Skip to main content

Best mathematics packages for Linux in 2021

Abacus
(Image credit: Shutterstock / InspiringMoments)
PRICE
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID

Why would you want to do mathematics on Linux? Isn't mathematics over when you leave school? No! Maths is fun. You may also have forgotten much of what you should have learned in school. 

With the packages in this roundup we’ll show which you should choose for what purpose. 

While you can use all the packages here for learning, there are two in particular that are much better at teaching, rather than giving you results for some project. You will see that you can even control a drone with the help of mathematics.

About this article

This article was originally published as a roundup in Linux Format magazine issue 268.

You will also be in good company because many university professors use these packages as teaching aids, as well as teachers in “lower” schools. 

At least two of the packages we are looking at were developed for research: Scilab for chemistry and Octave for physics. This does not mean they are limited to those fields. No, they are both under constant development and they even have extensions that help other researchers reach new heights in their respective fields. 

Many of these packages have been used to create prototypes of various kinds. Indeed, with this software you can simulate everything you can think of, once you have learned how.

How we tested

We carried out the tests on an old laptop to make sure none of the packages needed advanced hardware to do the job. To install the software we looked for as many options as we could find. Note that choosing an install option can affect the function of modules and external packages.

To test the packages, we found problems from textbooks and tried to follow them with the software at hand. What we learned helped us assess how useful it will be for you. However, as these packages are more powerful than that, we also look at how you can use them for scientific course work.

At the very least you can help your own understanding of the things happening in our world. The news covers current events with data and charts, and if you do not understand these you may be misled by rumours.

These are the best Linux VPN providers