Scientific Spin

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Spin Name

Fedora Scientific


Fedora Scientific spin aims to create a Fedora desktop based spin which will have a generic toolset for Linux users whose profession/studies involve scientific research.


Detailed Description

I am a long-term Linux user and have been into full-time scientific research for the past 3 years now. Everytime I have to do a fresh-install of Linux (not so frequently, ofcourse), I have to download a bunch of tools which I use regularly. For example, gnuplot, xfig, LaTex compilers, numpy, etc. Say hello to Fedora-Scientific. The idea is to create a Fedora spin based on the default Fedora GNOME Desktop, but having additional tools which most researchers will use.

Benefit to Fedora

Although the motivation for such a spin is purely "scratching my own itch", but I won't be wrong in stating that a significant percentage of Fedora users will be involved in scientific research use a number of numerical libraries, tools and libraries in their daily work. Pulling all those packages everytime a fresh install of Fedora is done is time consuming and redundant.

Moving beyond Fedora users, such a spin will definitely attract new or seasoned Linux users who feels the need to have some the scientific software that he/she uses to be already insalled.

The CLUG folks showed a lot of +1s to the idea (Thread). As was pointed out to me (which I didn't think before!), Fedora Scientific will also be complimentary to the relatively more stable, RHEL based, Scientific Linux, as Fedora will cater to a similar audience, but giving the users more bleeding edge software experience.

Kickstart File

Current version of the Kickstart file

ISO Name / FS Label


Fedora live desktop spin.

Scope / Testing

This spin will be based on the Fedora destkop spin. In addtion, a number of tools and libraries for scientific research is included. I have decided upon the current set of applications based on my own experience and likings which also determined the mandatory packages in the current "Engineering and Scientific" group: gnuplot, gsl, gsl-devel, maxima, octave, python-matplotlib, R, scipy, speedcrunch, texmaker, transfig, units, wxMaxima, xfig. In addition some other packages for development, typesetting and drawing are included as can be seen from the kickstart file.

Tentative additional software: openmp, MPI, gfortran, version control systems (May be 'svn' and 'git', also a gui for each), bibliography tools, C++ compiler, some facilities for creating clusters, load balancers, netpbm, xv, boost, petsc, hdf5, Anjuta, fftw, LAPACK, Maple?, Inkscape, scribus, Yorick, DDD, valgrind, .. (please add!).

I should point out here that my idea is to have a generic toolset made available. The number of tools currently available in different domains- Physics, Chemistry, Biology is just too many. Including them all in one big spin may not make a lot of users happy, simply because if I am a engineering researcher, the Biology tools are just useless to me.

I haven't actively looked into applications which may not be available in the repository and is important to a spin such as this. Needless to say, I am going to take upon the responsibility of packaging such software, when I come across one, or its pointed to me.


Science wallpapers? (For example, see here)

Spins Page



Fedora for Researchers in Science and Engineering

Spin description


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