Linux Notes

Copy the contents of the distribution disk to your desktop or any other convenient location in your Linux file system. If you put it somewhere other than on your desktop, right-click on the folder and create a link. Then drag the link to your desktop.


The videos in all courses of the HSC project (Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2/Trig) are produced with Camtasia Studio in .avi format using the TSCC codec, which is optimized for screen-capture videos. We recommend that you download and use the VLC Media Player (free, open source download) for use with all HSC videos because VLC comes with the TSCC codec. Also, and very importantly, VLC has a very fluent scrolling feature allowing you to move smoothly ahead or back in the videos. This is important for being able to find and review problems.

Spreadsheet Software

A number of problems in the HSC series use spreadsheet software such as Excel. Excel, however, is part of the Microsoft Office package and is an expensive proprietary program. The default office suite in most Linux distributions is Open Office, or Libre Office (a branch of the Open Office project). (One or the other of these is probably already installed with your Linux distribution.) The spreadsheet programs that come with the HSC courses are saved in .xls (Excel) format, but they are readable with Libre Office and Open Office. (They were actually created in Libre/Open Office and saved in .xls format for compatibility with Microsoft Office users.)

Equation Graphing Software

The graphing progeram used in the HSC videos is called Graphmatica, which is a Windows program. There is no native Linux version, but it will run nicely under the WINE Windows Emulator. If WINE is not already installed on your system, install it, then download the Windows version of Graphmatica. Right-click the Graphmatica installer and open with WINE.

PDF Files

The HSC Geometry course uses pdf files for its Solution Guide. PDF files are usually read with Adobe Reader, on Windows or Mac, but they are readable with the Linux Document Reader that is installed by default on all the Linux distributions I know of. There is probably no need to install any special reader.

The Geometer’s Sketchpad

The HSC Geometry course uses many demonstrations created with The Geometer’s Sketchpad. The Geometer’s Sketchpad is a Windows/Mac program. It does not have a native Linux version, but Ver 4 (at least) will install and run under the WINE Windows Emulator. (Version 5 will partially run under WINE, but there are reportedly features that do not work properly in this environment.) First run WINE, then right-click the installer for The Geometer’s Sketchpad and open with WINE.


The HSC Precalculus course makes heavy use of the new (and still growing) open source program, GeoGebra, which is available for Windows/Mac/Linux at GeoGebra.orgGeoGebra is a native Linux application.