Best IDEs for Octave, Python and R

Code-wise, I’ve been getting my hands dirty with some digital grease over the past few months, and it’s been fun. Most of the fun has resolved around learning Python, which appears to be the language of choice these days.

Python is almost a requirement everywhere you turn. Many introductory programming classes use Python as the main or default high-level programming language.

For somebody who has not done any programming since messing with Fortran 77 years ago, one thing I’ve come to appreciate is the need for a good integrated development environment (IDE). Whether it’s Python, Octave, the R statistical language or any other programming language, an IDE is a must-have. You come to appreciate IDEs better after spending several weeks typing commands into Octave’s and R’s interactive interfaces.

So this post just gives the IDEs that I’ve come to consider the best, from the perspective of a rookie coder, for Octave, Python, and R. All three IDEs are available in the repository of your favorite Linux distribution.

For Python, I had to experiment until I selected Spyder (Scientific Python Development Environment). Before it, I tried IDLE, Eric and a few others, then decided that for a beginner, Spyder is it. It’s Free Software and it intelli-sense feature is best in the field (my assessment).
Spyder Python IDE

Octave is a high-level language for numbers crunching. It’s a not-very-feature-complete alternative to Matlab (see 4 Free Software alternatives to Matlab). It has an interactive command-line interface that’s not much different from Python’s, or R’s. However, nothing beats a good IDE, and QtOctave is a good one.
QtOctave Octave IDE

For R, I’ve been toiling away at its interactive interface until a commenter here mentioned RStudio. And I’m happy he stopped by, because RStudio is very good. Plus it’s Free Software, like every IDE mentioned in this article.
RStudio R IDE

So that’s it, for newbie-friendly IDEs for Octave, Python and R.

Related Posts

How to delete DigiNotar CA certificate from Firefox DigiNotar B.V., a unit of VASCO Data Security International, Inc., is an Internet Trust Service Provider based in the Netherlands. Part of their busin...
How to install and configure a graphical firewall client on Comice OS 4 Protecting your computer from network and physical attacks should be at the very top of your computing to-do list. And if you are new to Pear Linux Co...
Installing BackTrack 5 R2 GNOME BackTrack Linux is now known as Kali Linux. You may read all Kali Linux articles and tutorial at BackT...
How to disabling Geo-Tagging on your phone The storage of location based data, in the form of Latitude and Longitude inside of images is called Geotagging; essentially tagging your photograph w...
Apply the nuke patch to LUKS cryptsetup in Linux Mint 16 and Ubuntu 13.10 This short tutorial shows how to apply the Kali Linux nuke patch to LUKS cryptsetup in Linux Mint 16 and Ubuntu 13.10. From a physical security and...
How to run Unity desktop on Linux Mint 12 Out of the box, Linux Mint 12, the latest edition of Linux Mint, a desktop Linux distribution based on Ubuntu Desktop, comes with a choice of two desk...

We Recommend These Vendors and Free Offers

ContainerizeThis 2016 is a free, 2-day conference for all things containers and big data. Featured, will be presentations and free, hands-on workshops. Learn more at

Launch an SSD VPS in Europe, USA, Asia & Australia on Vultr's KVM-based Cloud platform starting at $5:00/month (15 GB SSD, 768 MB of RAM).

Deploy an SSD Cloud server in 55 seconds on DigitalOcean. Built for developers and starting at $5:00/month (20 GB SSD, 512 MB of RAM).

Want to become an expert ethical hacker and penetration tester? Request your free video training course of Online Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking

Whether you're new to Linux or are a Linux guru, you can learn a lot more about the Linux kernel by requesting your free ebook of Linux Kernel In A Nutshell.


  1. If you aren’t yet fully settled with Spyder for Python, I would recommend PyCharms (Community Edition which is free) from the IntelliJ.

  2. Hi!

    Enjoyed the article! I would respectfully disagree on the, “It’s a not-very-feature-complete alternative to Matlab” comment though. Not trying to be testy, but I use Matlab everyday all day and I have found octave to be a very good alternative. What disappointed you? Also, you may want to check out Julia as a Matlab clone.

  3. Free dating site

    Great IDE, I didn’t know about it. I’m usually using VIM, but I’ll keep an eye on Spyder because it looks good.

  4. Michael O.

    What about RKward? Just take a look. And tell us about it.

    • After using RStudio, Rkward takes getting used to. There is a marked difference between both GUIs. As with all programs, the thing with these GUIs is you don’t know how good or bad they are until you start doing real fancy stuff.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *