Evernote does not offer an official desktop client for Linux, but there are a few workarounds. For a better-than-browser experience, try one of these methods. 

Evernote Web and Chrome app

The browser-based version of Evernote is the only officially supported way of using the application on Linux. It works, but if you’re a tab hoarder like me, editing your notes in a tab in a sea of tabs can be a bit tricky. On top of that, there is the additional baggage of running a full-fledged web browser.

linux evernote chrome appAlex Campbell

The Evernote Chrome application works just like the web application without the UI cruft of running it in a web browser window.

Evernote does offer an application in the Chrome store. If you right-click the application icon and select Open as window, the web application will launch in its own, tabless window. You can add the web app to your application menu or desktop by right-clicking and selecting Create shortcuts…. I prefer this method to logging into the website because the windows application takes up less visual real estate in its own window.

However, using the Chrome application will require you to be online. (The Evernote Chrome application offers offline support only for Chromebooks.)

linux evernote chrome app vs whateverAlex Campbell

The Evernote Chrome application (left) and Whatever (right) deliver the same functionality.

As for browser extensions, Evernote’s web clipper still works beautifully in Chromium and Firefox, so getting clipped content like recipes or news articles into Evernote is a cinch.

You can find the Evernote application in the Chrome Web Store.

Whatever

Whatever is a project hosted on GitHub that is little more than a wrapper for Evernote web written with Electron. Because it loads up the web application, there’s very little difference between the Chrome application and Whatever. 

You can find Whatever on GitHub.

NixNote 2

linux nixnote2 inline pdfAlex Campbell

NixNote 2 finally had a stable release this year, but problems with Evernote’s API rate limiting remain.

An evolution of the older desktop application NeverNote, NixNote 2 attempts to be as close to a desktop replacement for Evernote as possible. NixNote 2 was in beta for a couple of years and finally hit an official 2.0 release in February.

In NixNote 2 the note lists are organized as columns of text, not unlike a spreadsheet. A good thing about this layout is that it allows for quick sorting by title, date, or other characteristics. The bad thing about this utilitarian design is that it’s not as pretty as the official Evernote application. 

One of the cool things NixNote 2 does that the web-based clients don’t do is show PDFs inline. If you’re someone who scans a lot of documents into Evernote, having to download a PDF just to look at it can be a hassle. If you have a scanner that uploads PDFs to Evernote with generic note names, simply being able to preview the PDF in your application can be a big time saver.

NixNote 2 also allows for offline notebooks (uncheck Synchronized when creating a new notebook), auto-import, and exporting notes as PDFs.

The NixNote 2 interface shows dramatic improvements from the various beta releases. As a result, the interface feels smooth and far less buggy. The UI is written with Qt, so users who aren’t using the KDE Plasma desktop will have to install the Qt libraries.

The big drawback to NixNote 2 is the Evernote API. Evernote’s API is rate-limited, which means you can download only a certain number of notes for a given time period (about 45 minutes). If you have a large collection of notes, performing the initial sync to NixNote 2 will take a long time.

NixNote 2 can be found on GitHub or over at SourceForge.

TantalusFelipe Olivera

Tantalus is a replacement Evernote desktop application that is currently in development.

Tantalus

Tantalus is an open-source project that aims to create a desktop Evernote replacement that looks really sharp. It’s a work in progress and seems to not support core functionality (syncing notes) yet. The project author is apparently working on the UI and desktop functionality before tying the application into Evernote’s API.

Although I’m looking forward to seeing where this project goes, Tantalus will suffer the same API limitations that NixNote 2 does.

You can follow the development of Tantalus on GitHub.

Conclusion

Although there are a lot of flaws in the solutions available, using Evernote on Linux in 2017 is much better than it was in 2016. Users switching from Windows or Mac should know that some of the features you expect from desktop Evernote either won’t be available in Linux yet or will be implemented in a way that isn’t quite the same.

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