Not sure if this is really computer science but its language agnostic.

Any suggestions for a relational diagram type tool for linux. I currently use dia for some flow diagrams but I frequently like to represent things with several boxes which representing components within a bigger box representing something else. At the moment I fall back to my old favourite of xfig which is a little slow.

It needs to be quick and easy I'm a sketcher do, redo, re-sketch person. This is less of formal thing more to show general relationships between components. I've tried UML but find it over the top, my flow charts and architectural box seem to get the point across when discussing thing but it would be nice to have a copy on file that is better than a camera phone picture and easier to edit!

The diagram here is pretty close to what I do by hand:

It may be the swiss-army knife of modeling tools, but I have been working happily with Sparx Enterprise Architect (found at for years. They fully support relational and entity-relational diagrams, as well as UML, and other design methodologies. They have a reasonably priced student license (assuming you are a student) as well as a fully-featured 30 day eval license, which I have found them willing to extend if necessary. FWIW, the full professional edition is $199 USD (non-expiring license - you only need to pay annual update fees if you want to keep getting updates after the initial 12 month support period). The student version of the professional edition is $105 USD. You can get the desktop edition for as little as $65 USD. Here is a link to the academic/student pricing page:

One final thing is that this is a Windows application, but they have put a lot of work into making it compatible with Wine under Linux. I use it in both environments, very happily! Also, you can install it in multiple environments, assuming you are the only user. I have my personal version installed on several of my Linux systems, and since I only can run one at a time, that is totally within their terms of service. I have even gone as far as to verify that with their support staff, and have been assured that this is not a problem for them!

Hi rubberman, thanks for the suggestion.

No I'm far from student, but I've some into software from a sideways scientific angle but that is not really relevant. My very rushed post may have given that impression though.

This is more for personal projects than work I'll take a look at it but at $199 it will have to be fantastic! I'm not against paying for something but that is a fair chunk of change. It's not the type of thing my company would buy either.

As I said I fall back on to a combination xfig and taking photos of white boards at the moment so I'm not without a way of achiving my goals but I'd like to beable to do so quicker and easier. I'm too bussy to be drawing things out in an awkward manor!

P.S. Why does daniweb break the standard text box for web forms resulting in non standard spell check that there apear to be no way to select the suggested text? Madness.

Well, get the program and the eval license. You have 30 days to try it out - and it has some very good tutorials, docs, and such. Since you can try it for free (full version - no limitations that I am aware of) for 30 days, you can get a good feeling if it will be suitable for you. I have used many other similar tools, both commercial and open source, and this is the best I have worked with. It has a proud place on my system for about 8 years now.