The Computer Algebra Program MAXIMA - a Tutorial

Preliminary version from Feb 15th, 2005.
Newest additions made at Apr 12th, 2021
Distribution is encouraged, comments are welcome and should be mailed to the editor.


This tutorial covers the use of the computer algebra program Maxima. Apart from own material, it uses - in modified form - material from the homepage of William F. Schelter (see:, the late maintainer of Maxima.

Where to Start:

If you do not have a copy of Maxima, but want to have one, you should read the download information. To really understand Maxima, you will have to work with that great program. Installing Maxima is simple, do not hesitate to try it!

For a first try of Maxima, you may wish to try the examples in First Steps with Maxima.

The use of a computer algebra program is not always easy. The beginner feels often a bit helpless when he needs a function to perform a special operation. One has to exercise the use of Maxima to become an expert. It is a good idea to try to solve exercises from maths textbooks.

Note about the Use of mathML

For rendering mathematical formulae, some pages of this tutorial use the markup language mathML. For the correct rendering of such pages you need a browser that can display mathML. Firefox is such a browser, many other browsers do not currently support mathML.

Table of Contents

An earlier, and long outdated, version of this tutorial is included in the SourceForge distribution of Maxima. To find it, select the tab "Documentation" of that page. That inclusion was done without my knowledge and I do not even know the maintainer of the SourceForge page about Maxima. Over the years, I was repeatedly asked to fix some imperfections and a number of annoying typos in that version, but regrettably I see no way to do that, because I do not have write access to that web page.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.