My netbook is too slow to install Mathematica. I'm not set against working in a text editor, but I like having an automated highlighting/formatting environment; can anyone recommend a good gedit plugin or suggest an alternative solution?

To clarify: Unless there's something amazing online that can act as a virtual back-end using my login info, I can't use a front-end.

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    $\begingroup$ There's this for textmate on macs github.com/shadanan/mathematica-tmbundle... There might be some editors on ubuntu that can interpret textmate config files $\endgroup$
    – rm -rf
    Commented Nov 13, 2012 at 17:09
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    $\begingroup$ Sublime Text can use textmate plugins, and is cross-platform. It is not free, but has no limit on the trial period: sublimetext.com . $\endgroup$
    – Malte Lenz
    Commented Nov 13, 2012 at 17:31
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    $\begingroup$ Vim comes with a syntax highlighter for Mathematica. It's rather old though and you'll have to set it up to associate .m files with Mathematica (and not MATLAB or something else). $\endgroup$
    – Szabolcs
    Commented Nov 13, 2012 at 19:51
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    $\begingroup$ @Malte have you actually used that bundle? It appears to not display symbols in the symbol list (either in textmate or ST). I fixed it for my own use but if other people also use it I could clean it up and make it available. $\endgroup$
    – acl
    Commented Nov 13, 2012 at 20:20
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    $\begingroup$ @acl post that in a meta post! I'm sure it will be useful for a few users. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 14, 2012 at 3:24

2 Answers 2


If you're OK with using emacs, there's a mode which allows it to act as a front-end. There are also modes for editing m-files, eg this.

  • $\begingroup$ The second link looks promising, can you tell me how I would integrate it into emacs? There are instructions only for the front-end mode. $\endgroup$
    – QuietThud
    Commented Nov 14, 2012 at 3:31

If you have a more powerful box available, you could install Mathematica there, and run it from the netbook using X forwarding over SSH (ssh -X). The UI should be responsive as long as you have a good network connection and you aren't displaying large graphics or plots.

Some documentation for setting up an SSH server:

  • $\begingroup$ I would recommend nx as it has much better performance, especially with a slow connection! $\endgroup$
    – sebhofer
    Commented May 21, 2013 at 14:29
  • $\begingroup$ You probably want to mention the possibility to do the same in a platform independent way using VNC. That can also be somewhat simpler to setup and in my experience often gives better performance -- all depending on the details of the connection between the two computers (I have no experience in how it compares to sebhofers suggestion to use nx). Also a VNC session will survive an interrupted connection, while I remember X programs don't like such interrupts. $\endgroup$ Commented May 21, 2013 at 14:32

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