I get tons of emails from people asking where they can get free ArcView licenses for home use. People really want to work with GIS at home as well as at work which makes sense to me. I’ve always pointed folks to QGIS and other tools, but Matt Perry has a wonderful and easy way to most of the important open source GIS tools on Ubuntu with just a couple of commands.

just keeps getting easier and easier to get a fully functional open source GIS workstation up and running thanks to Ubuntu. The following instructions will take your vanilla installation of Ubuntu 7.10 and add the following top-notch desktop GIS applications:

Postgresql/PostGIS : a relational database with vector spatial data handling GRASS : A full blown GIS analysis toolset Quantum GIS: A user-friendly graphical GIS application GDAL, Proj, Geos : Libraries and utilities for processing spatial data Mapserver : web mapping program and utilites Python bindings for QGIS, mapserver and GDAL GPSBabel : for converting between various GPS formats R : a high-end statistics package with spatial capabilities GMT : the Generic Mapping Tools for automated high-quality map output

Download Ubuntu, install, run a simple command, enjoy GIS for free. Seems like a great solution to me!