The 5 Ultimate Scientific Linux Distributions

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2. Poseidon Linux

Like Bio-Linux, Poseidon Linux also has a color scheme: gentle blue tones that match its marine name. The branding was inspired by oceanologists who work on the project, but Poseidon Linux is not for just one branch of science. Instead it offers a wide range of tools, from 2D and 3D visualization, genetics, and programming apps to support for statistics, numerical modeling and mapping.

Poseidon Linux is the result of a transatlantic cooperation between the Rio Grande Federal University in Brazil and the MARUM Institute in Germany. The current stable version (4.0) is lagging behind the times, since it’s based on Ubuntu 10.04. However, Poseidon 5.0 is in development, and it promises long-term support (relying on Ubuntu 12.04) and Unity as the default desktop environment — a welcome upgrade from the old GNOME 2.30 which comes with Poseidon 4.0.

Software Highlights: Lab Plot, for interactive graphing and data analysis; QCAD, for 2D drawing; Blender, for 3D modelling, and QGIS, a complete geographic information system.

You can download Poseidon Linux for free in both 32- and 64-bit editions.

Alternative: If you only need geography and mapping tools, try OSGeo, a Lubuntu-based product of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation.

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