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. The spin aims to be directly under the umbrella of the Fedora Science and Technology SIG.
- Name: Amit Saha
- email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Current version of the Kickstart file (Updated on July 5, 2011)
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!).
Update: Included a lot of additional development tools, libraries and version control systems based on the above list. (See the current kickstart file) (July 5, 2011)
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.
To Be Done
Fedora for Researchers in Science and Engineering
Since this spin aims be under the umbrella of the Fedora SciTech SIG, I aim to use the communication channels for the SIG as support group for this spin as well:
- Mailing list: Fedora Scitech List (currently closed)
- #fedora-science on the freenode IRC network