So I was installing the new 13.1 doc on Linux. Somehow during the process, I decided to stop the operation. And the next thing I knew was that the complete folder where the .sh file was there was deleted, along with it all hidden items on the /home/ directory, including .bash configurations, etc.! This is completely shocking!

Steps NOT to be done!

You are not logged in with root privilege. 
To install for all users of the computer the installer must be run as root or with sudo. 
Only the current user of this computer will be able to use this software.
Proceed with installation? (Y/n)
> Y
Now installing...

The complete folder with WLDocs_13.1.0_LINUX.sh is gone! Also some folders in /home are gone!

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ You're making a potential bug report. Please send it to Wolfram Support. It is off topic here. $\endgroup$
    – MarcoB
    Jul 14, 2022 at 13:31
  • 8
    $\begingroup$ Yes, I did file a bug report already! This is just to make the community know about the problem. Although you are right, whoever will face this problem, will first suffer and then will look at the web! $\endgroup$
    – BabaYaga
    Jul 14, 2022 at 13:33
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ On Wolfram Community: community.wolfram.com/groups/-/m/t/2570909 $\endgroup$
    – Szabolcs
    Jul 15, 2022 at 9:13

1 Answer 1


Obviously, this is a bad bug that occurs on Linux when the documentation installation process is interrupted in a bad place. For now, we have pulled the installer from the user portal. We think we have identified the issue. As soon as we have a verified fix, we will upload the patched version to the user portal.

Update: the corrected installer is now live in the user portal.

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ I suspect details are not public, since Mathematica is proprietary, but I would love to know what sort of bug could possibly cause this. It’s not like a deletion command ran at the wrong time: no software should ever go around deleting home directory contents like this. $\endgroup$ Jul 15, 2022 at 14:57
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ This can easily happen when someone who isn't overly familiar with shell programming hacks together a quick script to support a minority platform. Something like "Change into directory XY, then delete everything in it". All that needs to happen is XY not existing, and BOOM. (That is why hackers use && and not ;.) $\endgroup$ Jul 15, 2022 at 15:56
  • $\begingroup$ @BrianDrake , it not only deleted the dot files and configuration files but also the whole folders like Documents, Download etc. luckily I stopped in time otherwise my whole computer could go empty in a few mins. This is not expected from such companies where you pay a hefty amount for their product and service. $\endgroup$
    – BabaYaga
    Jul 15, 2022 at 16:19
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ While I don't know I can go into specifics, I can assure you this wasn't a trivial error by a novice. Basically, a shell variable could be initialized to a value that worked as expected when dereferenced in some situations but not in others. Plus, not all installation types would even hit the error. If it always did the wrong thing, we would have noticed this months ago we first started asking internal developers to use this installer. But we will definitely look at how we can improve our testing methodology to make sure this doesn't happen again. $\endgroup$ Jul 19, 2022 at 3:50

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.