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Back in the dark days when I used to run windows I used to use MindJet Mindmanager and I found it to be very good. Since I have been using Ubuntu as my main operating system I have been trying to find a replacement mind map software to use but have not had any luck finding a good replacment. So far I have tried VYM, kdisset and Semantik. I have either found them not to be very good or have a nasty habit of crashing.

So I was wondering could anyone recommend good mind mapping software to use under Ubuntu?

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very nice and informative post and their replies. mindmappingsite.com/sw-tool-reviews/software-reviews –  user178242 Jul 25 '13 at 9:16

9 Answers 9

up vote 18 down vote accepted

I like FreeMind Install freemind very much, which is a Java mindmapping tool. Colleagues of me like XMind most.

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A small note on Freemind (which I too like): I couldn't get it to function with OpenJDK on a clean 10.04 install. I had to remove all openjdk and icedtea packages and install the proprietary sun-java6-jre packages instead. (Incidentally, I also had to do this to get the Firefox Zotero-to-OpenOffice plugin to work). –  eugenemarshall Aug 1 '10 at 10:40
I will try at home and tell you. –  ddeimeke Aug 3 '10 at 5:39
Freemind does seem good is there a way to make it automatically balance the tree? –  Mark Davidson Aug 3 '10 at 7:28
Unfortunately I do not know how to auto-balance the tree. Concerning openjdk, I took a look at the start script. Maybe installing libgcj9-0-awt or libgcj10-awt is an option. –  ddeimeke Aug 3 '10 at 15:58
Freemind is working well with OpenJDK in the current state of the 11.04 development branch of Ubuntu. So it should be working fine when 11.04 is released. –  jr0cket Dec 17 '10 at 1:40

XMind has better graphics than Freemind but it's much heavier.

Pro's include:

  1. Good customizable GUI.
  2. Available for any major platform.
  3. There's a portable version for the USB.


  1. It's java based. That makes it a bit slow.
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I use Xmind free version too. –  User Aug 1 '10 at 15:52
I started with freemind on Windows. When I moved to Ubuntu I had trouble configuring it. Then I tried Xmind and stuck with it. It's multiplatmform too. I use it with dropbox to sync maps between machines. –  lamcro Sep 15 '10 at 9:43

Try using Freeplane Install freeplane.

Freeplane is a powerful and free software for building the mind maps. It is a redesigned version of the well known FreeMind, and is created by one of FreeMind's key developers. I prefer it over FreeMind since there are more options. Also, questions or problems with the program are answered and fixed MUCH faster.

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Mindmeister — online lightweight mind mapping tool.

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+1 ooo this looks cool. –  DLH Aug 2 '10 at 13:21

You could always try running MindJet MindManager under Wine. Apparently some people have had some success doing so. If all else fails, you could run a windows guest system on an Ubuntu host via Virtualbox.

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Another good one to try is Personal Brain, it has a free flow feel to it.

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I've tried Freemind and really didn't like it. The one I liked the most on Ubuntu was Semantik, both for its ease of use and because Semantik mind-maps are exportable to ODT as outlines.

One downside is that it's a KDE app so it won integrate n your desktop so well.

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Semantik is hard to use. –  jeremiah Oct 14 '14 at 9:53

It is VUE Visual Understanding Environment whic can be download from: https://vue.tufts.edu/download/index.cfm, I use it in Windows 7 & love it and having a Ubuntu version is an add to the software...

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I started using VYM (View your Mind) http://www.insilmaril.de/vym/

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