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Revision as of 04:26, 6 October 2011 by Amitksaha (talk | contribs) (Updated link to GNOME 3 based KS file)

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. The spin aims to be directly under the umbrella of the Fedora Science and Technology SIG.


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.

I discussed this idea on mailing lists and 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 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

GNOME 3 based Kickstart file (Last Updated on October 6, 2011)

KDE Based Kickstart file (Update: October 5, 2011)

ISO Name / FS Label

To be Done


Fedora live desktop spin, KDE Spin.

Scope / Testing

This spin will be based on the Fedora desktop spin (one based on GNOME 3 and other on KDE). In addition, 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 some discussions on mailing lists, notable the Canberra Linux Users Group. (as pointed out earlier).

The current set of packages include a IDE, tools and libraries for programming in C, C++, Python, Java and R. Also included alongwith are libraries for parallel computing such as the OpenMPI and OpenMP. Tools for typesetting, writing and publishing are included. Scientific computing libraries and tools such as the GNU Scientific Library, SciPy, Octave, Maxima are also shipped in this spin.

A detailed list of all packages can be seen from the kickstart file. To see some discussions/thoughts/decisions and to add your own, please visit the Talk:Scientific_Spin page

The current set of packages are provided from the Fedora 16 branch for my tests and the GNOME 3 ISO stands at ~1.6 Gigs and KDE based ISO stands at about ~2.2 G.

Update on October 5: If you use this kickstart file to generate an ISO for yourself, you will have Fedora 16 Beta ISO.

Spins Page

To Be Done


Fedora for Researchers in Science and Engineering

Spin description

To Be Done


Boot screen


Download tab

To Be Done

Support tab

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:

Custom branding

Submitted a ticket to the design team

Comments and Discussion