When I was in grad school — many moons ago — I was introduced to a fantastic platform for mathematics computation called Sage being developed at the University of Washington.

You can think of Sage as a combination of Mathematica, Matlab, and a bit of R — only open source, free, and backed by the power of Python.

Back then, it was still a beta-level project, and wasn’t quite ready for prime time.

How things have changed!

Sage Mathematics is now a powerhouse tool for serious applied mathematics. It’s very exciting to see the progress that’s been made, and I’m hoping to do what I can to evangelize it — *as I’m afraid until very recently, most mathematicians and folk who do math haven’t been aware of its existence.*

## How To Install Sage Mathematics Software

While generally I advise people to simply use the cloud-based Sage Notebook interface for your work — which comes with some cool collaborative possibilities — sometimes you just want to work locally so that you can integrate it better into your workflow.

I’ve got it up and running on my own system, and this is how I did it.

NOTE: If you use Ubuntu or a *buntu-based distro, then you’ll need to install sage directly from their site, as the one in the official repositories is quite old.

If you’re on Arch, however, or an Arch based distro — like Angergos, Arch Bang, Manjaro, Netrunner Rolling, etc — the currently release is in the official repo’s. Woo! *(Yet another example of why I prefer the Arch world to *buntu-land — I’m also getting into Fedora for similar reasons.)*

All you need to do for the arch’s is:

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sudo pacman -S sage-mathematics |

And, if you’d like to be able to use SageTeX, then install:

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sudo pacman -S texlive-core |

## Start The Sage Notebook In Your Browser

While much of Sage works in the command line via iPython, the full experience is best appreciated by using the Sage Notebook which runs in your browser.

To start the Sage Notebook, run this command in your terminal:

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sage -n |

Now open your main browser and go to:

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http://localhost:8080 |

NOTE: this will require you to login.

If you only plan to use this via your own machine, and not broadcast it across the internet, then you can bypass this step by opening the notebook without it:

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sage -c "notebook(automatic_login=True)" |

## What Next? Fun!

Now it’s up to you! You’ve got a world of awesome mathematics available to you now.

Here are some resources to get you started:

- Arch wiki page
- Sage Mathematics main page
- Sage Mathematics FAQ page
- Video of a Mathematics graduate student espousing the joys of Sage

Have fun!

*Now go lift something heavy,*

Nick Horton