Maple — RCG Handbook


What is Maple?

Maple is a symbolic computer algebra system. It has the ability to algebraically manipulate unbounded integers, exact rational numbers, real numbers with arbitrary precision, symbolic formulae, polynomials, sets, lists, equations, arrays, vectors, and matrices. Maple can solve systems of equations and differentiate and integrate expressions, as well as do 2-D and 3-D plotting and animation. HTML conversion is built-in. This is commercial software, but SFU has a site license for it. New releases come out once a year. The current release is Maple 2021.

Where is Maple on RCG-Managed Linux Computers?

The Research Computing Group supplies a centrally-maintained and configured installation of Maple (currently 5.8 Gigs in size). We used to make this available via an NFS mount, but we’ve recently (2020/2021) switched to CVMFS for performance reasons. The location of the CVMFS mount is:


The executables, maple, xmaple, mhelp, and mint are symlinked from within:


which should be in everyone’s $PATH.

Linux Environment

Most of the linux systems managed by the Research Computing Group are set up with environment modules. By default, these environment modules will adjust your $PATH and other environment variables so that commands such as maple, xmaple, mhelp, and mint will run the latest version of Maple from the aforementioned CVMFS mount.

If you type maple and get Command not found, then you may have an older environment that is messing-up the environment modules. In the olden days, users would put custom settings into their .mylogin and .mycshrc files, which would be sourced from standard .login and .cshrc files. You may need to move these files out of the way in order for the environment modules to work correctly.

How do I Run Maple on Linux?

If you want to run the command-line version of Maple, simply type:


If you’re in a GUI environment, you can run the X-windows version of Maple by typing:


How do I Find Older Versions of Maple on Linux?

Some researchers have custom code that only works with a specific older version of Maple. We keep a few older versions of Maple around, just in case a new version breaks something. Take a look in:


in order to see which older versions of Maple are available. For example, in order to run Maple 2020, type maple-2020 (command-line) or xmaple-2020 (GUI).

How does Maple Licensing Work?

The Research Computing Group maintains a set of 3 redundant license servers. These license servers host 1,024 licenses for Maple. If Maple loses communication with these license servers, then it won’t work. Being triply-redundant means that we can take one server down in order to do system updates and maintenance, and the other two will keep serving maple licenses.

On the rare occasion that something goes wrong with our license servers, you might get a license checkout error. If this happens, please contact us via

NOTE: our license servers are only accessible on-campus. If you try to copy our centrally-maintained installation of Maple and take it somewhere else, it won’t work!

How do I get Maple on a Non-linux Computer?

If Maple isn’t already installed on your SFU-managed Windows or Macintosh computer, then please contact your school’s helpdesk.

What if I Want to Run Maple at Home?

As mentioned above, you can’t contact our license servers from home. However, individual licenses of Maple are available for your portable or home computer if you are SFU faculty or staff. For details, see:

Students are, in general, not covered by this license. They can purchase the Student Edition of Maple from Maplesoft.