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I've been trying Mathematica 8.0.4.0 in Arch Linux x64 with poor results: very frequent crashes when using any WolframAlpha[] functions. The errors involve Java, libc.so.6, and D-Bus. I've tried replacing MMa's Java with several others (both 32 and 64-bit) as follows:

Needs["JLink`"]
ReinstallJava[CommandLine -> "/opt/jdk1.6.0_25/fastdebug/bin/java"]

but the crashes still occur, just with different error messages! I'm working with Wolfram on this, but I thought I'd get some input before I go distribution-hopping. I'm testing 8.0.4.0 in CentOS 5.7 (VirtualBox), and it seems stable, but I would really like to stick to a distribution with superior multimedia support and GNOME 3. What should I do?

My CPU is core i5 (Sandy Bridge) and I use CUDA with Nvidia drivers.

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2 Answers 2

I have tracked the error down using a fastdebug version of java. It seems a library shipped with Mathematica causes a crash in the java virtual machine. From the stack trace:

/usr/local/Wolfram/Mathematica/8.0/SystemFiles/Java/Linux - x86 - 64/lib/amd64/libnet.so (Java_sun _net _spi _DefaultProxySelector _getSystemProxy + 0 x2fe)[0 x7fcb30534c1e]

Lucky for me, the library is used in some way to detect/use the system's proxy settings; and I don't use a proxy. The option to use the system's proxy settings was enabled by default within MMa; I enabled "direct connection" instead and the program seems to be running fine. Not a fix, but a lucky work-around for me.

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This is a list of distributions on which Mathematica has been tested by Wolfram. Ubuntu has both multimedia support and GNOME 3 and I have used Mathematica on it with great success. This article contains useful information which may be helpful to you regarding Mathematica on Ubuntu.

If you don't fancy Ubuntu Fedora is also a great choice and I'd expect you'd be able to run Mathematica on it pretty easily.

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Thanks, I saw the list of distros tested by Wolfram: Ubuntu 7.10 is over four years old, openSuse 11 is from 2008. The article you link to about Mathematica on Ubuntu was last updated in 2009. My issues are only showing up in MMa 8. It's looking like RHEL/CentOS/Scientific 5.x may be the route but I'll never go back to Gnome 2: so perhaps keeping MMa in a virtualbox in arch is the way to go until/if Wolfram fixes the issue. –  Chris Feb 11 '12 at 15:08
    
Have you tried Mathematica on Ubuntu 11.10? As I've said I've used it with success. –  paldepind Feb 12 '12 at 8:53
    
Not yet: will test Ubuntu 11.10 in VirtualBox soon. To be clear: can you tell me your MMa version, if it is 32 or 64 bit, and if your Ubuntu is 32 or 64 bit. The crash is random: once I made it thru 40 functions before it crashed. My other thought is that perhaps the crash is related to a certain processor type and I'll never trigger the crash in a virtualbox environment. I appreciate your help and I'll certainly look into Ubuntu 11.10 soon. I've used Ubuntu in the past an would have no issues switching back from Archlinux if it solves this problem –  cjpembo Feb 12 '12 at 16:23

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