Gnote: Fedora 13 note tool

Jack Wallen
Jun 18, 2010
Updated • Dec 5, 2012

I take notes. I take a LOT of notes. When I'm not at a PC I use pen and paper. When I am at a PC I use whatever tool is the most accessible and the most usable. For the longest time that tool was my text editor (most likely Nano). The only problem with Nano is it take some serious work to have any organization...and it's accessibility wasn't the best. To take notes I had to open up a console, enter the command to start nano, type my notes, and save/title/close my notes. But over the last few years much better tools have evolved for taking notes. One such tool is the Fedora default, Gnote.

Gnote was cloned from Tomboy (to remove the Mono dependency), is used on the GNOME desktop, and uses a wiki-like interface. Gnote is simple to use and reliable. In this article I am going to introduce you to this tool so that all users of Fedora do not miss out on it's handiness.


Gnote offers plenty of features for you lovers of the note:

  • Auto hyperlinking of matching words in body to note titles.
  • Searching.
  • Note linking.
  • Plugins.
  • Styles.
  • Bulleted lists.
  • Undo.

And plenty more.


If you are using Fedora 13 you have nothing to do for installation. It's already there, just waiting on your panel for you to click it and use it. No configuration necessary...just click and use. For those not using Fedora 13 you can install Gnote (so long as you are using GNOME) with a command similar to this:

sudo apt-get install gnote

You can modify the above command to match your distribution. If you'd rather install from source, download the code from the Gnote download page and run the following commands (From within the directory Gnote was downloaded into):

  • tar xvzf gnote-XXX.tar.gz (where XXX is the release number).
  • cd gnote-XXX (where XXX is the release number).
  • ./configure
  • make
  • sudo make install (NOTE: If do not use sudo, su to the root user first and then run make install).

Once installed you will probably need to add Gnote to your panel.


Figure 1

There are two ways to open Gnote: Click <Alt>F12 or right-click the panel icon and select Create New Note. When you do this the Gnote window will open to a new note titled New Note * (Where * is a number). You will notice, when you click the panel icon, the menu has a few interesting options (see Figure 1). From here you can quickly access most recent notes, access your notebooks, and search your notes.

Figure 2

When you do open up the Gnotebook main window (see Figure 2) you will see just how simple this tool is to use.

One of the best ways I have found to use Gnote is to first create Notebooks that will organize your notes into categories. Once you've done that you can start create notes within each notebook by clicking Gnote Icon > Notebooks > New * note Where * is the title of your notebook.

When you do create new notes, make sure you give that note a good title. Figure 2 shows the title of that particular note being "New Note 4". That title would be worthless because the changes of me using the text "New Note 4" in another note is slim. Why is this important? One of the features of Gnote is that when you type text within a note that is the same as the title of another note a hyperlink is automatically generated linking that text to that note. It's a personal Wiki right on your desktop!

Final thoughts

Gnote is the perfect tool for keeping track of your thoughts and organizing your notes. I have found this tool to be indispensable for work and for home. Give Gnote a try and you might find yourself as dependent upon it as I have.


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  1. Dave said on June 20, 2010 at 3:57 am

    I find it unreliable in one respect: It seems to lose its links frequently. As I’m working with Gnote, creating new pages and links, I’ll see all of a sudden that the links have lost their color and, if I click on them, nothing happens. To get the links back, I have to quit the app and re-start it. Pain!

    It would be great to substitute Gnote for Tomboy! It’s faster and has the same features. But losing its links is a fatal flaw for me.

    In faith, Dave
    Viva Texas

  2. Simon Moon said on June 19, 2010 at 6:00 am

    hey Jack … just a side note here…just because you installed a program on Fedora 13 doesn’t make it a Fedora 13 program. apt-get install gnote works great on Debian, Ubuntu, and derivatives of both. Actually any platform that supports Gnome will support Gnote.

    Better title: Gnote: Gnome note tool

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