Bug introduced in 10.4.0
I'm on Linux Mint 17.3 with KDE, and can't open Mathematica 10.4
It opens the activation key window, then it shows 'activation succesfull' and closes.
running top shows the WolframKernel still running but no window opens.
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This is a known bug in Mathematica 10.4.0 which will be addressed in the upcoming bugfix release.
The cause is a race condition which will not generally occur on every launch, so one possible workaround would be to just
killall Mathematica and try again. The problem might also be alleviated by turning off KDE desktop effects or temporarily switching to a different desktop environment until the activation process is complete.
The most robust workaround would be to activate from the kernel, i.e. start
math in a terminal and enter your activation information. The frontend should launch fine afterwards.
If you still have trouble with this, please contact
email@example.com and they will walk you through the process.