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Giac, a free computer algebra system

This document describes the Node port of Giac. It offers direct use of Giac in JavaScript programs including Electron applications. (See the giac-electron-example project for a minimal example with Electron.)

Example usage

var giac = require('bindings')('giac');

See also the file nodegiac.js for a minimalist command line version of Giac.

Supported platforms

  • Linux
  • Mac OS X
  • Windows


Since Giac is C++ library, you need to have a compiler toolchain on your system installed. In addition the GMP and MPFR development libraries need to be present.

The compilation will be performed by node-gyp. In order to install it on your system you may have to accomplish some additional steps. In a doubt, please consult the node-gyp documentation.


You need a recent gcc. Former versions (like 4.8) may fail.

Python 2.7 is required. On some systems you may have to create a symbolic link to the python2.7 executable (preferably as /usr/local/bin/python).

On a Debian based system GMP and MPFR can be installed by running sudo apt install libgmp-dev libmpfr-dev.

Ubuntu 16.04 and above should work. Currently the amd64, i386 and armhf processors have been tested with success.

You can also compile Giac for a Raspberry Pi 3 under Raspbian Jessie. You may need at least 2 GB RAM by adding some swap space. A newer GCC will also be required, install GCC-6 and then make it default.

Mac OS X

Install MacPorts first. Then sudo port install gmp mpfr will install GMP and MPFR as well.

It will be silently assumed that GMP and MPFR have been installed in /opt/local/lib. If this is not the case, set the environment variable LIBDIR to the correct path.

Mac OS X 10.11.6 with Xcode 8.2.1, GMP 6.1.0 and MPFR 3.1.3 are known to work correctly.


At the moment only the 32 bit version works correctly. The 64 bit version may fail for some computations.

First you need to have a working node-gyp installation. Please take the time to check it by following Microsoft's NodeJS Guidelines.

You may need Visual Studio 2013 installed, newer versions may result in strange errors on compilation time.

It is recommended to use MPIR instead of GMP. To compile the Node port of Giac the .LIB files (that is, the static libraries) of both MPIR and MPFR will be required. You may either compile them on your own or get the precompiled binaries. (An option to download them is getting from Atelier Web. This may support only Release mode compilation.) Put the .LIB files into the current folder, or set the LIBDIR environment variable to the correct path.

After compilation you will also need the dynamic libraries (the .DLL files). Put them in the current folder (that is, both MPIR.DLL and MPFR.DLL) before testing/running Giac. You may also decide to put the .DLL files in the same folder where the giac.node (the artifact .DLL) file takes place.


Enter npm install in the current folder. Alternatively, npm install giac will do the compilation by using the last stable package from the npmjs repository. Use npm install giac@latest to get the latest unstable version.

The compilation may take several minutes. To speed up the compilation process consider entering for example

JOBS=4 npm install giac@latest

which will use 4 cores in parallel. The best value for the number of parallel jobs is usually the number of cores you have, but this may depend on your system as well.


It may be useful to download the Node port of Giac to a local machine and fine tune the compilation settings. This can be done as follows:

npm pack giac@latest
tar xzf giac*tgz
cd package
JOBS=4 npm install
npm test


Go to your node_modules folder, enter cd giac and npm test. (If you are under Windows, you need to copy the external .DLL files into this folder, or directly into the build subfolder.)

To play with Giac, modify the file nodegiac.js and run npm test again.


Giac was mostly written and is continuously developed by Bernard Parisse The Node port was implemented by Zoltán Kovács


The Node port of Giac is dedicated to Gábor Ancsin, one of the most prominent JavaScript heroes of the GeoGebra Team.

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