How to Install Joplin on Ubuntu 24.04, 22.04 or 20.04

This guide will demonstrate how to install Joplin on Ubuntu 24.04, 22.04, or 20.04 LTS utilizing the command-line terminal with three different methods: via Bash script from Joplin’s Github or utilizing either one of the third-party package managers Snap or Flatpak with the Flathub repository.

Joplin is a remarkable open-source note-taking and to-do application that supports markdown editing and offers synchronization capabilities with various cloud services. Its versatility allows users to organize their notes into notebooks, tag them for easy search, and even attach files to notes for comprehensive documentation. Unlike many note-taking apps, Joplin prioritizes data privacy and gives users complete control over their information by enabling encryption and offering a wide range of synchronization options.

Why Choose Joplin?

  • Cross-Platform Compatibility: Available on Linux, Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS.
  • Open Source: Ensures transparency and community-driven enhancements.
  • End-to-End Encryption: Keeps your data secure.
  • Offline Access: Edit and view your notes without an internet connection.
  • Markdown Support: For those who prefer markdown for note-taking and editing.
  • Extensive Plugin Support: Customize your experience with numerous plugins.
  • Synchronization Options: Supports Nextcloud, Dropbox, OneDrive, and WebDAV.
  • Export and Import Functions: Easy data migration with support for various formats.

Installing Joplin on Ubuntu enhances your productivity and aligns with a secure, reliable, and customizable note-taking practice. Whether you’re a student, professional, or hobbyist, Joplin’s flexibility makes it an excellent choice for managing your notes and tasks.

Let’s dive into the technical steps to get Joplin running on your Ubuntu system.

Install Joplin on Ubuntu via Bash Script

Update System Packages Before Joplin Installation

To start, we need to ensure our Ubuntu system is up-to-date. Doing so mitigates the risk of compatibility issues or software conflicts during installation. Here’s how you can update your system packages:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

The sudo apt update command retrieves information about the newest versions of packages and their dependencies. It will update your local package index. On the other hand, sudo apt upgrade will fetch new versions of packages existing on the machine if APT knows about these new versions by way of apt update.

Download Joplin Installation Bash Script

The Joplin application is not included in Ubuntu’s standard repositories by default. However, the Joplin team provides a bash script that automates downloading and installing the application. This script is hosted on GitHub, and we can directly run it in our terminal.

Here is the command to download and execute the Joplin bash script:

wget -O - https://raw.githubusercontent.com/laurent22/joplin/dev/Joplin_install_and_update.sh | bash

The wget command fetches content from the web. It’s perfect for downloading files from servers directly from the command line. Here, -O - redirects the downloaded file to stdout, essentially printing it to your console. The URL following the command is the location of the Joplin installation script.

The | (pipe) takes the output of the command on the left, in this case, the output of our wget command, and uses it as input for the command on the right.

The bash command then runs this script, effectively downloading and installing Joplin.

Bash script execution for installing Joplin on Ubuntu displayed in terminal.
Bash script in action for Joplin installation on Ubuntu.

Install on Joplin on Ubuntu via Snap

You can install Joplin using the Snap package manager as an alternative to the APT-based method. Snap is a software packaging and deployment system developed by Canonical for the operating systems that use the Linux kernel. The packages, called snaps, and the tool for using them, snapd, work across a range of Linux distributions and allow upstream software developers to distribute their applications directly to users.

Snaps are designed to be self-contained packages of software that include their dependencies, which means they’re not reliant on system libraries. This makes them ideal for simple installation and management, particularly on systems where the desired software isn’t included in the standard repositories or where you don’t want to mix dependencies with the rest of your system.

Ensuring Snap is Installed on Ubuntu for Joplin

First, we must ensure that Snap is installed on your Ubuntu system. Ubuntu 16.04 and later versions come with snap preinstalled, so unless you manually removed it, this should already be installed.

See also
How to Install Nextcloud Desktop on Ubuntu 24.04, 22.04 or 20.04

Use the following command to either install or check it’s installed quickly:

sudo apt install snapd

Here, sudo apt install snapd is used to install the snapd service. snapd is the background service that manages and maintains your snaps.

Install Joplin on Ubuntu via Snap Command

Once you’ve confirmed that Snap is installed on your system, the next step is to install Joplin. The following command will download and install Joplin from the Snap store:

sudo snap install joplin-desktop

Here, sudo snap install joplin-desktop tells the snap service to find, download, and install the joplin-desktop package. The sudo part of the command ensures you have the necessary permissions to install software on the system.

Install Joplin on Ubuntu via Flatpak and Flathub

Flatpak is yet another software utility for software deployment, package management, and application virtualization for Linux. It provides a sandbox environment where users can run applications in isolation from the rest of the system.

Like Snap, Flatpak aims to resolve software dependencies and streamline the software distribution process by allowing developers to bundle their applications along with their dependencies. Let’s dive into the steps to install Joplin on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04 using the Flatpak package manager.

Note: If your system does not have Flatpak installed, please refer to our guide on “How to Install Flatpak on Ubuntu” for step-by-step instructions on installing the most recent supported version of Flatpak.

Enabling Flathub for Joplin

Before installing Joplin through Flatpak, enabling the Flathub repository is essential. Flathub is the de facto app store for the Flatpak package management system and serves as a vast repository for Flatpak applications.

To add Flathub as a repository in your Flatpak configuration, execute the following command:

sudo flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo

This command checks if the ‘flathub’ repository exists in your Flatpak configuration; if it doesn’t, it adds it. As a result, you have access to a comprehensive variety of applications, including Joplin.

Install Joplin on Ubuntu via Flatpak Command

With Flathub enabled, you can install Joplin using the Flatpak install command. To do so, run the following command in your terminal:

flatpak install flathub net.cozic.joplin_desktop -y

This command installs Joplin from the Flathub repository. The -y option here approves all prompts by the flatpak install command, ensuring a smooth installation process.

Launching Joplin on Ubuntu via CLI or GUI

At this point, we’ve discussed various ways to install Joplin on Ubuntu using different package managers, including APT, Snap, and Flatpak. Once you have installed Joplin using your preferred method, the next step is launching the application and exploring its features.

Command-line Interface Joplin Launch Methods

The command you will use to launch Joplin from the terminal depends on your chosen installation method. Here are the corresponding commands for each method:

APT Method:

If you installed Joplin using the APT package manager, use the following command to launch it:

joplin

Snap Method:

For those who used the Snap package manager for installation, launch Joplin using the command:

snap run joplin-desktop

Flatpak Method:

If you installed Joplin via Flatpak, use this command to start the application:

flatpak run net.cozic.joplin_desktop

Graphical User Interface (GUI) Joplin Launch Method

If you prefer using the GUI over the command line, launching Joplin is a straightforward process. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Click on the ‘Show Applications’ icon in your Ubuntu dock, usually located at the bottom left of your screen.
  • In the search bar that appears, type in ‘Joplin’. As you type, you’ll see the Joplin application icon appear.
  • Click on the Joplin icon to launch the application.
Joplin app icon appearing in the Show Activities menu on Ubuntu Linux.
Joplin application readily accessible in Ubuntu’s activities menu.

First-Time Tips for Getting Started with Joplin on Ubuntu Linux

Now that you have successfully installed Joplin on Ubuntu, here are some first-time tips on getting started with the software. These insights are tailored to enhance your experience and efficiency while using Joplin on a Linux-based system.

Optimizing Your Workflow

General Tips for Joplin on Ubuntu:

  • Keyboard Shortcuts: Familiarize yourself with Joplin’s keyboard shortcuts to streamline your note-taking process. Use Ctrl + N for a new note and Ctrl + T for a new to-do item.
  • Synchronization Settings: Configure your synchronization preferences early on by navigating to Tools > Options > Synchronization. Choose your preferred service and set up sync intervals to ensure your notes are always backed up.
  • Note Organization: Start organizing your notes and notebooks right away. Use drag and drop to rearrange notes within notebooks or to reorganize your notebook hierarchy.
  • Search Functionality: Leverage the powerful search functionality (Ctrl + F) to quickly find notes. Joplin supports advanced search queries to filter notes by various criteria.
See also
How to Install VSCodium on Ubuntu 24.04, 22.04 or 20.04

Customizations for Enhanced Usability:

  • Theme Selection: Customize the appearance of Joplin by selecting a theme that suits your preference. Access this option under Tools > Options > Appearance to switch between light and dark modes or to apply custom CSS.
  • Editor Layout: Adjust the editor layout to your liking. Joplin offers a split view (editor and viewer side by side) and a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor. Toggle between these layouts with Ctrl + L.
  • Plugins: Enhance Joplin’s functionality by exploring and installing plugins. Access the plugin directory via Tools > Options > Plugins. Whether you need a calendar view, kanban boards, or additional markdown features, there’s likely a plugin for it.
  • Custom Keyboard Shortcuts: Tailor Joplin to your workflow by customizing keyboard shortcuts. Navigate to Tools > Options > Keyboard Shortcuts and assign your own key combinations to frequently used actions.

Other Tips for First-Time Users:

  • Backup Your Notes: Although Joplin automatically syncs your notes, it’s a good practice to manually export your data occasionally. Go to File > Export and choose the format that best suits your backup needs.
  • Use Tags to Enhance Organization: Tags are a flexible way to categorize and find your notes. Create tags for projects, topics, or any other categorization system that fits your workflow.
  • Markdown Cheat Sheet: Keep a markdown cheat sheet handy if you’re new to markdown syntax. Joplin fully supports markdown, so mastering its basics will greatly enhance your note-taking.
  • Regularly Review Joplin’s Documentation: Joplin’s documentation is an excellent resource for understanding all the features and capabilities of the app. It’s regularly updated, so check back for new tips and tricks.

Staying Productive with Joplin

Leverage Joplin Web Clipper:

  • Install the Joplin Web Clipper browser extension to easily save web pages and screenshots directly to your Joplin notebooks. This tool is invaluable for research and collecting information from the web.

Following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a Joplin power user on Ubuntu. Remember, the key to a successful digital note-taking practice is regular use and exploration of the tool’s features. Happy note-taking!

Joplin note-taking app open and ready for use on Ubuntu desktop.
Open Joplin app on Ubuntu, ready for your notes.

Managing Joplin on Ubuntu

This section will explore managing your Joplin installation on Ubuntu Linux, including updating and removing the application. This includes methods for all three installations we discussed: APT, Snap, and Flatpak. Let’s dive in and learn how to keep our Joplin app up-to-date and how to remove it if necessary.

Update Joplin

APT Update Command for Joplin

If you installed Joplin using the APT method, you’ll know the application was installed manually using a bash script. To keep Joplin updated, you can create a cron job automatically downloading and running this bash script.

You could set the job to run at a specific time interval, or perhaps more conveniently for desktop users, you could set it to run every time you log in to your system. Let’s look at how to set this up.

To open your crontab file for editing, use the following command in your terminal:

crontab -e

To update Joplin every time you log in to your system, add the following line:

@reboot /path/to/your/joplin_update_script.sh

Remember to replace “/path/to/your/joplin_update_script.sh” with the actual path of your update script.

Snap Update Command for Joplin

For Snap, you can trigger an update manually using the following command:

sudo snap refresh joplin-desktop

Or to check all Snap installations:

sudo snap refresh

Flatpak Update Command for Joplin

For Flatpak, you can update all your installed Flatpak applications, including Joplin, with the following command:

flatpak update

If you wish to update only Joplin, you can specify it like so:

flatpak update net.cozic.joplin_desktop

Remove Joplin

If you wish to uninstall Joplin from your Ubuntu Linux system, here are the methods based on the installation type.

APT Remove Command for Joplin

To uninstall the APT version of Joplin, you have to remove the Joplin directory. You can do this with the following command:

rm -rf ~/.joplin

Snap Remove Command for Joplin

To remove Joplin installed via Snap, you can use the following command:

sudo snap remove joplin-desktop

Flatpak Remove Command for Joplin

Finally, if you installed Joplin via Flatpak, you can remove it using the following command:

flatpak uninstall net.cozic.joplin_desktop

In each case, remember that removing Joplin will also delete your notes and notebooks, so ensure you have a backup if you wish to preserve your data.

See also
How to Install GNOME Flashback on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04

Closing Thoughts

In this guide, we walked through the steps of installing Joplin on Ubuntu, covering three main methods: Bash script, Snap, and Flatpak. We also touched on some crucial first-time tips to get you started smoothly, from optimizing your workflow to customizing Joplin to fit your needs. As a final recommendation, take some time to explore Joplin’s features and plugins to harness its potential as a note-taking app fully. Remember, the more you use it, the more it becomes an indispensable part of your daily routine. So, dive in, start organizing your thoughts, and let Joplin help keep your ideas clear and accessible.

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