The Isabelle System Distribution
This is the internal repository version of Isabelle. Starting with
Isabelle98, the current line of Isabelle development introduces many
new features, but also some incompatibilities with Isabelle94-XX. See
the NEWS file in the distribution for more details.
Isabelle requires a real Unix box with sufficient resources. Fun
starts at about 32-64 MB of main memory (somewhat depending on your ML
system), with several tens of MB disk space and a decent CPU.
Speaking by today's hardware standards, even a rather low-end Linux
box should make a nice platform for Isabelle.
Furthermore, Isabelle needs the following software, which is not part
of the distribution:
- A full Standard ML Compiler (e.g. SML of New Jersey).
- The GNU bash shell (version 1.x or 2.x).
- Perl 5.x - the Pathologically Eclectic Rubbish Lister (Perl 4.x
is not sufficient).
The following ML system and platform combinations are known to work
- SML/NJ 110.x on any Unix platform (e.g. Suns, Linux).
- SML/NJ 0.93 on Suns and SGIs. There seem to be several
problems with Linux and HP-UX, though.
- Poly/ML versions 2.x and 3.1 on Suns.
needs lots of store and disk space, but it is free. The current
official release is 110 (there is an RPM
archive available for Linux/x86). We still support the old 0.93
release, but do not recommend to use it.
MLWorks is a
commercial ML programming environment. Isabelle on MLWorks 2.0 works
well. It is about 20% faster than on SML/NJ while using slightly less
memory and disk space. A few minor features (e.g. ML top-level pretty
printing) are not yet supported, though.
Poly/ML used to be a commercial product by Abstract Hardware Limited
(now Abstract, Inc.). It is no longer available. We're awaiting news
about future availability of Poly/ML.
See file INSTALL in the Isabelle sources on how to build the
system. Further background information may be found in the
Isabelle System Manual, distributed with the sources (see
The distribution includes only a very primitive interface based on
ordinary terminal sessions.
David Aspinall is a more elaborate interface for Isabelle. It runs
under recent versions of XEmacs and is useful to both novices and
Proof General is
a generic Emacs interface for proof assistants, including Isabelle (as
of version 2.0). Proof General is suitable for use by pacifists and
Emacs militants alike. Its most prominent feature is script
management, providing a metaphor of live proof script
Other sources of information
The electronic mailing list firstname.lastname@example.org
provides a forum for Isabelle users to discuss problems and exchange
information. To join, send a message to
Lawrence C Paulson
University of Cambridge
Cambridge CB2 3QG
Institut fuer Informatik
T. U. Muenchen
Please report any problems you encounter. While we shall try to be
helpful, we can accept no responsibility for the deficiencies of
Isabelle and their consequences.