Library Tools

6 Best Free Linux Library Management Systems

A library management system (also known as an integrated library system) is an automated resource planning system which enables a library to operate efficiently, freeing staff from unnecessary tasks. This type of software typically offers functionality such as cataloging, searching, reporting, acquisitions, library circulation and management embodied into a central system.

Open source software is a popular choice for libraries. The ability to customise the software for a library’s particular needs, the potential for interoperation with other software, and the lack of license restrictions makes open source software attractive.

Modern libraries need robust, scalable and flexible software to make their collections and services attractive, especially as digital libraries are radically transforming how information is disseminated. This article focuses on selecting the best open source Linux software which enables a library to catalogue, track circulation and inventory their assets using an integrated system.

To provide an insight into the quality of software available, we have compiled a list of 6 excellent library management systems. Hopefully there will be something of interest for anyone who needs an enterprise resource planning system for a library.

VuFind, Koha, and Evergreen won gold, silver, and bronze awards respectively: Linux with Education: Library Management Systems


Now, let’s explore the 6 library management systems 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.

Library Management Systems
VuFindLibrary resource portal designed and developed for libraries by libraries
KohaServes more than 1000 academic, public, and private libraries
EvergreenConsortial-quality library software
PMBLibrary automation system based on PHP and MySQL
GreenstoneComprehensive digital library creation, management, and distribution
OpenBiblioLibrary administration web interface
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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M Riza
M Riza
1 year ago

you missed SLiMS.

1 year ago
Reply to  M Riza

Did they miss it? Why should SLiMS be included? You haven’t given any indication whatsoever why it’s better than any of the ones covered in the article.

The article was also published 3 years ago. Maybe SLiMS was not worthy of even a mention at the time. Maybe that’s still the case.

Sergiu Sajin
Sergiu Sajin
11 days ago

I think Koha is the best.