Installation from a pre-built binary tarball should in the long run be the easiest and fastest way to install Sage. This is not necessarily the case right now. Note that Sage is itself a programming environment, so building it from source guarantees you maximum flexibility in the long run. Nonetheless, we provide pre-built binaries.

Assumptions: You have a computer with at least 2 GB of free disk space and the operating system is Linux (32-bit or 64-bit) or OS X (10.4 or later).

Highly Recommended: It is highly recommended that you have LaTeX installed. If you want to view animations, you should install either ImageMagick or ffmpeg. ImageMagick or dvipng is also used for displaying some LaTeX output in the Sage notebook.

Download the latest binary tarball from
http://www.sagemath.org/download.html. For example, it might be
called `sage-x.y.z-x86_64-Linux.tgz`. Unpack it on your computer
in a directory which you have permission to read and write:

`tar zxvf sage-x.y.z-x86_64-Linux.tgz`

You can move the resulting directory `sage-x.y.z-x86_64-Linux`
anywhere and still run `./sage` from it, as long as the full path name
has **no spaces** in it. You can also copy the file `sage` from
that directory and put it anywhere, e.g., `/usr/local/bin/`, but
then you have to edit the `#SAGE_ROOT=/path/to/sage-version` line
at the top of the copied file `/usr/local/bin/sage`
(you should not edit the original `sage` executable).
The variable `SAGE_ROOT` should point to the directory
`sage-x.y.z-x86_64-Linux` of the extracted Sage tarball.
As long as `/usr/local/bin` is in your
`$PATH`, you can then type `sage` from the command line to run
Sage. Another approach is to create a symbolic link, say
`/usr/local/bin/sage`, pointing to `sage-x.y.z-x86_64-Linux/sage`

```
ln -s /path/to/sage-x.y.z-x86_64-Linux/sage /usr/local/bin/sage
```

With this approach, there is no need to edit `/usr/local/bin/sage`,
the `SAGE_ROOT` path will be discovered automatically thanks to the
symbolic link.
When you want to install a new version of Sage, just delete the old
link and create a new one.

Any time you move the Sage directory, you may see a message like

```
The Sage installation tree may have moved
(from /foo to /bar).
Changing various hardcoded paths...
(Please wait at most a few minutes.)
DO NOT INTERRUPT THIS.
```

We currently distribute `.dmg` files for OS X 10.4.x and 10.6.x. But
we would like to make Sage more of a native application. Work for that
is ongoing, but help is always welcome.

The best way to install Sage on Windows is to install VirtualBox for Windows and then download and install the VirtualBox distribution of Sage. See this URL for further instructions on installing Sage on Windows. Be sure to read the file README.txt.