Gumbel Linux is a distribution I made using Suse Studio. It is thus based on OpenSuse 12.3 and comes pre-installed with everything an econometrician, statistician or anyone doing stats might need. This includes the R programming language with the Rstudio interface, the Octave programming language with the QtOctave interface, Gretl, GeoGebra, IPython with Numpy, Scipy, Matplotlib, Pandas… as well as TeX Live so you can start writing your papers immediately!

You can download it here: direct download (requires Suse Studio account) and here (


Do we really need another linux distribution?

I think that this distribution (or spin rather) is unique in the sense that it provides a complete and out of the box operating system useful for econometricians and statisticians. These users are scientists who want to get work done and not bother with technicalities about software installation.

Why is it based on OpenSuse and not insert favorite distro here

I use OpenSuse daily, and it’s very stable has a nice selection of software available in its repos and making spins of it is very easy thanks to Suse studio.

Which software is pre-installed with Gumbel Linux?

  • Complete Python environment for scientific computing: IPython, Scipy, Numpy, Pandas, Matplotlib, Statsmodels, Sympy…
  • R and Rstudio
  • Octave and QtOctave
  • Different compilers (for C, C++, Fortran) and development libraries
  • Vim and Emacs
  • Git and Qgit
  • Gretl
  • Libreoffice
  • Complete Latex environment: a lot of useful packages are pre-installed, as well as Kile, a very powerful editor for .tex documents
  • GeoGebra

And of course a lot of different software for daily tasks: - Web browser: Firefox - Music player: Clementine - Video player: VLC - E-mail client and organizer: Kontact - Pdf reader, unarchiver, CD and DVD authoring tool, etc…

What is Gumbel’s release cycle?

I will upload a new version of Gumbel some two or three weeks after a new OpenSuse version is available. There could be some minor release in-between, though. Consider the current version as a pre-release; the next version of OpenSuse, 13.1, will be available mid-November and I’m planning to release a new Gumbel release end November, with some new packages.

Can I install Gumbel Linux on my computer?

Yes you can, simply select Live Installer from the menu:

When prompted for a password, enter password. Please note that Gumbel Linux only works on 64 bits architectures.

I’m happy with my current operating system. Why should I use this?

Well, it really depends on what your current operating system is. If it’s Microsoft Windows or Apple’s OSX, I suggest that you change to a Linux-based distribution, since Windows and OSX are not Free Software. Note that Free here is not about price, but about freedom. Proprietary operating systems like Windows or OSX trap their users. So if you want to switch to a Linux distribution which comes preloaded with software you need, why not try Gumbel Linux?

If your current operating system is a Linux distribution or a BSD operating system, I suggest that you keep using it, but if you are using proprietary software on them, consider switching to Free (as in freedom) alternatives. This paper by Yalta and Lucchetti and this one by Yalta and Yalta (behind paywall) explain why economists should use Free and Open source software. This one by Keeling and Pavur (also behind a paywall, sorry) explains how Free and Open Source statistical software is more reliably than proprietary alternatives.

Of course, Gumbel Linux (as is OpenSuse) is not entirely composed of strictly, completely Free Software, but comes with so-called binary blobs which are actually drivers to make it work on as many computers as possible. Only a handful of Linux distributions are recommended by the Free Software Foundation.

What is “Gumbel”?

Let’s quote Wikipedia:

Emil Julius Gumbel (18 July 1891, Munich – 10 September 1966, New York City) was a German mathematician and political writer.

Born in Munich, he graduated from the University of Munich shortly before the outbreak of the First World War. He was Professor of Mathematical Statistics at the University of Heidelberg.

As a mathematician, Gumbel was instrumental in the development of extreme value theory, along with Leonard Tippett and Ronald Fisher. In 1958, Gumbel published a key book on the topic: Statistics of Extremes. He derived and analyzed the probability distribution that is now known as the Gumbel distribution in his honor.

Are there some screenshots?

Yes, scroll down!

Clean desktop.

Gretl is opened with data from Blundell, Bond 1991.

Octave is opened with schooling data from Marno Verbeek's *A guide to modern econometrics*