Mindmapping under Linux

chrisjrob's picture


Perhaps everyone knows what mind-maps are, and this page is completely redundant?  A mind-map is simply a graphical representation of your thoughts.  I have to confess that I adore mindmaps, I find them a beautifully elegant and logical way of presenting your thoughts.  I used mind-maps for years on paper, before evening discovering that they had a name, and better still software to create them.  And then I discovered...


Freemind is a cross platform java app, but I believe the developer is a linux bod and indeed a relatively old version 0.7.1-6 is in the debian repositories, and is pretty much an apt-get install away.

Or you can add the dev's repository and install 0.9.  Both versions work fine though, I think I used the older debian version on my laptop, as it worked with icedtea 64-bit java.

Freemind is a beautifully intuitive application, with almost zero learning curve.

Alternatives to Freemind

Well KDE's kdissert does mindmaps as well, and they are compatible with Freemind, but really Freemind is infinitely more intuitive.  That said, if you want mindmaps and you don't want java, then kdissert may be for you.  Also kdissert is clearly designed to create dissertations using mindmaps to create the structure, so if that is what you want, kdissert may well be for you.  Kdissert can be installed in the usual way via your package manager.

Thinking Space

And then the, joy of joys, some genius of the first water comes out with a freemind-compatible app for google android.  Despite the limitations of such a small touch screen, this application is little short of joyous to use.  I think I would almost buy an android phone just for the pleasure of using it.  The application is called "thinking space" and it is a beautiful implementation.

An Example Mindmap

Here is an example mind-map which I created on my phone (an HTC Hero) using Thinking Space, and presented here using the Freemind java applet for the purpose.  Examples of how to do this are on the freemind website, along with downloads to the jar file for embedding in HTML.

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