Fedora Scientific: The Prologue

The Itch

When I wrote this [1] article a while back, the intention was to publicize the software tools that I was personally using at the point of time to help me in my research work- plotting graphs, analysing data, writing papers, running simulations, e.t.c. Those tools soon became indispensable for my research and hence I always installed them first after a fresh install of Linux. I longed for a Linux distro which would already have these tools installed and allow me to have a fully functional Linux workstation from the first boot.

The Scratching begins

I was getting wary of Ubuntu after their last release (April, 2011) and was looking for a new distribution to commit to – I thought I will give Fedora a shot (last time I tried Fedora was during the Fedora Core days) on one of my computers. Then, I started looking around for ways to create custom Fedora spins when I came across the tutorial for Fedora [2]. And that’s pretty much all I needed to get started working on a Linux for users in Science and Academia – Fedora Scientific

Discussions on Mailing lists

The most fruitful technical part of the discussion happened on the Canberra Linux User’s Group. [4] Thanks to all the folks who made suggestions for various packages and more importantly opined that the spin would be useful to the target audience.

Fedora Spins SIG

The official word on whether the proposed spin would be found useful by the Fedora community in general and Linux community overall was decided by the Fedora Spins SIG  [5]. Thanks to their support and approval.

Where next

Fedora Scientific is officially on course for release with the Fedora 16 release in the next few days. The nightly builds are now available from [6]

Talk to Us, Contribute

Come, talk to us on the Fedora SciTech SIG mailing list [7]. Thanks to all the members of SciTech SIG for their useful discussions and comments.  This page explains the spin in more detail.

Current List of Packages

The current list of software made available in Fedora Scientific Spin are at [8].


Fedora Artwork and Fedora Websites team for help in the artwork for the spin,  Bill Nottingham for the initial comments on the idea and Christoph Wickert  for seeing the spin through for release. All the other people who contributed even with a single word of encouragement online and offline, please acknowledge my sincere thanks.


[1] linuxgazette.net/173/saha.html
[2] http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/How_to_create_and_use_a_Live_CD
[3] https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Scientific_Spin
[4] http://lists.samba.org/archive/linux/2011-July/030331.html
[5] http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/SIGs/Spins
[6] http://dl.fedoraproject.org/pub/alt/nightly-composes/
[7] http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/SIGs/SciTech
[8] https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Scientific_Packages_List

In the next post, which I intend to do soon after the official release, I shall talk about the applications and programs installed in Fedora Scientific.

And last, but by no means the least- Snowy, you make this world a better place for me.