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Visio is a great tool for creating diagrams, flowcharts, prototyping, etc. But it is Windows-only and is not free. Are there any graphical tools for Linux that can do many of these same tasks well?

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I would put graphviz as a serious answer, but I fear that I may get down-votes for it. – kzh Feb 25 '11 at 13:01
graphviz is the choice if you want to "generate" diagrams, I mean automatically. But if you want to draw interactively, then I think dia is great. – Barun Feb 25 '11 at 13:38
Right, I am really looking for an interactive tool. – Justin Ethier Feb 25 '11 at 14:26
See also vector images in linux. – Gilles Feb 25 '11 at 23:22

13 Answers 13

up vote 18 down vote accepted

There's Dia.. Not nearly as many features as Visio, but does diagrams: http://live.gnome.org/Dia

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Looks promising, thanks for the link! – Justin Ethier Feb 25 '11 at 14:27

How about Pencil?


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Interesting... but this is only for prototyping? – Justin Ethier Mar 1 '11 at 15:32

Kivio, as the name kinda implies, is KDE's competitor to Visio. It is a part of the KOffice suite.

Note: KOffice, as well as some of its applications were recently renamed. KOffice is now called Calligra Suite and Kivio is called Calligra Flow. However, there has not yet been a release since the rename.

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Looks promising, I see a screenshot over here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calligra_Flow – Justin Ethier Feb 25 '11 at 14:30
page not found on Kivio. – Hermann Ingjaldsson May 22 '13 at 12:46

draw.io works on Linux, is free and supports either local saving, or you can save Google Drive, OneDrive and Dropbox.

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Cool, so this is basically an online Visio tool... – Justin Ethier Mar 1 '11 at 15:31
Yes, but it's free and will remain free. There's no login, you can store files locally and doesn't pester you to sign up to anything, because there's nothing to sign up to. – David Mar 1 '11 at 19:49

WireframeSketcher is a cross-platform tool that can be used for prototyping.

Sample WireframeSketcher mockup

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I'd like to throw in yED which works on linux too, and has some nice features. It isn't GPL'd though,.

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I would use Yed, its personal favorite. yworks.com/en/products_yed_about.html – Nikhil Mulley Nov 30 '11 at 11:15

For UML and DB Diagrams, you could use UMLet.

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UMLet is great. – goldilocks Aug 21 '13 at 8:59

Although only for mySQL, the free mySQL workbench is a great tool that has filled this hole for me. I can produce diagrams such as the following with it:

enter image description here

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Looks like a nice way to create ER diagrams – Justin Ethier Aug 14 '13 at 14:08
yeah, that's what I was using Visio for myself. – Michael Durrant Aug 14 '13 at 15:08

I have found LibreOffice Draw to be quite good. It is fast, actively being maintained and cross platform.

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Thanks, this looks really nice: libreoffice.org/features/draw/… – Justin Ethier Aug 14 '13 at 14:06
Do you know if this has any support for importing visio files? – Justin Ethier Aug 14 '13 at 14:06
Looks like there is some, see 'filters' at: libreoffice.org/download/3-5-new-features-and-fixes – Hermann Ingjaldsson Aug 14 '13 at 14:09

You can find all the open source alternatives to visio here http://www.osalt.com/visio and any other equivalent for a commercial software

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Lucidchart is an online alternative to Visio. It imports and exports Visio files and has a free option.

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The webpage says Visio for Linux. Nice :) – Justin Ethier May 22 '13 at 16:15

I used "DIA" and "UMBRELLO", both fine, but not like Visio.

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I found THIS link, you should find all the alternatives there. good luck!

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