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I am a bit new to this whole circuit simulation software, so I was hoping someone could share their years of experience with me to help me weed through this seeming jungle of software-packages.

I have a simple photo-diode and BJT amplifier circuit, and I want to calculate the power dissipation of each component in the circuit under steady-state operating conditions and look it its transient response at different points in the circuit.

Could someone please point me in the right direction to find a Linux software program that can perform these operations?

edit: I would prefer it if it was freeware.

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As pointed out by another answer LTspice a windows program runs well under wine.

Alternatively if you want a native Linux program take a look at Ngspice

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Your selection of tags shows that you are on the right track...you should use a SPICE simulator. There are a few native SPICE simulators for Linux, but if you are just starting out I would recommend that you try LTspice, a free but well supported simulator available from Linear Technology (www.linear.com). It is a windows program but runs pretty well under Wine in Linux. LTspice has many users and is a professional-quality program.

In any event, to really use SPICE well you should learn how the ".measure" statements work. These commands will automate difficult measurements for you, such as finding the maximum power consumed by a component.

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