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<title>The Isabelle System Distribution</title>


<h1>The Isabelle System Distribution</h1>

<h2>Version information</h2>

This is the internal repository version of Isabelle.  See the
<tt>NEWS</tt> file in the distribution for details on user-relevant

<h2>System requirements</h2>

Isabelle requires a real Unix box with sufficient resources, say 64 MB
of free main memory and a decent CPU.  Speaking by today's hardware
standards, any moderate Linux box should give a very nice platform for


Furthermore, Isabelle needs the following software, which is not part
of the distribution:
<li>A full Standard ML Compiler (e.g. Poly/ML).
<li>The GNU bash shell (version 1.x or 2.x).
<li>Perl 5.x - the Pathologically Eclectic Rubbish Lister (Perl 4.x
is <em>not</em> sufficient).


The following ML system and platform combinations are known to work
very well:
<li>Poly/ML 4.x and 3.x on Linux/x86, Solaris/Sparc, and PowerPC platforms.
<li>SML/NJ 110.x on any Unix platform (Linux, Suns, SGI etc.).

<p> <a href="">Poly/ML</a>, previously a
commercial product, is back in the free world.  It is by far the best
compiler for running Isabelle, requiring the least memory and offering
the highest performance.

<p> <a href="">SML/NJ</a> needs more
store and disk space, but on the other hand supports more platforms.
The current official release is 110.

<p> MLWorks used to be a commercial ML programming environment
developed by <a href="">Harlequin</a> and was
unfortunately withdrawn after that company was taken over.  Isabelle
on MLWorks 2.0 works reasonably well.


Binary packages are available for Isabelle/HOL and ZF for several
platforms from the Isabelle web page.  The system may be easily built
from scratch as well, taking the traditional tar.gz source
distribution.  See file <tt>INSTALL</tt> as distributed with Isabelle
for more information.

Further background information may be found in the <em>Isabelle System
Manual</em>, distributed with the sources (directory <tt>doc</tt>).

<h2>User interface</h2>

The canonical Isabelle user interface is <a
href="">Proof General</a> by David Aspinall
and others.  It is a generic (X)Emacs interface for proof assistants,
including Isabelle (both for the classic and Isar version).  Proof
General is suitable for use by pacifists and Emacs militants
alike. Its most prominent feature is script management, providing a
metaphor of <em>live proof script editing</em>.  Proof General has
recently gained a rather large following of both beginning and expert
users of Isabelle.


Proof General is distributed together with the XEmacs
<a href="">
X-Symbol package</a>, which provides a nice way to get proper
mathematical symbols displayed on screen.

<h2>Other sources of information</h2>

<h3>The Isabelle Page</h3>

The Isabelle home page may be accessed both from Cambridge and Munich:



<li><a href=""></a>


<h3>Mailing list</h3>

The electronic mailing list <tt></tt>
provides a forum for Isabelle users to discuss problems and exchange
information. To join, send a message to <a

<h3>Personal mail</h3>

<a href="">Lawrence C Paulson</a><br>
Computer Laboratory<br>
University of Cambridge<br>
Pembroke Street<br>
Cambridge CB2 3QG<br>
E-mail: <A HREF=""></A><br>
Phone: +44-223-334600<br>
Fax:   +44-223-334748<br>


<a href="">Tobias Nipkow</a><br>
Institut für Informatik<br>
T. U. München<br>
D-80290 München<br>
E-mail: <A HREF=""></A><br>
Phone: +49-89-289-22690<br>
Fax:   +49-89-289-28183<br>



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.