How to Install QOwnNotes on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04


QOwnNotes offers many attractive features for users who wish to keep all their essential information organized in one place. The following tutorial will demonstrate how to install QOwnNotes on Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish or Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa using an official dedicated LaunchPAD PPA dedicated to QOwnNotes to install the latest version using the command line terminal.

Update Ubuntu

Before you begin, run an update on your system to ensure all packages are up-to-date to avoid any conflicts during the installation.

sudo apt update

Optionally, you can list the updates for users who require review or are curious.

sudo apt --list upgradable

Proceed to upgrade any outdated packages using the following command.

sudo apt upgrade

Install QOwnNotes

The first task in installing QOwnNotes is to import the QOwnNotes LaunchPAD PPA maintained by Patrizio Bekerle, as explained at the start of the tutorial.

Install the following packages that are required. These are most likely installed but run the command to be safe.

sudo apt install dirmngr lsb-release ca-certificates software-properties-common gnupg gnupg2 apt-transport-https -y

For users who have not previously imported a GPG key from the Ubuntu keyserver, the command line terminal will often have issues importing GPG keys from LaunchPAD PPAs because the directories are not created. This is an easy fix. Use the following command that will, in turn, generate the directories.

sudo gpg --list-keys

Example output:

gpg: directory '/root/.gnupg' created
gpg: keybox '/root/.gnupg/pubring.kbx' created
gpg: /root/.gnupg/trustdb.gpg: trustdb created

This can be skipped, but if you encounter an issue, just run the command and re-try.

The next task is to import the GPG key needed.

sudo gpg --no-default-keyring --keyring /usr/share/keyrings/qownnotes.gpg --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv-keys FDF1BE5B4B0286C8D8B0587F54223C6547878405 > /dev/null

Example output:

joshua@www.linuxcapable.com:~$ sudo gpg --no-default-keyring --keyring /usr/share/keyrings/qownnotes.gpg --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv-keys FDF1BE5B4B0286C8D8B0587F54223C6547878405 > /dev/null
gpg: key 54223C6547878405: public key "Launchpad PPA for Patrizio Bekerle" imported
gpg: Total number processed: 1
gpg:               imported: 1

With the GPG key now imported, you can import the LaunchPAD PPA.

Please note at the time of this tutorial, only Ubuntu 22.10, 22.04, and 20.04 is supported by the PPA and tested. In the future, if I have not updated the tutorial, check the PPA and see if a newer version is supported or leave me a comment, as the command below will match any Ubuntu system, but again this does not mean it will be kept.

echo "deb [signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/qownnotes.gpg] https://ppa.launchpadcontent.net/pbek/qownnotes/ubuntu $(lsb_release -cs) main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/qownnotes.list

Before running the installation command, run an apt update to reflect the new imported PPA.

sudo apt-get update

With the PPA added, you can begin the installation using the following command.

sudo apt install qownnotes -y

How to Launch QOwnNotes

Launching can be done in a few ways now that you have the software installed.

In your terminal, use the following command.

qownnotes

However, this is not practical for desktop users, and you would use the following path on your desktop, do not forget to right-click and add as a favorite if you will access this application a lot.

Activities > Show Applications > QOwnNotes

Example:

The first time you open QOwnNotes, you will be prompted by the first-time run installer GUI. The first window will ask where you want to store your notes. For most users, the defaults will be fine.

Example:

Click on the Next > button to proceed.

On the second window, you can select a panel layout, I prefer using the full panel layout, but you can choose minimal this is the user’s choice.

Example:

Click on the Next > button to proceed.

In the third window, you can configure Nextcloud or ownCLOUD settings configuration window to access your notes through those services servers.

See also
How to Update Packages on Ubuntu Command Line

Example:

Click on the Next > button to proceed.

Lastly, configure network settings by letting QOwnNotes track anonymous usage data. This is optional if you would like to help improve the application.

Example:

Click on the Finished > button to proceed.

Next, you will be taken to the application. I would suggest on the left-hand side checking out the Markdown Cheatsheet.

Example:

And that is it, and you have successfully installed the latest version of QOwnNotes.

Additional Commands & Tips

How to Update QOwnNotes

The software should update itself with your system packages for desktop users using the APT package manager. For users who want to check manually, use the following command in your terminal.

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

This is fine and standard for users who prefer updating with the GUI. Still, I recommend using the cli commands to ensure your packages are updated and familiarize yourself with users porting from Windows.

How to Remove QOwnNotes

Use the following command entirely for users who no longer wish to have QOwnNotes on their system and want to remove the software.

sudo apt autoremove qownnotes --purge

The above command is a blanket command that will remove all associated unused dependencies along with QOwnNotes and any saved data created by the software for complete removal.

Lastly, remove the repository but be mindful that if you have installed other applications, do not remove it. If you did it accidentally, re-import it at the tutorial’s start.

sudo rm /etc/apt/sources.list.d/qownnotes.list

Conclusion

The tutorial taught you how to install QOwnNotes from a LaunchPAD PPA for an alternative publishing editor that is open-source and free to use. The tutorial has also demonstrated how to fix importing a GPG key for the first time using cli commands with the command line terminal.

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