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How to set up the Joplin note-taking app on Linux

Joplin is a free and open-source note application for Linux and other platforms. It allows users to write complex, beautiful notes in markup, while not getting bogged down in complex markup coding terms. In this guide, we’ll show you how to set up Joplin on Linux.

Joplin on Linux

The Joplin application is installable in a few ways on Linux. The most popular way to install the app on a wide variety of Linux operating systems is to use their generic installation script. The second best way is via the Snap store. It is also possible to get Joplin set up via the Arch Linux AUR if you use Arch or Manjaro. In this guide, we will cover all three.

Install Joplin on Linux

To start the installation of Joplin on your Linux PC, launch a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. Once the terminal window is open and ready to go, follow the command-line installation instructions for your preferred method of setup to get the app working.

Generic Linux installer

As Joplin isn’t packaged as a DEB or RPM file, the quickest way to get the program working on every Linux OS on the market is via an installation script. It downloads the app and sets up everything in a neat fashion.

To get the universal installation script running, you will need to make use of the wget downloader tool command below.

wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/laurent22/joplin/master/Joplin_install_and_update.sh

After downloading the installation script to your computer, it is time to update the permissions of the script. Changing permissions is necessary, as you will not be able to execute it as a program if permissions stay the same.

sudo chmod +x Joplin_install_and_update.sh

Once the permissions for the script are up to date, execute it with the following command. However, DO NOT execute the script with sudo or root permissions! Joplin’s installation tool will not work correctly with Root!

./Joplin_install_and_update.sh

When the script finishes running, Joplin will be set up on your Linux PC. In the future, if you need to update Joplin, simply re-run the script.

Arch Linux AUR

If you’re an Arch Linux user, you will be able to get Joplin up and running by using the Arch Linux User repository. To start the installation process, use the Pacman command to install both the Git and Base-devel packages. These packages are necessary for interacting with the AUR.

sudo pacman -S git base-devel

Now that the two packages are installed use the git clone command to grab the Trizen AUR tool. This tool will make setting up Joplin much easier.

git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/trizen.git

Set up the Trizen app with the makepkg command. Then, use it to install the Joplin program onto your computer.

cd trizen

makepkg -Sri
trizen -S joplin-appimage

Snap package

Joplin is in the Ubuntu Snap Store. So, if your Linux PC has support for Snaps (most Linux OSes do at this point), you’ll be able to get it working. To start, ensure that you have the Snapd runtime set up. Once you do, run the following snap install command to get Joplin.

sudo snap install joplin-james-carroll

Using Joplin

Joplin works by giving the user the ability to create notebooks, and in those notebooks, users can add as many notes as they like. Therefore, to start writing notes, you must create a new notebook. To create a new notebook, load up Joplin, and look for the “New notebook” button. Click it to launch the notebook creation window.

Inside the notebook creation window, write the name of your new notebook. Then, click the “OK” button to confirm it. Once you confirm your notebook’s name, it will appear on the left-hand sidebar. Select it with the mouse to access it.

In the new notebook, you will see a message that says “No notes in here. Create one by clicking on ‘New note'”. Find the “New note” button, and click it with the mouse. When you select “New note,” Joplin will bring up the text editor.

Use the text editor, and it’s rich formatting tools to create your notes. As you write your note out, it will automatically generate markup for it, which you can use for other purposes. Or, if you’re a markup expert, click on “Code view,” and you’ll be able to write your notes and edit the code side-by-side.

To-do

Joplin has a todo list function. Here’s how to use it. First, find the “New to-do” button, and click on it with the mouse to create a new todo list. You’ll then see a blank list appear in your notebook with a checkbox next to it. Click on the number button and create your list. When you’ve completed it, click the checkbox, and the list will be crossed out in your Joplin notebook.

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