Tomboy-ng, a simple note-taking application in Ubuntu

about tomboy-ng

In the next article we are going to take a look at tomboy-ng. This is a note-taking app that is free and open source, and that also works on computers with Gnu / Linux, Mac and Windows. It is built for simplicity, which makes it easy to use to organize different ideas and manage notes. It does this by using typical note-taking features such as rich-text markup, spell checking, printing, importing and exporting, MarkDown editing, and backup recovery.

As expected of all note-taking apps, tomboy-ng supports lists, online spell check, cross-computer note syncing, font style, and backup or recovery. We can also expand its functionality using different plugins. Tomboy-ng is an attempt to offer the features that the original program called Tomboy offered, but rewritten using Free Pascal and Lazarus.

Over time, we’ve talked about a few apps for taking notes on this blog. While applications like Cherrytree come with the ability to handle virtually any type of data entry, applications like Tomboy-ng, are lightweight and have the ability to do the simplest.

This project started at the end of 2017, when the developers realized that Tomboy was starting to look a bit fragile. This program is a rewrite that tries to duplicate the characteristics of the original program, but offering a system that is easier to install and maintain.

General characteristics of tomboy-ng

Notes preferences in Tomboy-ng

  • It’s about a free software available for Gnu / Linux, Mac and Windows.
  • It is Open Source, and we can find its source code available at GitHub.
  • Its interface is similar to the Tomboy.
  • We will be able to use rich text markup.
  • We will have at our disposal a range of font characteristics including; size, bold, highlight, strikethrough, italic, and lists.
  • We will can link between notes.
  • We will also find in the program search capabilities which is case-sensitive and indexing in headings to help us organize and find information.
  • It includes printing support.
  • Import and export (plain text, RFT, MarkDown).

note example with tomboy-ng

  • We will find notebooks to keep our notes in groups. A note can be available in multiple notebooks.
  • Can show internal and external links.
  • We will also have the option of automatic start on login.
  • Also offers text highlighting.
  • Integrates a spelling checker.
  • Automatic linking of web and email addresses.
  • We can also use the undo and redo options.
  • We will find the possibility of sync between multiple computers.
  • Users can sync notes with Tomdroid on Android.
  • The program also offers us the possibility of backing up and its subsequent recovery.
  • It includes plugin support.

Install tomboy-ng on Ubuntu via PPA

As I said above, tomboy-ng is available for Gnu / Linux, Windows and Mac. releases page on GitHub we can find the different packages for the supported operating systems. Among them are the .deb packages that we can use in Ubuntu, although in this example we are going to use the PPA for the installation.

It is important to note that tomboy-ng has few or, in most cases, no dependencies, making it a quick and easy installation. For this example I am using Ubuntu version 20.04. It can install this program opening a terminal (Ctrl + Alt + T) and adding the repository with the following command:

add tomboy-ng repository

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:d-bannon/ppa-tomboy-ng

After updating the available packages, we can now start program installation with this other command:

install tomboy-ng

sudo apt install tomboy-ng

Once the installation is finished, we can now search for the program launcher on our computer.

program launcher


For delete the repository we use for the installation, in a terminal (Ctrl + Alt + T) we only need to use the following command:

remove the PPA

sudo add-apt-repository -r ppa:d-bannon/ppa-tomboy-ng

Now for delete the program, in the same terminal the commands to use will be the following:

uninstall the program

sudo apt remove tomboy-ng; sudo apt autoremove

Tomboy-ng is a hot fork of Tomboy for desktop computers. For more information about this program, users can consult the Wiki of the program or your page on GitHub.

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