Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-features (542 mails)

< Previous Next >
[openFATE 309007] Add more scientific packages
  • From: fate_noreply@xxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 17 Dec 2010 22:33:27 +0100 (CET)
  • Message-id: <feature-309007-20@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Feature changed by: Bruno Friedmann (bruno_friedmann)
Feature #309007, revision 20
Title: Add more scientific packages

Package Wishlist: Unconfirmed
Requester: Important

Requested by: Ricardo Gabriel Berlasso (rgbsuse)
Partner organization:

Right now, openSUSE have quite few "scientific packages". We have
freemat on Education, xmgrace ... and a few more. But, for example,
octave is only on Packman and SciDAVis is nowhere (for 11.2 at least).
There are no packages for Scilab either, nor for PAW...

Use Case:
A physicist (or engineer) working on University that needs a good Linux
distro for his/her work. Nowadays, even if openSUSE is more stable and
reliable than fedora, the scientist will choose the later because its
larger set of scientific packages.

Business case (Partner benefit): To give openSUSE more presence on universities and
research centers at "final user" level. Now openSUSE and its
derivatives are found in clusters to run simulations (I've seen some of
them) with ad-hoc programs, or in supercomputers, but not in the office
computer for the single researcher. With its focus on stability,
openSUSE could be the perfect "sci distro" but the few "heavy duty"
scientific packages available is against this.

#1: Luis Medinas (lmedinas) (2010-02-14 21:52:25)
Octave is on Contrib that is my usecase but still i prefer to use
Matlab instead. 

#2: Jones de Andrade (johannesrs) (2010-02-15 13:06:33)
That's absolutelly a MUST one!
We heavilly use openSuse at my University for Scientific Applications.
On the other hand, unfortunatelly there is a lot of packages that are
not available, or "poorly available" (explain later) in the
repositories concerning that.
At the moment, we use from 11.2 the following packages (everywhere in
the repositories): ChemTool, Xdrawchem, Avogadro, Ghemical, Labplot,
g3data, bkchem, wxmaxima, maxima, octave, qtoctave, gelemental, gabedit
and kalzium.
Programs we use that are unavailable at the repositories (easy
installation/compilation thow): molden, gopenmol, maui, webmo (formely
webmol) and molekel.
Programs we used to use but don't use anymore because they are too
hard to compile and unavailable in the repos: SciDavis and qtiplot.
Programs poorly avialable:
openmpi, mpich: They are available, but they are not easily usable. I
say that because me and coleagues had a hard time in the past trying to
link programas with the version of those libraries that come with
opensuse, because it seemed to be too scatered around. We ended up
installing them from the producers in well known directories, and no
problems anymore.
fftw: same problem as above, solved in the very same way.
gromacs: the compilation provided is ok, but... no mpi, no double +
single precision executables? I would suggest two new packages: gromacs-
omp and gromacs-mpich.
torque: choosen the same approach since it's of critical use. Not sure
if it douldn't be simply installed, thow.
atiplot: already mentioned before, but in reality the package avialble
for opensuse 11.2 in a repo is a joke. It has the whole qtiplot,
*except*... the executables! :p
Programs that I do not know if they can be provided: gamess-us,
firefly, nwchem, namd, vmd, lammps,  autodock, autodock-tools, amber-
tools, (all available for free, but need subscription to download most
of them, and none is gpl).
As you can see, I'm clearly chemistry (and cluster) biased. I'm certain
that other fields of research would easilly have other suggestions! And
I probably missed something!
Seem that there is a LOT of room for improvement here! ;) Don't get me
wrong, openSuse is already MARVOLOUS, including for scientific
applications... But there is a lot of things here that can be improved.

#3: Hubert Stassen (drgullit) (2010-02-18 14:51:18) (reply to #2)
johannesrs presented a very nice wishlist ... That would be an almost
complete software repositiry for the computational
chemistry/biology/physics communities.

#4: Vojtech Zeisek (vojtaeus) (2010-02-18 17:06:01)
I'm biologist. Practicaly no program for biology (for science, not for
any playing or education; especially phylogeny, where I have the most
expereince) is available for openSUSE. When user is lucky, the needed
program is written in Java, but most of them must be compiled (but
there are EXE files for Windows and sometimes DEB packages), what is
not very comfortable, and for average user impossible. We do not have
neither so basic paskages as latest version of Rkward (the best
available GUI for R) for 11.2. So openSUSE is often refused, because
"it does not contain needed software"... :-(

#5: Jones de Andrade (johannesrs) (2010-02-18 17:39:43) (reply to #4)
Hi vojtaeus! Thanks for the contribution! Would you please provide this
thread with a list of more important scientific softwares/packages for
use  of biologists? I knew since the begining that my list would be
chemistry biased, and from your post I'm suposing that opensuse can
consider including a lot extra packages than only rkward (which I
looked into its homepage and, by the look of the screenshots, I have to
admit, for a non-biologist that seems powerfull!). So, a "wishlist", as
drgullit called mine suggestions, would be very nice. ;)

#8: Vojtech Zeisek (vojtaeus) (2010-02-19 18:10:29) (reply to #5)
Here is short incomplete list of packages I would like to see in
openSUSE. If I find more, I'll add them. :-) Some of theim might be
somewhere in OBS, but it is not very likely.
ClustalX (basic tool to align DNA and protein sequences):
MEGA4 (it is packaged as RPM using Wine and some other strange
components, but it is very good tool ro make phylogenetic trees)
Artemis (viewer and annotation tool to manage sequences)
Biopython (library)
Bioperl (library)
Molecular suite EMBOSS
You can find some onformation on
KBibTeX (IMHO the best manager for BibTeX database)
PerlPrimer (tool to dessign primers and PCR):
MrBayes (construction of phylogenetic trees based on Bayesian
BAPS (another Bayesian computing)
ARB (the best tool to work with rRNA)
MSA (analyzis of microsatellite data)
Splitstree and another software for work with molecular genetic data
Structure (Bayesian calculations of population data) and another
software from
Software (mostly to work with data from Structure) from
AFLPdat (to analyze AFLP data) and another software from
R packages (there should be special OBS repo for it)
TCS (estimation of phylogenetic networks)
BEAST (Bayesian MCMC analysis)
Mesquite (evolutionary analysis)
Search for keywords like molecular, biology etc. within Debian packages
and You will find much more... ;-)
There are also programs running under Wine (I do not like this way, but
it more or less, with some effort, works), see for example Bioedit
(very good tool to edit sequence alignment)
I think it is enough for now. :-)

#6: Jens Staal (staalmannen) (2010-02-18 18:10:34)
Some molecular biology related packages that would be nice:
UGene (
GENtle (
R and graphical front-end to R
various NCBI software
especially Cn3D and if possible automatically set up the installer so
that it works in the browser.
(I do not know the licencing of those though)
And for scientific writing: Bibus (Endnote-replacement with PubMed
Apart from all those things, there are tons of development projects
within bioinformatics (bioruby, biopython bioperl etc) I suppose those
would also be nice to have available even if I am not competent enough
to use them :(

#7: Jones de Andrade (johannesrs) (2010-02-18 18:40:15) (reply to #6)
Good list, staalmannen! With that, I think we now here have a good
proposal of the basic needs from both Chemistry and Biology users.
Thanks for recording the Bibus software! I don't know how I could
forget that one, and while the bibliografic reference options from
openoffice it self (that are being announced for some time now) does
not becomes a reality, that is the best option. It should already be
included in the main prodution for a while, and also deserved even an
openfate request for itself!

#11: Todd R (theblackcat) (2010-03-09 20:48:55) (reply to #6)
There is already an idea specifically about Bibus:

#12: Denny Beyer (lumnis) (2010-08-18 12:40:46) (reply to #6)
Bibus is not bad - there are others around. Have you tried zotero www. ?

#9: Ricardo Gabriel Berlasso (rgbsuse) (2010-02-21 17:28:00)
Scilab is on Education now (not the last version, though), but there
are a lot of packages still missing.

#10: Todd R (theblackcat) (2010-03-09 20:48:31)
Sage, a general python-based computer algebra system, should also be
provided (  (
A0) This is especially true since the new KDE 4 advanced mathematics
software front-end Cantor, which ships as part of the KDE edu project,
supports it.
See (308459) for this
Another very useful one is Neuron, a very popular neuron-modelling
program.  I personally know many people using this, it is probably the
single most common tool for modelling neurons: (
Another is AUTO, an very popular tool for ninlinear dynamics and
differential equations.  I have seen this used in several classes of
mine, it is an important tool with a very long history:

+ #13: Bruno Friedmann (bruno_friedmann) (2010-12-17 22:33:23)
+ Perharps all of you should check this two repositories
+ It seems a lot's of what is asked is already there. We will need a
+ volunteer to build a Science page in wiki to help you to find what is
+ needed.

openSUSE Feature:

< Previous Next >
This Thread
  • No further messages