I'm evaluating this code in Mathematica 8.0.0 on Mac OS X 10.6.8:

  RegularExpression["[0.-9]*-[0.-9]*-[0.-9]*"]], {i, 1, 87}]

which finds every CAS registry number present in 87 GIFs.

Looking at the Activity Monitor, I can see that Mathematica calls Tesseract.exe and GIF.exe when working on the images.

Are those processes being virtualized, or is their name simply misleading?


2 Answers 2


Yes, the Mathematica application on Mac OS contains a few external binaries, which are mostly used for importing and exporting. These files have suffix .exe:

$ find "/Applications/Mathematica 8.app" -name '*.exe'|wc -l

But even though .exe is a prefix common for Windows executables, it doesn’t mean that it can’t be used for other things. In fact, Mac OS (like Linux and other Unixes) doesn’t care much how files are named, and while it is typically to name binary files on these systems without suffix at all, a .exe suffix doesn’t hurt. Moreover, you can actually check that these files are Mac OS binary:

$ file "/Applications/Mathematica 8.app/SystemFiles/Converters/Binaries/MacOSX-x86-64/GIF.exe"
/Applications/Mathematica 8.app/SystemFiles/Converters/Binaries/MacOSX-x86-64/GIF.exe: Mach-O 64-bit executable x86_64

the key point being this last part of the string: Mach-O 64-bit executable x86_64. There is thus no need to assume that Mathematica uses virtualization on Mac OS (and I'd be very surprised, to say the least, if it did).


I don't know what it is in the names that makes you think these programs are being virtualized, i.e., run in a virtual machine. Gif.exe is just an external program Mathematica runs during the Import of your gifs. Tesseract.exe is an open source OCR program currently in development by Google.

  • $\begingroup$ @SjoerdCdeVries It's because they're named like Windows programs (.exe), and I'm under OS X. I've edited my post to make that fact clearer. $\endgroup$
    – CHM
    Mar 30, 2012 at 6:10
  • $\begingroup$ @CHM That makes quite a difference. Now I understand your question way better. $\endgroup$ Mar 30, 2012 at 8:18

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