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!