How to Install Zim Desktop Wiki on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04

For those seeking a comprehensive digital notebook solution, it is essential to learn how to install Zim Desktop Wiki on Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish or its older stable release Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa. Zim Desktop Wiki offers a dynamic platform that combines the simplicity of a notepad with the robust capabilities of a Wiki. This ensures that your notes, ideas, and information are stored and structured efficiently.

Distinctive Features of Zim Desktop Wiki:

  • Structured Note-taking: Embracing the ‘Wiki’ concept, Zim ensures your notes are systematically arranged, interconnected, and easily retrievable.
  • Markdown Support: With its simplified wiki syntax, Zim facilitates the creation of rich text notes, eliminating the need for intricate coding knowledge.
  • Easy Linking: Seamlessly weave links between notes, fostering a cohesive web of ideas and facilitating logical flow.
  • Version Control: Zim’s built-in version control allows for effortless tracking of note modifications and provides the option to revert to previous versions.
  • Task Lists and Calendars: Beyond note-taking, Zim’s integrated task list and calendar features assist in managing tasks, dates, and deadlines.
  • Export Capabilities: Offering export options in multiple formats, Zim ensures your notes are shareable and compatible with other applications.
  • Customizable Interface: Tailor Zim’s appearance and functionalities to resonate with your preferences.
  • Open Source Nature: As a free and open-source tool, Zim fosters community collaboration, allowing for contributions and modifications to its development.

Given its multifaceted features, Zim Desktop Wiki emerges as an indispensable tool for a diverse audience, from students and professionals to researchers and writers. Whether it’s for basic note-taking, comprehensive project management, or brainstorming sessions, Zim’s versatility is undeniable.

Our subsequent guide will elucidate the installation process of Zim on Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish or Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa, detailing methods via Ubuntu apt or Flatpak. This guide ensures a smooth installation journey for both novices and seasoned users of Ubuntu and Zim.

Install Zim Desktop Wiki on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04 via APT

Step 1: Updating Your Ubuntu System Before Zim Installation

Before we install Zim on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04, we must ensure our system is current with all the latest updates and upgrades. This practice is essential to maintain the stability of your system and avoid potential issues during the installation process. To do this, open your terminal and type in the following command:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

This command will first update the list of available packages and their versions (sudo apt update).

Step 2: Import Zim Desktop Wiki PPA on Ubuntu

To ensure that we install the latest stable release of Zim with all its new features, we’ll leverage the PPA maintained by Jaap Karssenberg, Zim’s primary developer. The first step in this process is to install a couple of dependencies that allow us to manage PPAs and securely fetch packages over HTTPS:

sudo apt install software-properties-common apt-transport-https -y

The software-properties-common package provides the add-apt-repository command, which we’ll use to add the Zim PPA. The apt-transport-https package, on the other hand, allows APT to retrieve packages over HTTPS.

Next, we have a choice between two PPAs: the stable and the development PPAs. The stable PPA (jaap.karssenberg/zim) is recommended for most users as it contains well-tested versions of Zim. The development PPA (jaap.karssenberg/zim-snapshots), on the other hand, provides the latest, cutting-edge versions of Zim, which might be less stable. If both PPAs are added, the system will automatically choose the one with the newest version, which will typically be the development build.

To add the stable PPA, use the following command:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:jaap.karssenberg/zim -y

If you want to live on the edge and opt for the development PPA, use this command instead:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:jaap.karssenberg/zim-snapshots -y

Step 3: Refreshing the Packages List After Zim PPA Import on Ubuntu

Now that we’ve added the Zim PPA to our system, we need to update the packages list to reflect this new addition. This step is crucial as it allows your system to acknowledge the newly added source and fetch packages from it. To do this, run the following command:

sudo apt update

Step 4: Install Zim Desktop Wiki on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04

With all the preliminary steps out of the way, we’re now ready to install Zim on our system. Run the following command to start the installation process:

sudo apt install zim -y

This command will fetch the Zim package from the PPA we added earlier and install it on your system. The -y flag is used here to confirm the installation, making the process smoother automatically.

Install Zim Desktop Wiki on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04 via Flatpak and Flathub

Flatpak is an innovative technology that offers a different way to install and manage applications on Linux systems, akin to Snap. It creates a containerized environment where applications can run independently of the system’s libraries. This has several advantages, including better security, isolation from system-level issues, and access to the latest application versions independent of the system’s release cycle.

Step 1: Enabling the Flathub Repository For Zim on Ubuntu

Before we can install Zim through Flatpak, we need to add the Flathub repository to our system. Flathub is a primary source for Flatpak applications, hosting many apps ready for installation. To enable Flathub, we need to execute the following command in the terminal:

sudo flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub

This command adds the Flathub repository to your Flatpak configuration. The --if-not-exists flag ensures that the repository is added only if it’s not already in the system, thereby preventing duplicate entries.

Step 2: Install Zim Desktop Wiki on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04 via Flatpak Command

Now that we have enabled the Flathub repository on our system, we can install Zim. We’ll use the flatpak install command to do this. Type the following command into your terminal:

flatpak install flathub org.zim_wiki.Zim -y

This command fetches and installs the Zim application from the Flathub repository, providing you with the latest stable version of Zim.

If you find that Flatpak is not yet installed on your system, don’t fret. You can refer to our comprehensive guide on “How to Install Flatpak on Ubuntu” for detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to install the most recent supported version of Flatpak.

Launching Zim Wiki on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04

After successfully installing Zim, you may wonder how to get it up and running. The process is straightforward, and there are multiple ways to launch Zim, depending on your preference and installation method.

CLI Method to Launch Zim Desktop Wiki on Ubuntu

If you are comfortable using the terminal or have it readily available, you can launch Zim directly from there. To run Zim, you need to type the following command into your terminal and press Enter:


This command calls and runs the Zim application, opening it right away.

If you have installed Zim via Flatpak, the command to run it is slightly different. For Flatpak applications, the flatpak run command is used. To launch Zim, type the following command into your terminal:

flatpak run org.zim_wiki.Zim

Again, this command will immediately open the Zim application.

GUI Method to Launch Zim Desktop Wiki on Ubuntu

Zim can be accessed just like any other application on your system for those who prefer using the graphical interface. You can locate Zim by navigating the following path in your desktop environment:

Activities > Show Applications > Zim Desktop Wiki
Screenshot showing the Zim Desktop Wiki application icon on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04, indicating a click-to-launch action.Pin
A step-by-step visual demonstration of launching Zim Desktop Wiki by clicking its application icon on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04.

Tips on Getting Started with Zim Desktop Wiki on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04

This section will explore tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your Zim Wiki experience on Ubuntu Linux. From general tips to customization ideas, this guide will provide insight into making Zim Wiki a powerful tool for note-taking and organizational needs.

General Tips with Zim Desktop Wiki on Ubuntu

  1. Note Linking: Zim Wiki allows you to create links between your notes. This feature makes it easier to navigate between related notes. You can create a link by simply typing the name of an existing page enclosed in double square brackets, like [[Page Name]].
  2. Task List Management: Zim Wiki has an integrated task list feature to help you manage your to-dos. To create a task, simply type [ ] followed by the task description in any of your notes. Zim will automatically recognize it as a task. You can check off tasks by replacing the space with an ‘x’: [x].
  3. Quick Note Creation: In Zim, you can quickly create a new note by simply typing the title of the new note in CamelCase (no spaces and each word capitalized) or enclosing it within double square brackets.
  4. Version Control: Zim Wiki can be integrated with version control systems like Git. This allows you to track changes over time, revert, and even collaborate with others on your notes.

Customization Tips with Zim Desktop Wiki on Ubuntu

  1. Changing Themes: Zim Wiki supports custom themes. To change the theme, navigate to Edit > Preferences > Style. You can choose from the available styles or even create your own.
  2. Custom Toolbar: You can customize the toolbar in Zim to better suit your workflow. Navigate to Edit > Preferences > Toolbar and add or remove tools as needed.
  3. Keyboard Shortcuts: Zim Wiki has numerous keyboard shortcuts to speed up your note-taking process. You can also define your shortcuts. Navigate to Edit > Preferences > Shortcuts to view and customize the shortcuts.
  4. Plugins: Zim Wiki supports various plugins that can enhance its functionality. Navigate to Edit > Preferences > Plugins to enable or disable plugins. Some of the notable plugins include the Task List, Calendar, and Table of Contents.

Other Tips with Zim Desktop Wiki on Ubuntu

  1. Backup Your Notes: While Zim Wiki is a reliable tool, regularly backing up your notes is always a good idea. You can do this manually or set up an automatic backup using tools like rsync or deja-dup.
  2. Export Notes: Zim Wiki allows you to export your notes in formats like HTML, Markdown, RST, and LaTeX. This can be done via File > Export.
  3. Spell Checking: Zim Wiki has a built-in spell checker. You can enable it via Tools > Spell Check.

These tips should help you get started with Zim Wiki on Ubuntu Linux. Remember, the more you use Zim Wiki, the more you will get used to its features and functionalities.

Screenshot of Zim Desktop Wiki's user interface once launched on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04.Pin
A glimpse of what users can expect from Zim Desktop Wiki’s user interface once launched on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04.

Additional Zim Desktop Wiki Commands with Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04

In this section, we’ll guide you through the procedures for updating and removing the Zim Wiki application on your Ubuntu Linux system. As a user, it’s crucial to keep your applications updated for optimal performance and security. On the other hand, removing it is a good practice to free up system resources if you no longer find a particular application useful.

Update Zim Desktop Wiki on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04

Once installed via the Personal Package Archive (PPA), Zim Wiki becomes part of your system’s standard software sources. This means Zim Wiki will also be checked for updates whenever you initiate a system update.

To manually check for updates and upgrade your system, including Zim Wiki, execute the following command in your terminal:

sudo apt upgrade && sudo apt upgrade

This command first updates the list of available packages from all configured sources and then upgrades the installed packages to their latest versions. This command will apply if an update for Zim Wiki is available.

Alternatively, Flatpak installations can run the following command that will check for updates for all Flatpak installations:

flatpak update

Remove Zim Desktop Wiki on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04

There might come a time when you no longer require Zim Wiki on your Ubuntu Linux system. The removal process is straightforward. To uninstall Zim Wiki, use the following command:

sudo apt remove zim

This command removes Zim Wiki and any redundant dependencies installed with it.

If you’ve decided not to use Zim Wiki in the future, it’s a good idea also to remove the PPAs that were added during the installation. This will prevent your system from checking these sources during future updates.

To remove the stable PPA, use the following command:

sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:jaap.karssenberg/zim -y

If you’ve also added the development PPA and wish to remove it, execute the following command:

sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:jaap.karssenberg/zim-snapshots -y

The removal process is slightly different for those who have installed Zim Wiki via Flatpak. The following command will remove the Zim Wiki application:

flatpak uninstall org.zim_wiki.Zim -y

Please keep in mind that removing an application is a permanent action. Ensure you have saved any necessary data before proceeding with the uninstallation.


This guide delved into installing and managing the Zim Desktop Wiki on an Ubuntu Linux system. We began with the installation process, exploring the traditional APT method and the Flatpak alternative. The step-by-step instructions were designed to be easy to follow for both beginners and seasoned users. Furthermore, we explored launching Zim Desktop Wiki, providing insights into the different methods available to users depending on their preferences. Finally, the guide covered how to keep your Zim Wiki updated and the steps to take when you wish to remove the application.

Overall, Zim Desktop Wiki is a versatile tool, and mastering its use on Ubuntu Linux can significantly enhance your productivity and organization. Following the steps outlined in this guide, you should now understand how to manage this application on your system.

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