There are a lot of excellent note taking applications on Linux, but one that’s worth your attention is QOwnNotes. Why? It’s an excellent note app that lets users format their data with markdown. Better yet, you can sync QOwnNotes with NextCloud! Here’s how to set it up on Linux.
Before going over how to set up QOwnNotes on Linux and connect it to NextCloud or OwnCloud for online backup and sync, you’ll need to learn how to install the application.
QOwnNotes is a very popular application with Linux users, but sadly, it isn’t distributed in any mainstream Linux OS’s app sources. So, to get going with the QOwnNotes application, you’ll first need to set up the app on your Linux system. To do this, open up a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. From there, follow the instructions below that correspond with the Linux distribution you’re using.
Getting QOwnNotes on Ubuntu Linux means enabling a third-party software PPA. To add the PPA, go to your terminal window and use the add-apt-repository command.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:pbek/qownnotes
After adding the software PPA, run the update command, as it will refresh Ubuntu’s software sources and allow the QOwnNotes PPA to be usable.
sudo apt update
Finally, install the software with:
sudo apt install qownnotes
On Debian Linux, users must enable a third-party software repository to gain access to the QOwnNotes application. To enable the repo, use this echo command.
sudo bash -c "echo 'deb https://download.opensuse.org/repositories/home:/pbek:/QOwnNotes/Debian_9.0/ /' >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/qownnotes.list"
Next, download the QOwnNotes repo key file to Debian and enable it. Do not skip this step! Debian will not install software from the repo without the key!
wget https://download.opensuse.org/repositories/home:/pbek:/QOwnNotes/Debian_9.0/Release.key -O - | sudo apt-key add -
Update to allow Debian to download a source file for the QOwnNotes software repository.
sudo apt-get update
With everything updated, install the software.
sudo apt-get install qownnotes
On Arch Linux, there’s a dedicated QOwnNotes repository that users can enable. That said, In this guide, we won’t be covering how to enable the repo. Instead, we’ll go over how to install QOwnNotes from the AUR with Trizen. The reason being that adding a special repo for Arch shouldn’t be necessary, as most things are already in the AUR anyways.
To get started installing the AUR release of QOwnNotes, install both Git and Base-devel with Pacman.
sudo pacman -S git base-devel
Next, install the Trizen AUR helper application to make installing QOwnNotes much quicker and easier.
git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/trizen.git
Install QOwnNotes directly from the AUR with:
trizen -S qownnotes
The developer has a software repository readily available to Fedora Linux users. Thankfully though, there’s not a real need to enable this repo, as the developer also directly links to the RPM file. To get it working on Fedora 30, run the following dnf command below.
sudo dnf install https://build.opensuse.org/package/binary/download/home:pbek:QOwnNotes/desktop/Fedora_30/x86_64/qownnotes-19.6.4-1.1.x86_64.rpm
The entirety of the QOwnNotes project is hosted on the OpenSUSE Build Service. As a result, there is excellent support for all current versions of OpenSUSE Leap. To install, open up a terminal window and use the commands below.
rpm --import https://download.opensuse.org/repositories/home:/pbek:/QOwnNotes/openSUSE_Leap_42.1/repodata/repomd.xml.key zypper addrepo -f https://download.opensuse.org/repositories/home:/pbek:/QOwnNotes/openSUSE_Leap_15.0/home:pbek:QOwnNotes.repo zypper refresh zypper install qownnotes
su - rpm --import https://download.opensuse.org/repositories/home:/pbek:/QOwnNotes/openSUSE_Tumbleweed/repodata/repomd.xml.key zypper addrepo -f https://download.opensuse.org/repositories/home:/pbek:/QOwnNotes/openSUSE_Tumbleweed/home:pbek:QOwnNotes.repo zypper refresh zypper install qownnotes
QOwnNotes is available as a Snap. To get it working, enable Snaps on your Linux PC by following our guide on the subject. Or install Ubuntu. Then, use the snap install command below.
sudo snap install qownnotes
FlatHub has a Flatpak of QOwnNotes. If the Flatpak method sounds useful to you, enable the Flatpak runtime on your system, and install the app with the commands below!
flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo flatpak install flathub org.qownnotes.QOwnNotes
Integrate with NextCloud
To integrate QOwnNotes with NextCloud, launch the application on your PC. As QOwnNotes opens, you’ll see an introduction wizard. Go through the wizard, and follow the step-by-step instructions below.
Step 1: In the “Welcome to QOwnNotes” wizard, QOwnNotes will attempt to create a new folder in your NextCloud Sync folder. The default directory is ~/NextCloud/Notes. If you’d like to change it, click “Select folder.”
Step 2: Choose your panel layout by clicking the drop-down menu. The default is “Minimal.”
Step 3: On the “notes version” page, click “next” and don’t change anything, as the default settings are fine. Do the same for the “App metrics” page.
Step 4: Click “finished” to close the wizard and launch QOwnNotes.
With the configuration taken care of in QOwnNotes, use the app to take notes, and when you save, it’ll automatically sync everything to NextCloud!
Not happy with the default NextCloud setup covered in this guide? Check out the settings area of the app, as they have other ways to integrate with NextCloud.