I'm looking for an application that drops output in a portable format, maybe export as an image file so I can flowchart some application designs and submit them to my boss for professional review. From what I've seen dia is about the de-facto standard for linux flowcharting, but maybe some of you out there in askubuntu land have some other suggestions for me to examine.

Please keep in mind it has to offer a professional / attractive look on the final product. Maybe some color coordination of the options (logic structures are all purple, input statements are orange... for example)

7 Answers 7


you can use for Flow Chart Design:

  • LibreOffice Draw (Formerly OpenOffice Draw) (You can give it colors to the elements)
  • Kivio (From the KDE KOffice Suite)
  • Inkscape

If you are talking about Gantt Flow then

  • 1
    DIA is the simplest application. Im using it. Does not crash like other apps mentioned here. Feb 16, 2013 at 6:49
  • I just try Dia.. cool app.. it can make Flowchart, UML, Cisco Network charts eg... I like the layout to, where buttons are places... Only little ting I miss is an god old delete-button in the topplanel.. but the cut-button do the job ;p
    – Voidcode
    Jun 16, 2013 at 8:35
  • Planner is for planning project tasks Jul 20, 2016 at 20:57

I would add inkscape Install inkscape to the possibility list. Output is svg by default, so it is very portable will render well. (Flowchart hint -- use the connector tool.) If you are comfortable with the interface, inkscape is wonderful and very flexible. SVG/XML documents created in the software are also hand-tweakable, if that's your cup of tea.

Another tool that I discovered from this askubuntu is pencil.
Here's one of the threads discussing it: FOSS GUI Prototyping
There are also some community-provided flowcharting stencils on their stencils page. I'm not sure if this is what you need, but it might be worth checking out.


I use Google Docs for creating flow charts. It's not open source, but it is free (as in beer) and does create attractive graphics. Here's an example of a simply chart

enter image description here

It's not very complex in that it doesn't 'know' about different types of charts - it's intended as a sandbox that you can use to create whatever chart you need. You have a wide range of shapes that you can place on the canvas, with a wide range of colours with which to fill them, easily selectable from a dropdown menu in the toolbar. It also allows you to 'snap' your shapes to an invisible line that has them aligned with each other - just place a few shapes on the canvas then start moving another one around and see what I mean.

You can download the finished images as PDF, SVG, PNG and JPG files.

You will need a Google account to use it, but you have the added bonus of not having to worry about saving them periodically, and you don't risk loosing them which, if they're for work, will be a great help.

Personally, I've never liked Dia. I've always had to fight with it to get it to do what I want, and it always made me do things in incredibly convoluted ways. The 'drawing' feature in Google Docs just feels 'right'.


Perhaps xmind is an option. It's much more than just a Mindmapper.




  • I've recently started using xmind, and I have to say. This is an amazing piece of software. 5 stars for the recommendation Clausi.
    – lazyPower
    Mar 11, 2011 at 18:51

There is another software to make flow charts called yED.

Check it out.

  • 2
    Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference.
    – Mochan
    Feb 16, 2013 at 6:21

Personally I'm a fan of tcm, Toolkit for conceptual modeling (it's available from the repositories). Mainly because the file format is textual, so you can edit it with a text editor if need be, and you can export it to PS and EPS which goes great with LaTeX, and FIG which allows you to edit it with xfig. It also enforces UML standards, disallowing you to stray from them. The GUI and resulting models do not look very "pretty" though.

If you need to cooperate with people using different operating systems (like Windows and Mac OSX), consider umlet (also available from the repositories). It's written in java, and the only one I've found that is easily usable and installable on Windows, OSX and Linux. It also allows you to export to useful formats, like SVG, EPS and PDF, as well as the common image formats.

  • link no longer works
    – amc
    Sep 20, 2016 at 18:38
  • @amc, thanks. Looks like it's been gone for years. Replacing it with a waybackmachine link for now.
    – geirha
    Sep 22, 2016 at 11:30

Meanwhile there is a desktop version of draw.io based on electron which is also available as a .deb package. It seems that it is also open source. Personally I find this the most easy to use solution compared with most of the other noted programs.

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