I have a script to produce a custom palette that works perfectly well when run in a MM notebook, but when I try to run it as a standalone Wolfram script, it produces the dreaded:

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

The script does a number of other things that may also require access to the FrontEnd, but it appears from this post that it is the attempt to create a notebook (palette) that is the root of the problem.

Have I understood the limitation correctly? And is it also correct that there is really no way around this, other than to run the script in a MMA notebook, as I can do presently?

What I don't get is this: even if it is not possible to open a new notebook to access the frontend, why is it not possible to access any necessary frontend functionality via an already open MMA notebook (i.e. to enable the script to establish a connection to the frontend via a named, currently open notebook?'

  • $\begingroup$ You are asking several interesting questions. To bluntly answer your (presumed) main question: you cannot expect to generate a palette without the front end that it is a part of & is constructed from. What would you expect to happen, without a front end? Would the palette be constructed from the command line? That said, I think your final question is most interesting, and is seemingly sat between having and not-having the front end to run the palette. This is, however, not exclusive to running a palette and could apply to many other things. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 3, 2022 at 1:41

1 Answer 1


You need to tell wolframscript to launch a service frontend.

In[1]:= NotebookPut[Notebook[{}]]                                                                                            

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

Out[1]= $Failed

In[2]:= NotebookPut[Notebook[{}]] // UsingFrontEnd                                                                           

Out[2]= -NotebookObject-

Some functions where it is not obvious that you need need a frontend will do this for you (e..g, Rasterize), but notebook operations are not in that category.

If UsingFrontEnd isn't enough, that we'd need to know more about your script.


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