Julia installation is straightforward, whether using precompiled binaries or compiling from source. Download and install Julia by following the instructions at http://julialang.org/downloads/.

The easiest way to learn and experiment with Julia is by starting an interactive session (also known as a read-eval-print loop or “repl”):

```
$ julia
_
_ _ _(_)_ |
(_) | (_) (_) | A fresh approach to technical computing.
_ _ _| |_ __ _ |
| | | | | | |/ _` | | Version 0 (pre-release)
| | |_| | | | (_| | | Commit 61847c5aa7 (2011-08-20 06:11:31)*
_/ |\__'_|_|_|\__'_| |
|__/ |
julia> 1 + 2
3
julia> ans
3
```

To exit the interactive session, type `^D` — the control key
together with the `d` key or type `quit()`. When run in interactive
mode, `julia` displays a banner and prompts the user for input. Once
the user has entered a complete expression, such as `1 + 2`, and
hits enter, the interactive session evaluates the expression and shows
its value. If an expression is entered into an interactive session
with a trailing semicolon, its value is not shown. The variable
`ans` is bound to the value of the last evaluated expression whether
it is shown or not.

To evaluate expressions written in a source file `file.jl`, write
`include("file.jl")`.

To run code in a file non-interactively, you can give it as the first argument to the julia command:

```
$ julia script.jl arg1 arg2...
```

As the example implies, the following command-line arguments to julia
are taken as command-line arguments to the program `script.jl`, passed
in the global constant `ARGS`. `ARGS` is also set when script code
is given using the `-e` option on the command line (see the `julia`
help output below). For example, to just print the arguments given to a
script, you could do this:

```
$ julia -e 'for x in ARGS; println(x); end' foo bar
foo
bar
```

Or you could put that code into a script and run it:

```
$ echo 'for x in ARGS; println(x); end' > script.jl
$ julia script.jl foo bar
foo
bar
```

If you have code that you want executed whenever julia is run, you can
put it in `~\.juliarc.jl`:

```
$ echo 'println("Greetings! 你好! 안녕하세요?")' > ~/.juliarc.jl
$ julia
Greetings! 你好! 안녕하세요?
...
```

There are various ways to run Julia code and provide options, similar to
those available for the `perl` and `ruby` programs:

```
julia [options] [program] [args...]
-v --version Display version information
-q --quiet Quiet startup without banner
-H --home=<dir> Load files relative to <dir>
-T --tab=<size> Set REPL tab width to <size>
-e --eval=<expr> Evaluate <expr>
-E --print=<expr> Evaluate and show <expr>
-P --post-boot=<expr> Evaluate <expr> right after boot
-L --load=file Load <file> right after boot on all processors
-J --sysimage=file Start up with the given system image file
-p n Run n local processes
--machinefile file Run processes on hosts listed in file
--no-history Don't load or save history
-f --no-startup Don't load ~/.juliarc.jl
-F Load ~/.juliarc.jl, then handle remaining inputs
-h --help Print this message
```

A few walkthrough-style tutorials are available online:

MATLAB users may find Julia’s syntax familiar. However, Julia is in no way a MATLAB clone: there are major syntactic and functional differences. The following are some noteworthy differences that may trip up Julia users accustomed to MATLAB:

- Arrays are indexed with square brackets,
`A[i,j]`. - The imaginary unit
`sqrt(-1)`is represented in julia with`im`. - Multiple values are returned and assigned with parentheses,
`return (a, b)`and`(a, b) = f(x)`. - Values are passed and assigned by reference. If a function modifies an array, the changes will be visible in the caller.
- Julia has 1-dimensional arrays. Column vectors are of size
`N`, not`Nx1`. For example,`rand(N)`makes a 1-dimensional array. - Concatenating scalars and arrays with the syntax
`[x,y,z]`concatenates in the first dimension (“vertically”). For the second dimension (“horizontally”), use spaces as in`[x y z]`. To construct block matrices (concatenating in the first two dimensions), the syntax`[a b; c d]`is used to avoid confusion. - Colons
`a:b`and`a:b:c`construct`Range`objects. To construct a full vector, use`linspace`, or “concatenate” the range by enclosing it in brackets,`[a:b]`. - Functions return values using the
`return`keyword, instead of by listing their names in the function definition (see*The return Keyword*for details). - A file may contain any number of functions, and all definitions will be externally visible when the file is loaded.
- Reductions such as
`sum`,`prod`, and`max`are performed over every element of an array when called with a single argument as in`sum(A)`. - Functions such as
`sort`that operate column-wise by default (`sort(A)`is equivalent to`sort(A,1)`) do not have special behavior for 1xN arrays; the argument is returned unmodified since it still performs`sort(A,1)`. To sort a 1xN matrix like a vector, use`sort(A,2)`. - Parentheses must be used to call a function with zero arguments, as
in
`tic()`and`toc()`. - Do not use semicolons to end statements. The results of statements are
not automatically printed (except at the interactive prompt), and
lines of code do not need to end with semicolons. The function
`println`can be used to print a value followed by a newline. - If
`A`and`B`are arrays,`A == B`doesn’t return an array of booleans. Use`A .== B`instead. Likewise for the other boolean operators,`<`,`>`,`!=`, etc. - The elements of a collection can be passed as arguments to a function
using
`...`, as in`xs=[1,2]; f(xs...)`. - Julia’s
`svd`returns singular values as a vector instead of as a full diagonal matrix.

One of Julia’s goals is to provide an effective language for data analysis and statistical programming. For users coming to Julia from R, these are some noteworthy differences:

Julia uses

`=`for assignment. Julia does not provide any operator like`<-`or`<<-`.Julia constructs vectors using brackets. Julia’s

`[1, 2, 3]`is the equivalent of R’s`c(1, 2, 3)`.Julia’s matrix operations are more like traditional mathematical notation than R’s. If

`A`and`B`are matrices, then`A * B`defines a matrix multiplication in Julia equivalent to R’s`A %*% B`. In R, this some notation would perform an elementwise Hadamard product. To get the elementwise multiplication operation, you need to write`A .* B`in Julia.Julia performs matrix transposition using the

`'`operator. Julia’s`A'`is therefore equivalent to R’s`t(A)`.Julia does not require parentheses when writing

`if`statements or`for`loops: use`for i in [1, 2, 3]`instead of`for (i in c(1, 2, 3))`and`if i == 1`instead of`if (i == 1)`.Julia does not treat the numbers

`0`and`1`as Booleans. You cannot write`if (1)`in Julia, because`if`statements accept only booleans. Instead, you can write`if true`.Julia does not provide

`nrow`and`ncol`. Instead, use`size(M, 1)`for`nrow(M)`and`size(M, 2)`for`ncol(M)`.Julia’s SVD is not thinned by default, unlike R. To get results like R’s, you will often want to call

`svd(X, true)`on a matrix`X`.Julia is very careful to distinguish scalars, vectors and matrices. In R,

`1`and`c(1)`are the same. In Julia, they can not be used interchangeably. One potentially confusing result of this is that`x' * y`for vectors`x`and`y`is a 1-element vector, not a scalar. To get a scalar, use`dot(x, y)`.Julia’s

`diag()`and`diagm()`are not like R’s.Julia cannot assign to the results of function calls on the left-hand of an assignment operation: you cannot write

`diag(M) = ones(n)`.- Julia discourages populating the main namespace with functions. Most statistical functionality for Julia is found in packages like the DataFrames and Distributions packages:
- Distributions functions are found in the Distributions package
- The DataFrames package provides data frames.
- Formulas for GLM’s must be escaped: use
`:(y ~ x)`instead of`y ~ x`.

Julia provides tuples and real hash tables, but not R’s lists. When returning multiple items, you should typically use a tuple: instead of

`list(a = 1, b = 2)`, use`(1, 2)`.Julia encourages all users to write their own types. Julia’s types are much easier to use than S3 or S4 objects in R. Julia’s multiple dispatch system means that

`table(x::TypeA)`and`table(x::TypeB)`act like R’s`table.TypeA(x)`and`table.TypeB(x)`.In Julia, values are passed and assigned by reference. If a function modifies an array, the changes will be visible in the caller. This is very different from R and allows new functions to operate on large data structures much more efficiently.

Concatenation of vectors and matrices is done using

`hcat`and`vcat`, not`c`,`rbind`and`cbind`.A Julia range object like

`a:b`is not shorthand for a vector like in R, but is a specialized type of object that is used for iteration without high memory overhead. To convert a range into a vector, you need to wrap the range with brackets`[a:b]`.Julia has several functions that can mutate their arguments. For example, it has

`sort(v)`and`sort!(v)`.`colMeans()`and`rowMeans()`,`size(m, 1)`and`size(m, 2)`In R, performance requires vectorization. In Julia, almost the opposite is true: the best performing code is often achieved by using devectorized loops.

Unlike R, there is no delayed evaluation in Julia. For most users, this means that there are very few unquoted expressions or column names.

Julia does not support the

`NULL`type.There is no equivalent of R’s

`assign`or`get`in Julia.