  • Download open-axiom-1.3.0-windows-i386.exe from http://www.open-axiom.org/download.html and run it.

    Note: Alternatively you could install Axiom, axiom-windows-0.1.4.exe, from http://axiom.newsynthesis.org/mathaction/AxiomBinaries. It should be noted that Axiom is not as well supported on Wndows as Open Axiom, owing to a lack of resources. You can install both if you like. They both modify your PATH, so you may have to make some adjustments. The instructions on this page are for Open Axiom and may or may not work for Axiom.

  • The installer will put the installation directory in your PATH.

    Warning: There is a potential problem in that the installation includes gcc, and hence that version of gcc may be found instead of the one you expect. This only applies to those who are using gcc themselves. As with any application you may have to manage your PATH or use scripts or BAT files to ensure the proper environment for your applications. If your requirements are simple, the default installation should work.

  • The installer will install a shortcut, which you can use to run Open Axiom in a command shell.
  • If there is a problem, the command shell may blow away before you can read any error messages.

    Fix: A standard fix for this sort of thing is to run it manually in a command shell or change the target for the short cut by adding cmd /k before the existing target. The latter will keep the command shell from going away.

  • This should put you in business with the console version of Open Axiom.
  • If you get compiler errors when you try to do things, the problem is likely that the current installer does not install all of the necessary files for gcc.

    Fix: You may have to install gcc yourself and insure it is in the PATH before Open Axiom. You can follow the directions for getting gcc from Cygwin on the OpenAxiomWindows page. You only need to install gcc as far as this issue goes.

  • If you get warnings that it doesn't like the way Windows names its file system, than you can set the environment variable:


  • You won't have documentation. Get it from http://www.axiom-developer.org/axiom-website/documentation.html. Volumes 0 and 1 in PDF form are useful. You might want to download them. Another useful reference is http://nongnu.askapache.com/axiom/tutorial.pdf.


Follow these steps:

  • Download texmacs-installer.exe from http://www.texmacs.org/tmweb/download/windows.en.html#install and run it.

    Note: Do not get TeXmacs4Win. It was written when OldTeXmacs was not working, is not supported, will make extensive modifications to your Registry, and does not have an uninstaller. The current version of OldTeXmacs is later and works well.

  • To use Open Axiom in OldTeXmacs, you want to get to it from its menus via Insert | Session | OpenAxiom. Unfortunately, you have to do some things before you see OpenAxiom as an option for a Session.

    This version of OldTeXmacs comes built to use Axiom, not Open Axiom. Axiom is implemented as a plug-in. It is located in the OldTeXmacs installation under plugins and is in a folder named axiom. To allow it to use Open Axiom, you need to modify the plug-in or make a new one. It would be nice if you could download this plug-in from somewhere, but so far the universe is not that kind. We will describe the easiest option, which is to modify the Axiom plugin. The only file that should need to be changed is plugins\axiom\progs\init-axiom.scm.

          (plugin-configure openaxiom
            (:require (url-exists-in-path? "open-axiom"))
            (:initialize (openaxiom-initialize))
            (:launch "tm_openaxiom")
            (:session "OpenAxiom"))

    Alternatively, you could copy the axiom folder to a new folder named openaxiom, make the above changes, and also change all occurrences of axiom to openaxiom, using your judgement as to what case to use. If you do that, you can use both Axiom and Open Axiom.

    For this to work it needs to be able to find open-axiom and tm_openaxiom in the PATH. For Axiom, It needs to find FRICASsys and tm_axiom. If it doesn't find them, then the corresponding plug-in does not appear in the Session menu.

  • This should put you in business with OldTeXmacs. It installs a shortcut in the Start menu that remains there.
  • You can get around part of the problem of not reading .axiom.input by changing the shortcut for OldTeXmacs so it starts in the directory where your .input files are. At least you then don't have to enter a )cd command with a possibly long path every time you start Open Axiom.
  • Some useful features (also available via keyboard shortcuts and toolbar icons):
    • Session | Field | Insert, Remove, ...
    • Session | Session | Fold all fields, and others
    • Session | Evaluate | Evaluate all, and others

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