I just installed v11, and I wanted to try wolframscript at the console.

Whatever I try, it works, but always adding at the beginning the annoying warning

   A front end is not available; certain operations require a front end.

which it adds even for a simple wolframscript -code 2+2

There is a way to avoid it?

  • $\begingroup$ Are you running it on a headless machine? $\endgroup$
    – Szabolcs
    Commented Aug 17, 2016 at 7:53
  • $\begingroup$ no, it's a desktop - but I like to use the console whenever I can $\endgroup$
    – alessandro
    Commented Aug 17, 2016 at 8:42
  • $\begingroup$ So just to make it clear, you do have an X server running, right? $\endgroup$
    – Szabolcs
    Commented Aug 17, 2016 at 8:46
  • $\begingroup$ :-) yes, I have it - and the M frontend works perfectly on it... (it is a Fedora fc20) $\endgroup$
    – alessandro
    Commented Aug 17, 2016 at 9:14
  • $\begingroup$ I don't have M11 on Linux now to confirm, but it sounds like something worth reporting to Wolfram Support. $\endgroup$
    – Szabolcs
    Commented Aug 17, 2016 at 9:15

1 Answer 1


The answer from Wolfram was that they were unable to replicate my bug - but they just tried it with Ubuntu. From what I see by b.gatessucks, whatever issue it is, it must be present at least in Fedora fc20...

Anyway - just to show myself that I could do it, and just for fun - I put this code in my .bashrc (it needs ImageMagick):

        echo -n -e "Input/Output loop with Mathematica syntax\npre-pend \"g\" to have graphics output (if ImageMagick installed)\nCtrl-C to exit\nw> "
        perl -wne'chomp;(substr($_, 0, 1) eq "g") ?
        do{$x="g";$_=~s/^.//;$a=`wolframscript -code "$_"  -format PNG >file.png 2>/dev/null`}:
        do{$x="";$a=`wolframscript -code $_ 2>&1`};
        $x eq "" ? do{@b=split(/\n/,$a);print"$b[2]\nw> "}:
        do{print"\nw> ";system("display file.png 2>/dev/null&")}';
export -f wcalc

With it, the command wcalc starts a quick Mathematica session at the console. The same as calling math at the console, but with the added benefits that

1) I was able to use wolframscript as I wanted (I get rid of the warning I asked about, by splitting @b and printing just $b[2]), and

2) if you pre-prend your command by "g", e.g.

w> gPlot[Sin[x],{x,0.,5}]

it is able to open the graphics (using display by ImageMagick) .


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