Useful Astrology Software in the Open Source World

Open Source Astrology Software


I have, in studying the realms of astrology, come across different programs or had cause to use one more so than another. I have always felt since the universe gives you your chart for free, the basic information ought to be available for free. Analysis, of course, requires expertise and experience. Such a thing is something that does not come for free since such a skill set is acquired at the expense of time.

Time Is Money

Astrology is quite literally a reckoning of time. The orbit of the planets dance in predictable way. These dances form cycles and patterns that in turn can be helpful in understanding the nature of the life of the person who has the chart in question. Many people read these patterns with various success and multi-faceted intent. My specialty appertains more to soul evolution. It is something I have developed in the over fifteen years I have read charts.

Tools I Use

Fist of all, I do not tend to use windows for much of anything. I have, in the past, used Solar Fire on Windows XP/7. Certainly, it is a great capable software, but it also comes at quite a high price tag. Since I rely more on Linux types of OS’s, I am interested in software that comes for free with the open source movement. For that, it narrows the field to Openastro. Openastro does not build on current Ubuntu distros well as of this writing. On the other hand, Arch Linux distros run Openastro quite well out of the AUR user repos. The issue I ran into that apparently someone resolved in the AUR concerned library versions in the tarball source files when I tried to run the software on Ubuntu. If you are on Arch, install an AUR helper like yay. You do that by typing pacman -S yay or something close to it. After you get yay installed, then simply run yay -S openastro and you are off to the races. The nice thing about yay is that it takes care of all of the package dependencies of Openastro. No downloading of Ephemerides and so on for you! That’s for Schmucks!

How I Use Openastro

I use Openastro mainly for Natal charts although there are many other options present. Certainly there are not as many options as SolarFire, but what do you expect for free? If you have 90% of the functionality and zero the cost, that sounds like a pretty good deal to me.

The Other Thing I Use

Now we move on to the other thing I use. Most of the rest of the Linux tools out there for astrology have not stuck with me. However, using wine as an emulator for Astrolog I can get any other functionality I might need. Astrolog has many fixed stars that it will display. It is not a Linux native application, though, which ideologically somewhat diminishes it. Still, for free, this thing can do some pretty amazing things some of which is not necessarily in commercial level software. With these two basic tools and an Arch linux distro, I can get by and get the majority of anything I might want to get done for free.

Free Ain’t Free

Of course, I all ready said time is money. Hence, people working on this software are investing time. If you want them to continue to do that, you should give them something to show you value that time–and not “less” because it is free. Do you want a world where people only pay more because everyone demands at least $400 for their skill set? Why not simply get into a Mexican standoff and point gun at each other and have an auction for who will get to fire their bullet? Right. So value the free stuff! Help the labor of loves out!

JB Schirtzinger

Jacksonville, USA
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Conveniently this entire site is about me. I do some technology, and I do some astrology.