10 Best Free Linux Calculators (Updated 2023)

One of the basic utilities supplied with any operating system is a desktop calculator. These are often simple utilities that are perfectly adequate for basic use. They typically include trigonometric functions, logarithms, factorials, parentheses and a memory function.

However, the calculators featured in this article are significantly more sophisticated with the ability to process difficult mathematical functions, to plot graphs in 2D and 3D, and much more.

The calculators also typically support the Reverse Polish notation (RPN). This is a postfix notation wherein every operator follows all of its operands. In other words, instead of pressing 6 + 8 and the enter key, in RPN you type in 6 8 +.

Occasionally, the calculator tool provided with an operating system did not engender any confidence. The classic example being the calculator shipped with Windows 3.1 which could not even reliably subtract two numbers. Rest assured, the calculators listed below are of precision quality.

To provide an insight into the quality of software that is available, we have compiled a list of 8 high quality Linux calculator tools. Hopefully, there will be something of interest for anyone who wants more functionality offered by simple calculators.

Here’s our verdict of the featured calculators.

Ratings chart for best free and open source calculators

Let’s explore the 10 calculator tools at hand. For each title we have compiled its own portal page, providing a screenshot of the software in action, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, together with links to relevant resources.

Qalculate!Powerful and easy to use multi-purpose cross-platform desktop calculator
GeniusDesktop calculator, an educational tool in mathematics, and for research
insectHigh precision scientific calculator supporting physical units
SpeedCrunchHigh precision and powerful desktop calculator
KCalcScientific calculator designed for KDE
ExtcalcMultifunctional scientific graphic calculator
CalculatorSimple and easy to use calculator
galculatorRPN and algebraic calculator
rpCalcSimple RPN calculator
NonpareilHigh-Fidelity calculator simulator
Best Free and Open Source SoftwareRead our complete collection of recommended free and open source software. Our curated compilation covers all categories of software.

The software collection forms part of our series of informative articles for Linux enthusiasts. There are hundreds of in-depth reviews, open source alternatives to proprietary software from large corporations like Google, Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, IBM, Cisco, Oracle, and Autodesk.

There are also fun things to try, hardware, free programming books and tutorials, and much more.
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  1. The calculators are high-precision scientific calculators. You might not need the functionality, so what??? who are you to dictate what others want from their software?

    1. Yeah man I need one that can do trig..
      I am measuring areas and angles I need trig. Not to mention, I need to convert dms to dd easily. My Texus instrument can only do minutes and I must manually do seconds. My HP emulator built on Gnu can do this but it doesn’t work on linux :/.

    1. Galculator is a ****. I Can´t believe how can it be that bad. I made a better one with Javascript in one hour. A really ******* ****.

  2. Tried Qalculate, Galculator, ExtCalc, GMT, and KCalc
    and state of affairs is a little sad
    KCalc and Galculator work nicely for basic stuff
    Qalculate also… (which is actually a gtk app, a little misleading with the name), its just a huge messy basket of options

    ExtCalc is actually pretty decent. love it. the graphing feature looks a little ugly and is hard to use tho
    GMT is basically useless but has a nice looking graphing module however it keeps crashing constantly and cant even understand that 2x is the same as 2*x so its pretty dumb and most useless of them all

    Extcalc ftw

  3. RTM

    I bet all of these allow the use of a ‘memory’ function!
    To sing the praises of *nix you really need to RTM! Remember Google is your friend!

    Personally I use free42, although if you don’t like having lots of power then I wouldn’t recommend this one for you. Instead I recommend galculator in basic mode!

    1. Reading the documentation is sound advice. Historically, open source software sometimes had scant documentation, but the situation has improved for most projects. It’s a great way to contribute to an open source project if you are not conversant in programming. And it’s very rewarding.

  4. I agree – the Linux community stumbles to create a simple basic calculator while Microsoft seems to have gotten the picture. It just needs to add, subtract, etc. have memory plus, minus, clear – with a simple layout just like every other common calculator in the world. I love Linux, but I’m constantly amazed at how the developers are so aloof that they miss the point and drive common users away. The KISS principal is not so hard. This is just so sad!!

    1. All of the major Linux desktop environments provide a simple basic calculator. The article highlights more specialized calculators.

      Dean M, you are just trolling.

      1. No, he’s not trolling. Sometimes Linux community just fails miserably at the simplest things, like emulating a normal calculator. It’s why Windows still has desktop market share. Too many Linux fanboys are living in denial, and it’s hurting the community. What happens when you press 2x===== on a normal calculator? Exactly what you’d expect: 64 — now, this is the moment when you argue that this isn’t really necessary, that Linux has much better whatever while annoyed users return to Windows in droves.

      2. He’s not trolling. I’m here right now because I’m trying to find a basic calculator to use in Manjaro that will show me calculation history. I’m trying to figure up my monthly expenses and was using Kalc and then couldn’t remember if I’d subtracted one of the bills from my balance, went to look at the calculator history and realized it doesn’t have one.

        I don’t know how this POS is installed as the default calculator in Manjaro. Even my Android phone’s calculator is more funcitonal. I don’t need to calculate the mass of the Earth relative to the sun. I just need to know if I have enough money for food this month.

        Lots of Linux clowns laughed when they heard about the Windows calculator being ported over, but I’m about to see if I can install it right now.

      3. The Windows calculator? You must be off your trolley! Look how long the sqrt bug was present in the app. Only took Microsoft two decades to fix that one. No one should ever rely on that program to do anything.

  5. RPN is not a prefix but a postfix notation, because the operator follows (=”postfixes”) the operands.
    Prefix notation is what you have in LISP where you would state
    (+ 2 3) instead of 2 + 3, hence the operator preceding (=prefixing) the operands.

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