27 Jan 2022

5 Best Linux Programs for Students and Teachers

Linux should be the first choice for students and teachers as a free alternative to the commercialised Operating Systems. But, useful programs that are widely available on Mac and Windows often isn't to be found on Linux. 

We have addressed 5 such software that are already replacing your favourite program on Linux, and  which is replacing traditional homework. 

1. Anki:

Students often need to keep a handy organizer to remember their assignments and classes. When you reach a certain level in your academic career, like college, it becomes almost impossible to keep track of all the notes and research papers you are expected to work on. 

You might have an interview, need to prepare for the exam, are expected to complete the assignment, required to talk to your professor about the research paper, all on the same day - tomorrow. How would someone be able to keep up!

Anki is a flashcard style organizer that is much more effective than traditional methods and is free to use on Linux. You can assign cards, take notes within the cards, move them to in progress to complete, and much more. You can also assign images, audio, and everything beyond, not only text. 

It's very easy to install too. Just download Anki from here, and get going. 

2. LibreOffice:

Microsoft Office is costly and doesn't even support Linux. Google has their own online office solutions, but it seems like Linux doesn't get much love in this department. Without a word processor, assignments will be late. Without a spreadsheet generator, numerical tasks will be complex. Without presentation software, you're doomed to fail. 

While these issues have always been there and can be bypassed with other software. Having a dedicated program for each of these would be of massive help for both a student and a teacher. 

LibreOffice is a fast and powerful office suite made on open-source code to help provide a free alternative to expensive office suite programs that we all need every day. As a student, you might already have a laptop, and as you are here, I assume that you use Linux daily. Thus, If you haven't yet tried LibreOffice, you are missing out. 

LibreOffice offers all kinds of office solutions including a word processor, spreadsheet editor, and presentation composer. 

3. KAlgebra:

No amount of assistance is enough when it comes to visual representations of algebraic equations - graphs. How about trying to solve an integration? How about differential equations? Each one of us has faced problems while trying to solve algebraic functions and was embarrassed in front of others. 

Algebraic functions need to be decrypted before being carved into a piece of paper to represent them visually. Although you can understand what's being asked after years of experience, it is tough for new students.

KALgebra is a calculator that allows you to plot 2D and 3D functions without any hassle and solve simple to complex equations including trigonometric and differential functions without being naggy about it. It does so in such a manner that the student learns through the process and not be left out. 

4. Scilab:

MATLAB is expensive. While you are in college, you'd need simulations to present your project or research in such a manner that is acceptable to your university and to your audience. Without a compelling visualisation of your project, it’s possible that you might never graduate. 

As a student, or as a teacher, it will be tough for you to manage to get a license from MATLAB if your institution doesn't provide it. But, you need not fear.

Scilab is an open-source, free program that not only replaces MATLAB but also GNU Octave. While there are some syntactical incompatibilities present, it's often nothing to be worried about as Scilab is largely based on MATLAB language

5. Mendeley:

Google Scholar is useless, at least to most of them. Researching a topic, referencing citations, generating bibliographies for scholarly articles is not easy for students. If you don't get frustrated as a fish during the report submission, you are about to.

Mendeley is the reference management solution for all of it. You can search researches, cite references, and generate bibliographies all within the desktop freemium app available for Linux. While most of the functions of Mendeley is free for all, if you need to access premium research papers, you might have to pay for it. Better than most commercialised platforms.

The Bottom Line:

Here we've discussed the top 5 Linux programs that would be useful for you throughout your career as a student and an academic. While these programs should be able to satisfy your needs while in college, there are several other programs that may prove to be useful to you.

This is a guest post by Cath Jenkin


  1. Sometimes libreoffice can't open format microsoft office. are you have solution or recommend?

  2. I like use libre office, but sometimes error and sometimes can't support file with format Microsoft Office. Have alternative?