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Top 30 Most Popular Scientific and Engineering Packages for Linux

In this article, I’ve come across 30 of the most popular Scientific and Engineering free and open source packages that students, scientists and programmers in the engineering field can greatly appreciate. ┬áThese packages aren’t categorized in any particular way, it’s just a top 30 list of packages that has been most popular lately.

  1. GNU TeXmacs – a free wysiwyw (what you see is what you want) editing platform with special features for scientists. The software aims to provide a unified and user friendly framework for editing structured documents with different types of content: text, mathematics, graphics, interactive content. TeXmacs can also be used as an interface to many external systems for computer algebra, numerical analysis, and statistics.
  2. white_dune – a graphical VRML97/X3DV editor, simple NURBS/Superformula 3D modeller, animation tool, and a very limited VRML97/X3DV commandline compiler in development. VRML97 (Virtual Reality Modeling Language) is the ISO standard for displaying 3D data over the Web via browser plugins (“HTML for realtime 3D”).
  3. Mathomatic – a portable, general-purpose computer algebra system (CAS) that can solve, differentiate, simplify, combine, and compare algebraic equations, perform standard, complex number, and polynomial arithmetic, etc. It does some calculus and is very easy to compile, learn, and use.
  4. BRL-CAD – a powerful constructive solid geometry solid modeling system that includes an interactive geometry editor, ray-tracing support for rendering and geometric analysis, path-tracing for realistic image synthesis, network distributed framebuffer support, and image and signal-processing tools.
  5. nut – nutrition software to record what you eat and analyze your meals for nutrient composition. The database included is the latest USDA Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. This database contains values for vitamins, minerals, fats, calories, protein, carbohydrates, fiber, etc., and includes the essential polyunsaturated fats, Omega-3 and Omega-6. Nutrient levels are expressed as a percentage of the Daily Value, the familiar standard of food labeling in the United States, but also can be fully customized.
  6. Asymptote – a powerful descriptive 2D and 3D vector graphics language for technical drawing, inspired by MetaPost but with an improved C++-like syntax. It provides for figures the same high-quality level of typesetting that LaTeX does for scientific text. Asymptote is a programming language as opposed to just a graphics program. It can exploit the best features of script (command-driven) and graphical user interface (GUI) methods. High-level graphics commands are implemented in the language itself, allowing them to be easily tailored to specific applications.
  7. Blender – a free 3D animation studio. It includes tools for modeling, sculpting, texturing (painting, node-based shader materials, or UV mapped), UV mapping, rigging and constraints, weight painting, particle systems, simulation (fluids, physics, and soft body dynamics and an external crowd simulator), rendering, node-based compositing, and non linear video editing, as well as an integrated game engine for real-time interactive 3D, and game creation and playback with cross-platform compatibility.
  8. Viking – GTK2-based GPS data editor and viewer. It can download and show Terraserver maps, import and draw tracks and waypoints over them, add coordinate lines, make new tracks and waypoints, hide different things, and more.
  9. Gpsdrive – a map-based navigation system. It displays your position on a zoomable map provided from a NMEA-capable GPS receiver. The maps are autoselected for the best resolution, depending of your position, and the displayed image can be zoomed. Maps can be downloaded from the Internet with one mouse click. The program provides information about speed, direction, bearing, arrival time, actual position, and target position.
  10. graphviz – a set of graph drawing tools and libraries. It supports hierarchical and mass-spring drawings; although the tools are scalable, their emphasis is on making very good drawings of reasonably-sized graphs. Package components include batch layout filters and interactive editors for X11, Java, and a TCL/tk extension. The batch filters can be configured as a web visualization service (using GIF and click-maps). Typical applications include display of finite state machines, software diagrams, database schemas, and communication networks.
  11. POV-Ray – a high-quality tool for creating 3D graphics. It is available in official versions for Windows, Mac OS/Mac OS X, and i86 Linux.
  12. R – a language and environment for statistical computing and graphics. It is similar to S, which was developed at Bell Laboratories by John Chambers et al. It provides a wide variety of statistical and graphical techniques (linear and nonlinear modelling, statistical tests, time series analysis, classification, clustering, etc.). R is designed as a true computer language with control-flow constructions for iteration and alternation, and it allows users to add additional functionality by defining new functions. For computationally intensive tasks, Fortran and C code can be linked and called at run time.
  13. GRASS – a software raster- and vector-based GIS (Geographic Information System), image processing system, graphics production system, and spatial modeling system. It contains many modules for raster data manipulation, vector data manipulation, rendering images on the monitor or paper, multispectral image geocoding and processing, point data management and general data management. It also has tools for interfacing with digitizers, scanners, and the PostgreSQL, DBF, and ODBC connected databases. GRASS operates on all common operating systems.
  14. Frink – a calculating tool and programming language designed to help you in the real world. It tracks units of measurement throughout all calculations and ensures that answers are correct. It converts between systems of measurement, and has a huge library of physical data. It is both a simple calculator for quick calculations and a full-fledged programming language for large tasks.
  15. QCad – a powerful but easy to use 2D CAD program for Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X. It uses DXF as its standard file format. While other CAD packages are often rather complicated to use, QCad tries to stay comfortable, and even an absolute beginner can create professional drawings with a minimum of effort.
  16. Hugin – a toolkit for stitching photographs and assembling panoramas, together with an easy to use graphical front end.
  17. GeoServer – a software server that allows users to share and edit geospatial data. Designed for interoperability, it publishes data from any major spatial data source using open standards. GeoServer is the reference implementation of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Web Feature Service (WFS) and Web Coverage Service (WCS) standards, as well as a high performance certified compliant Web Map Service (WMS). GeoServer forms a core component of the Geospatial Web.
  18. Freeverb3 – library includes high quality freeverb, nreverb, impulse response reverb, FIR filter constructor, band splitter, and hardknee/softknee compressor. Its oversampling feature provides high quality audio processing. The compressor provides mastering quality audio processing. This library includes XMMS plugins, audacious plugins, BMP beep media player plugins, and sample programs, which enable you to test the audio effects easily.
  19. GLE – a graphics scripting language designed for creating publication quality figures (e.g., a chart, plot, graph, or diagram). GLE supports various chart types (including function plot, histogram, bar chart, scatter plot, contour plot, color map, and surface plot) through a simple but flexible set of graphing commands.
  20. Stellarium – renders 3D photo-realistic skies in real time with OpenGL. It displays stars, constellations, planets, nebulas and others things like ground, landscape, fog, etc.
  21. Gpredict – a real time satellite tracking and orbit prediction program. Besides the general orbital data for satellites, gpredict can also calculate the footprint, visibility, doppler shift, signal loss, and signal delay for each satellite relative to one or more ground stations. The calculated data can be viewed in tables, on maps, or on polar graphs.
  22. TAMS – a qualitative or ethnographic coding and data extraction-analysis system.
  23. gEDA – suite of electronic design automation (EDA) tools. Currently, the project offers a mature suite of free software applications for electronics design, including schematic capture, attribute management, bill of materials (BOM) generation, netlisting into over 20 netlist formats, analog and digital simulation, and printed circuit board (PCB) layout.
  24. Visual Paradigm for UML – design tool that supports all UML diagrams, SysML diagrams, and entity relationship diagrams. Visual Paradigm for UML provides extensive use case modeling features, including full function UML use case diagram, flow of events editor, use case/actor grid, and activity diagram generation. Visual Paradigm for UML produces system documentation in PDF, HTML, and MS Word formats.
  25. ATLAS – project is an ongoing research effort focusing on applying empirical techniques in order to provide portable performance.
  26. Social Networks Visualizer – a flexible and user-friendly tool for the analysis and visualization of Social Networks. It lets you construct mathematical graphs with a few clicks on a virtual canvas, load networks of various formats (GraphViz, GraphML, Adjacency, Pajek, UCINET, etc), or create a network by crawling all links in a Web page.
  27. Visifire – a set of data visualization components powered by Microsoft Silverlight. It lets you create and embed visually stunning animated Silverlight Charts within minutes. Visifire is easy to use and independent of the server side technology. It can be used with ASP, ASP.Net, PHP, JSP, ColdFusion, Ruby on Rails, or just simple HTML.
  28. gpsd – a daemon that listens to a GPS or Loran receiver and translates the positional data into a simplified format that can be more easily used by other programs, like chart plotters. The package comes with a sample client that plots the location of the currently visible GPS satellites (if available) and a speedometer.
  29. Quantum GIS – a cross-platform Geographic Information System (GIS). It offers support for vector and raster formats, including spatially enabled tables in PostgreSQL using PostGIS, common GIS vector formats such as Shapefiles, and geo-referenced rasters (TIFF, PNG, and GEOTIFF). Many plugins are available to dynamically add new functionality. Viewing of GRASS layers (vector and raster) is provided by a plugin.
  30. Celestia – an OpenGL-based 3D space simulation for Unix and Win32 that lets you travel through the solar system, to the stars, and even beyond the galaxy. Visit over 100,000 stars, 100 solar system bodies, and all known extrasolar planets.
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  1. December 9th, 2010 at 20:22 | #1
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