12 Best Free and Open Source Terminal-Based Linux Calculators

Last Updated on June 16, 2023

One of the basic utilities supplied with any operating system is the 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.

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 featured here offer precision quality.

We make the following recommendations captured in a legendary LinuxLinks-style ratings chart. We feature free and open source software only here. We cover separately graphical calculator tools.

Ratings chart for the best free and open source terminal-based calculators

Let’s explore the terminal-based 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, a screenshot, together with links to relevant resources.

Terminal-Based Calculators
GeniusDesktop calculator, an educational tool in mathematics, and for research
insectHigh precision scientific calculator supporting physical units
kalkerCalculator with math syntax
wcalcUses intuitive expressions and implicit multiplication
concalcParser-algorithm of extcalc
calcC-style arbitrary precision calculator
clacStack-based calculator with postfix notation
pcalcTerminal calculator made for programmers
kalcComplex numbers, 2d/3d graphing, arbitrary precision calculator
orpiecurses-based RPN calculator
QuichJust an advanced terminal calculator
mucalcConvenient calculator for the command line

This article focuses on terminal-based calculators. If you want a GUI, check out our best free graphical Linux calculators roundup. If you’re looking for something more akin to bc (an arbitrary precision calculator), you’ll want to consult Alternatives to popular CLI tools: bc.

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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