Maxima -- GPL CAS based on DOE-MACSYMA Icon

Maxima -- GPL CAS based on DOE-MACSYMA

Computer Algebra System written in Common Lisp

4.8 Stars (59)
7,799 Downloads (This Week)
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Maxima is a computer algebra system comparable to commercial systems like Mathematica and Maple. It emphasizes symbolic mathematical computation: algebra, trigonometry, calculus, and much more.

For example, Maxima solves x^2-r*x-s^2-r*s=0 giving the symbolic results [x=r+s, x=-s].

Maxima can calculate with exact integers and fractions, native floating-point and high-precision big floats.

Maxima has user-friendly front-ends, an on-line manual, plotting commands, and numerical libraries. Users can write programs in its native programming language, and many have contributed useful packages in a variety of areas over the decades.

Maxima is GPL-licensed and largely written in Common Lisp. Executables can be downloaded for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android; source code is also available. An active community maintains and extends the system.

Maxima is widely used: annual direct downloads exceed 300,000. Many other users receive it through secondary distribution.

Maxima -- GPL CAS based on DOE-MACSYMA Web Site


  • Specialized in symbolic operations but offering numerical capabilities too.
  • Can be accessed programmatically and extended, as the underlying Lisp can be called from it.
  • Complete programming language with ALGOL-like syntax but Lisp-like semantics.
  • Arbitrary-precision integers.
  • Rational numbers of sizes limited only by machine memory.
  • Arbitrarily large floating-point numbers ("bfloats").


User Ratings

ease 1 of 5 2 of 5 3 of 5 4 of 5 5 of 5 4 / 5
features 1 of 5 2 of 5 3 of 5 4 of 5 5 of 5 4 / 5
design 1 of 5 2 of 5 3 of 5 4 of 5 5 of 5 4 / 5
support 1 of 5 2 of 5 3 of 5 4 of 5 5 of 5 4 / 5
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User Reviews

  • 1 of 5 2 of 5 3 of 5 4 of 5 5 of 5

    I use this professionally and find it to be a great open source alternative to MathCAD, and an excellent complementary tool to Octave (which is open source Matlab). Definetly worth trying.

    Posted 08/16/2016
  • 1 of 5 2 of 5 3 of 5 4 of 5 5 of 5

    Fantastic Software! Solves everything I want super-fast.

    Posted 05/04/2016
  • 1 of 5 2 of 5 3 of 5 4 of 5 5 of 5

    Worked with this product for several years. Ezsy to use and fun to play with ;)

    Posted 03/05/2016
  • 1 of 5 2 of 5 3 of 5 4 of 5 5 of 5

    Simply put, the best Open Source CAS you will find out there. As a long-time user of Mathematica in the past, I switched to Maxima once I realized Mathematica took the wrong way. And I never looked back after that. In many ways, Maxima impressed me, especially on symbolic computations. Personally, I prefer the Emacs front-end of Maxima, but for beginners, or for people that want to use Maxima in a more graphical environment resembling commercial CASes, try wxMaxima. SageMath, which can use Maxima internally might worth a look as well.

    Posted 11/08/2015
  • 1 of 5 2 of 5 3 of 5 4 of 5 5 of 5

    Aside from being extremely useful, this project is a beautiful piece of living history dating from its origins in Project MAC at MIT from 1968 and being the first general-purpose computational system for algebra and calculus, both symbolically and numerically. It is also a shining example of the benefits that can come from what is unfortunately all-too-often called "military" funding. DARPA can be a two-edged sword, but the benefits to the global community that arise from its research funding are undeniable.

    Posted 11/07/2015
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Additional Project Details


English, Portuguese, Spanish

Intended Audience

Science/Research, Education, End Users/Desktop, Engineering

User Interface

X Window System (X11), Win32 (MS Windows), Console/Terminal, Tk

Programming Language

Lisp, C, Tcl




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