I would like to set the system of units ($UnitSystem) permanently to "Metric".

I know that I can do

$UnitSystem = "Metric"

Or use the option UnitSystem -> "Metric", but I would like that change to be permanent and be there when the next session is started.

SetOptions[$FrontEnd, UnitSystem -> "Metric"]

Does not solve the problem (and by the way now I have a meaningless permanent option for $FrontEnd that I don't know how to remove).

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Why not put that in init.m? $\endgroup$ Jun 8, 2016 at 13:43
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Why go against the flow - imperial units are bound to make a comeback. This metric thing is just a fad :-) $\endgroup$
    – Jason B.
    Sep 16, 2016 at 1:21

1 Answer 1


I'm on "10.0 for Mac OS X x86 (64-bit) (December 4, 2014)", but the action should not differ for other systems substantially. Nevertheless, a backup is indicated with every system manipulation.

Find the default unit system:



The base directory in which user-specific files are placed:


And the files within this Directory:

FileNames["*", "/Users/xxxx/Library/Mathematica"] // Column

Find all init.mwithiun this Directory:

initFiles = FileNames["init.m", $UserBaseDirectory, Infinity]
m", "/Users/xxxx/Library/Mathematica/FrontEnd/init.m", \

Your User Mathematica initialization file


Will show in the same *.nb the following:

(** User Mathematica initialization file **)

$UnitSystem = "Metric"

What to do:

  1. Locate your Kernel/init.m file
  2. Open the init.m file with a text editor
  3. Add statement an save the file

Restart MMA and check.


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