Thursday, September 12, 2013

Installing the Wolfram CDF Player in Ubuntu

It turns out that there's a Wolfram product for our calculus classes, and students are interested in using it on their netbooks. While netbooks aren't really designed for this type of thing,  you can indeed install it and run it successfully on your Ubuntu netbook.

It's the Wolfram CDF Player, and Mr. Fahrenbacher, one of our great teachers here at Niles West,  has taught us the Linux terminal code to install it. It's actually pretty easy.

Instructions are below, as well as a live-action video of Tech Leader Michael installing the program.


1. Download the file (597 MB) to the downloads folder (or copy it there from a flash drive). You download the file here. You'll have to fill in a couple of blanks, and then start the download.

2. Open up Terminal (Ctrl + Alt + T).

3.Type “cd Downloads” (without the quotes). Press Enter.

4. *Then type “ls” (again without the quotes).* *Actually, this step is optional, but it will tell you if the file is in the Downloads folder. It's good to know. Press Enter.

5. Type “sudo sh CDF” (no quotes) After you type CDF hit the Tab key (it auto completes the file name). Press Enter.

6. Enter your password and hit Enter.

7. Wait for it to extract and then press Enter when it asks for an installation directory.

8. Wait for the progress bar to finish. (Looks like [*********]). (Asterisks are indicating progress). This process will take a couple minutes. Then Press Enter.

9. The program is now installed! You can use it.

10. For example, click on any of the Wolfram Demonstration Projects here. Then, go ahead and click on Interact With This Demonstration, then click on "continue downloading," and it will download. When you get a dialogue box, choose "Save File."

11. Locate the file in your downloads, then double click on it. Wait for it to load (it takes a few mins). Then click open recent and find your file (double click).

12. It works! Now use it for the actual demonstrations your teacher wants you to use.

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