While searching for a solution to a problem with XMind, I came across this forum post mentioning VUE. I haven’t spent very much time with VUE, but it appears to be a very robust and full featured mind mapping tool.  It is completely free and open source.  I wonder how many more of these great programs are out there just waiting to be discovered.

VUE appears to take a middle ground between the flexibility of a drawing tool and the core functionality of mind mapping tool.  There are definitely situations where beautiful shapes and connectors are less important than node or text placement or the ability to set the size of a node. VUE could be an advantage here.  VUE also has a presentation mode which looks interesting and is not available in the free version of XMind.

Freeware Genius has a full-featured write-up explaining VUE in detail. Example VUE mind maps are also at the home page gallery.

Problems With Rapid Node Creation Mode

The same key and mouse combination (ALT + Mouse) that plagues Gnome Linux users on XMind also happens with VUE.  Changing the mapping for ALT + Mouse fixes the issue.  See the VUE guide for more information on rapid node creation.  It is a little unique, but after playing with it I liked it.

Running VUE on Fedora

VUE is not packaged for Fedora. To run and install on Fedora:

1) Register for an account–annoying compared to 99% of the other open source projects out there, but in this case it’s worth it.  There are some files on sourceforge, but they appear to be older versions.

2) Download the “Linux / Generic JAR-only version (no installer included)”

3) Unpack the zip file to a directory

$ unzip -d ~/vue-3.0 VUE_3_0.zip

4) Run it

$ java -jar ~/vue-3.0/VUE.jar