The aim of this page is to give information to help choose between the various computer algebra systems packaged with Debian.

It is possible to use some of these packages online at

General Computer Algebra Systems


In, "Jordi Gutiérrez Hermoso" says:

Axiom is also mature, but it seems to be almost completely abandoned! They released it, but nobody seems to be maintaining it -- while Maxima development which is fast-paced and active. I think Openaxiom is a fork to address this abandonment, but it doesn't seem to be very developed itself either!


In, "Jordi Gutiérrez Hermoso" says:

Maxima is probably the most mature of these... which isn't saying much, unfortunately. Maxima can often be coaxed to get you the answer you want for a large class of problems, but it can be maddeningly difficult to do so. A recent example is that Maxima won't give you the solution to something like sqrt(x-1) = x -3 in any obvious way unles you go ahead and square both sides yourself before feeding it to it. Yacas faces the same problem with this one!

See also DebianScienceMaxima


In Jordi Gutiérrez Hermoso says:

Yacas seems like a toy to me. It has a very small subset of features of mathematical significance, and it's not very actively developed. It's got a few good ideas, but it hasn't advanced sufficiently to impress me.

It is, however, mathematical software, marginally useful, and it doesn't have a large footprint, so I wouldn't mind having it as a mathematics task (this is tasksel we're talking about, right?).




SymPy is a Python library for symbolic mathematics. It aims to become a full-featured computer algebra system (CAS) while keeping the code as simple as possible in order to be comprehensible and easily extensible. SymPy is written entirely in Python and does not require any external libraries.

Not packaged for Debian

FriCAS and OpenAxiom

These are forks of Axiom.



Debian Sage Packaging Team (DSPT): (not valid anymore)

TODO list to add again sage to Debian: DebianScience/Sage

Sage is a free open-source mathematics software system licensed under the GPL. It combines the power of many existing open-source packages into a common Python-based interface.