Linux Apps

Plots – An Open Source Graph Plotting App for GNOME

Plots - A Graph Plotting App for Linux
Written by Divine Okoi

In our world of today, spreadsheets function mainly as a means to provide quick and easy plotting methods for numerical data in various kinds of graphical charts. Graphs provide us with an effective way to visualize data and demonstrate the relationships between large data sets no matter their size.

You can use Plots to create graphs quickly and with minimum effort. Your graphs will not be the best polished, but they will be easy to customize, simple to read, and presentable in professional settings.

Plots is a free and open-source plotting application built to enable users to visualize mathematical formulae. In addition to its arbitrary operation capabilities e.g. sums and products, it features a variety of mathematical operations such as arithmetic, hyperbolic, exponential, trigonometric, and logarithmic functions.

Plots offer several features that enable you to make them presentable to your taste. For example, you can modify the borders of elements, change fonts, set colours, etc.

Features in Plots

  • Free and open-source software. Source code available on GitHub.
  • Plot arithmetic graphs.
  • Basic arithmetic operations e.g. sum, product, division.
  • Complex operations e.g. trigonometry, exponents, logarithmic functions, hyperbolic calculations, etc.
  • Themeable user interface.
  • Clutter-free UI.

Plotting graphs is not particularly an easy task in any field and so one right easily gets thrown off by the initial learning curve required to use an app like Plots. While that might not necessarily be the case for you, it is always profitable to familiarize yourself with shortcuts and popular workflows for tech. Once you familiarize yourself with any app, the only direction is up.

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Plots is designed to integrate well with the GNOME desktop environment and thus takes advantage of modern hardware as it supports OpenGL 3.3+.

Install Plots on Ubuntu

The easiest way to install Plots on Ubuntu is via Flathub. You’re also at liberty to install Plots on Ubuntu via PPA, Debian distros via a deb installer, and Arch distros via the AUR/AUR(git).

All installation packages are available on the GitHub releases page at.

Install Plots on Linux

Building Plots from Source

If you’re interested in running Plots directly (i.e. without installation), type the following command and run it in your terminal:

$ python3 -m plots

In order to build the Flatpak, you need to generate the manifest for the python modules so download the flatpak-pip-generator and run the following command. This is necessary when flatpak-requirements.txt changes. The second command is to finally build and install Flatpak.

$ python3 flatpak-pip-generator --requirements-file=flatpak-requirements.txt --no-build-isolation
$ flatpak-builder --user --install build --force-clean com.github.alexhuntley.Plots.json

Plots is pretty straightforward to use and I imagine that users can get a lot of work done with it especially when combined with Qalculate.

Are you one to work with a lot of graphing tools? Maybe you’re a data scientist, risk analysis specialist, trader, stock market broker, or scientific journalist, Plots is an application that you can easily use to achieve your plotting goals.

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Are they any tools that you use for plotting graphs? You are welcome to share your experience with us in the comments section below. And to even tell us familiar you are with its shortcuts.


About the author

Divine Okoi

Divine Okoi is a cybersecurity postgrad with a passion for the open-source community. With 700+ articles covering different topics in IT, you can always trust him to inform you about the coolest tech.