Simple Note Taking App for Ubuntu – GNote

If you’re a bit hectic like me, then you’d better start taking some notes before things get out of control! :). Seriously though, taking notes is handy and when it comes to that in Ubuntu, Tomboy is without a doubt is one of the best software tools out there.

Since the upcoming Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin is somewhat extra important for Canonical, they’re making some changes such as removing older CPU support from the Kernel (which is totally reasonable if you ask me) and some other applications might also be removed (like the removal of GIMP, the video editor PiTiVi and GDM etc in the past for instance).

The latest “buzz” is that the above mentioned our little “Tomboy” might also be removed from the upcoming 12.04 because there is an alternative note taking rival (an official Gnome desktop app actually) called “GNote”.

Main features…


*. Gnote looks very much alike Tomboy because it’s built using Tomboy.

*. Easily add/delete notes.

*. Change Text font/highlight/underline, etc.

*. Add URL linking to other notes (Wiki-style).


*. Put notes inside a “Notebook” database.

*. Hot key support.

*. Comes with add-on support such as printing, HTML exporter, Tomboy note importer etc.


You can install Gnote in Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot, 11.04 Natty Narwhal, 10.10 and 10.04 by adding its PPA channel (the latest builds -- which can also be a bit unstable). For that, as usual type in the below commands in your Terminal window.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gnote/ppa

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install gnote

Or if you want the stable packages, then simply use the below commands instead of the above ones.

sudo apt-get install gnote

If the Unity “Dash” couldn’t locate the app then simply use the below command in your Terminal window to launch it.


Although GNote is not quite there yet because it lacks important features such as minimizing to desktop “notification area” (I used it in Ubuntu and perhaps this could be an issue with the Unity application indicator support at the moment) & spell checking etc.

Update: As you can see from the below comment by ‘Jonas’ you actually can enable the system tray icon by using the below command.

gsettings set com.canonical.Unity.Panel systray-whitelist โ€œ[‘all’]โ€

The Tomboy notification support…

For my personal needs I honestly don’t think I’ll be using it at the moment because it lacks one of the most important features for a Note taking software (ability to minimize to system tray) but it’s still at its early development stages thus too early to judge anyway.

Thanks goes to OMG Joey from OMGUbuntu! ๐Ÿ˜‰ for the news.

An RHCE, 'Linux' user with 14+ years of experience. Extreme lover of Linux and FOSS. He is passionate to test every Linux distribution & compare with the previous release to write in-depth articles to help the FOSS community.

2 thoughts on “Simple Note Taking App for Ubuntu – GNote”

  1. There is a tray icon, but it's not in Unity's whitelist. But you can disable whitelisting by:

    gsettings set com.canonical.Unity.Panel systray-whitelist "['all']"

    and have the icon.

    Tested on Ubuntu 12.04



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