NUT-Nutrition Software

If you're watching your weight, monitoring your health and dietary habits, or simply unconvinced by flashy food labels that don't tell the whole story, this is the project for you. According to the Web site:

I have written open-source free nutrition software, NUT, which records what you eat and analyzes your meals for nutrient levels in terms of the "Daily Value", or DV, which is the standard for food labeling in the US. The program uses the free food composition database from the USDA. This free nutritional analysis software was written for UNIX systems (I use Linux), but it can be compiled on just about any system with a C compiler. (To get a free C compiler, Windows people might look at Cygwin or MinGW, and Mac people might look at xcode.) By experimenting with NUT, you can find the optimal level of the various nutrients and how to implement this with foods available to you. NUT can help reconstruct the lost instruction manual to your care and feeding, because, when the authorities and crackpots disagree on the proper human diet, you can design an experiment using the food composition tables to discover the truth!

NUT has an extensive database of food statistics, worth the price of admission alone (console version pictured).

The NUT GUI makes using this program much less tiresome and displays other forms of information simultaneously. Here's the stats for bearded seal oil.

One of the main reasons for using NUT is recording your daily meals and then running detailed analysis against them.


I'm unsure of other distributions, but binaries are available for Debian and Ubuntu. I run with the usual source option here. Grab the latest source tarball, extract it, and open a terminal in the new folder. At the time of this writing, NUT didn't have an install script, so you'll need to do a number of steps manually. Assuming the /usr/local folders are fine for installation, issue the following commands as root:

 # mkdir /usr/local/lib/nut/ # mv* /usr/local/lib/nut/ 

If your distro uses sudo (such as Ubuntu), simply prefix those commands with the sudo command.

Once this step is out of the way, compile the program with:

 $ make 

If the compiling goes well, you should be able to use the console program immediately. Simply enter the command:

 $ ./nut 

This runs the console program, which I look at in the next session. As for the GUI program, that needs to be compiled separately.

Change into the flkt directory by entering:

 $ cd fltk 

And again, enter the command:

 $ make 

John Knight is the New Projects columnist for Linux Journal.


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Notes on the installation

wmihalo's picture

The NUT installation simply required a make followed by a sudo make install.
I also encountered a problem compiling Nut. It errored out on the make. I am currently running Fedora 15 and after a yum search fltk, I did:

sudo yum install fltk-devel fltk-static fltk fltk-fluid

I don't think I needed fltk-fluid. At any rate, the Nut make worked without any problems. Afterwards, I did a sudo make install and Nut was able to launch without any problems.

Thanks for writing an excellent review.