Tomboy… The Linux Wikipad

Wiki Notepad anyone?

Tomboy is a desktop note-taking application for Linux and Unix. Simple and easy to use, but with potential to help you organize the ideas and information you deal with every day.

Have you ever felt the frustration at not being able to locate a website you wanted to check out, or find an email you found interesting, or remember an idea about the direction of the political landscape in post-industrial Australia? Or are you one of those desperate souls with home-made, buggy, or not-quite-perfect notes systems?

Time for Tomboy. We bet you’ll be surprised at how well a little application can make life less cluttered and run more smoothly.

Tomboy is a very cool piece of software.


I got Tomboy as part of the upgrade to my Ubuntu Linux desktop, and was excited about using it as a replacement for Microsoft OneNote on my Linux desktop. I was soon disappointed as it ran only once successfully under my KDE desktop environment. Afterward, it simply would not run.

After switching back to gnome, I was able to set up Tomboy to work, and it is fantastic. The ability to create notes on the fly, and link them to other notes is fantastic. I have a master Project Note called “Projects,” this note is then linked to other notes of the individual projects.


I can create a new linked note simply by clicking on the “link” icon in the Tomboy toolbar. I keep the projects note open all of the time on the desktop. As I create new projects, or need to review or add to an existing one, I simply click on this Master note, and take the appropriate action.

Tomboy is always running in the Top Dock, waiting for me to click on it for a list of all available notes.


This is a very useful tool, and another reason why I am spending more and more time in Ubuntu and not windows.

Since solving my Palm Sync problem not long ago, I find myself spending more and more time using Ubuntu Linux and less time in Windows. In fact, my next PC purchase will probably be 100% Linux. The only reason I continue to use Windows at this point is for certain banking and other practices that require a windows browser.

My experience in Linux has been much more pleasant. It is faster, more attractive, secure and in many ways more intuitive. Installing some programs (those requiring a manual install), can still be a pain, but I am learning daily how to manage that process.

Using Linux is initially not the most user friendly experience in the world, but once you have made the switch and committed to it, there are a wealth of resources available to Noobs, as newbies are called. There is a real sense of community, and I have found myself receiving emails from notables in the Linux community who have spotted posts of mine in the Ubuntu forums, asking for help.

I am planning on sponsoring a major seminar next year to promote open source software here in Costa Rica.

One of the best things about the Open Source movement is that there are tons of Free software titles out there, with quality equal to or surpassing that of the commercial products available for Windows… No wonder Microsoft is terrified of Open Source. I have to produce a lot of PDF documents in my business. I struggled with various “Free” ad-ons to Microsoft Word, and even considered paying for Adobe Acrobat. With Open Office, saving to a full featured PDF, is included in the program.

Tomboy is just another pleasant surprise in my journey to Linux mastery. If you have not tried Linux and have 10 gigabytes or so of free diskspace on your PC, you should consider setting up a Linux partition. There are various flavors to chose from. Ubuntu is easy, free and you can download the disk image directly from their website.  After burning a CD, you can try it before you even install (The CD is bootable, without changing your Windows configuration).

But installing it is a JOY. Once you have done so, the world of Tomboy and Open Office and a wealth of other software will be open to you. Unless you or your business relies heavily on Microsoft Applications, I don’t think you will look back.

2 Responses to “Tomboy… The Linux Wikipad”

  1. Oliver Zomorodi Says:

    I feel I should say, I love your blog

  2. ZeroHack Says:

    I am presently using hott notes, have downloaded tomboy. Will see how it works, from the screen shots and your write up I think it would be more helpful than the current tool. Thanks !

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