Not all note-taking tools are built with Linux users in mind.
This article will list down the most secure and private note-taking apps you can use.
Most importantly, these are the best privacy note-taking apps out there for Linux users with secure encryption built in place.
What are the selection criteria for a good privacy notes app?
The selection criteria used in this article are;
- the type of encryption used by the app
- the use of end-to-end encryption during syncing, and
- the ability to work in offline mode without internet connectivity.
What are the BEST Encrypted Note-Taking Apps for Linux users?
Here are the nine (9) note-taking tools you can use.
1. Standard Notes
When you write using Standard Notes, your personal notes are encrypted offline on your device, before syncing to its server when you want them to be on your different devices. In short, no one can read your data except you.
It is an open-source, encrypted and secure notes app that supports various platforms. On top of these, it can also be accessed on the web.
It uses the XChaCha20-Poly1305 encryption algorithm and adopts end-to-end encryption (E2EE) when syncing across devices.
- Simple note editor (more themes and editors in paid plan)
- No intrusive advertising or tracking for users
- No trace of data persist on server after 14 days of account deletion
- No limit on data capacity when syncing across different devices
- Unlimited devices
- Web access available
For Linux, installation involves downloading the AppImage or going to the Snap Store.
Standard Notes is available to Windows, macOS, iOS, Android as well.
Turtl is another open-source note-taking app that makes use of the popular Markdown note editing format.
There are different note types to choose from, depending on what you want to capture down. It can be a simple text for note writing, a bookmark on a webpage, an image or even a file document.
Turtl uses client-side cryptography which means all data are encrypted locally on the user’s device first. The tool also supports sharing among users.
You can run your own Turtl server if you wish to.
It uses libsodium for all low level encryption (Chacha20poly1305 (IETF) algorithm).
- Search through notes using queries or tags
- Support TeX math rendering
- Attach photos, files or documents into notes
For Linux users, head down to the Github page and find the version suitable for Linux installation.
Turtl is available on Windows, macOS and Android. The iOS version is currently in the works.
Developed from the Laverna project in 2018, Encryptic is very privacy-focused in developing and implementing its notes features.
It is an open-source note-taking application that writes in your browser’s cache using industry-standard encryption methods.
It uses the OpenPGPJS library by generating a 2048 bit key with the passphrase set by the user. The key can be downloaded by the user or stored in the web browser’s IndexcedDB (or LocalStorage as a fallback).
Syncing across devices is made possible via the use of third parties e.g. Dropbox. However, data is always encrypted during transportation and the private key is not synchronized to any cloud service.
- Markdown formatting syntax
- To-do list
- Supports web-based notes writing and storing
- WYSIWYG control buttons
- Offline manual import and export of notes database
- Clean and intuitive interface
For Linux users, you need to manually install via Github.
Encryptic is also supported by Windows operating system, as well as on the web.
Whether you want to capture your notes, have a journal or simply create a Todo list, Notesnook is the tool to consider.
It uses end-to-end encryption when syncing across different devices. The software displays no ads, no trackers and does not collect any form of data mining.
If you are using other popular apps like Evernote and OneNote, you can easily import them into Notesnook.
It uses XChaCha20-Poly1305-IETF and Argon2 to encrypt your notes and also end-to-end encryption for syncing across devices.
- Snycing to unlimited devices
- Both offline and online mode available
- Comes with app lock feature
For Linux users, you can choose AppImage, deb or rpm package.
Notesnook is available to Windows, macOS, Android, iOS and the Web as well.
Cryptee is a progressive web app (PWA), which means you can choose to install it via your Edge or Chrome web browsers as they have the latest desktop PWA support or simply just access the web version of Cryptee.
Based in Estonia, Cryptee is an encrypted platform for personal documents, photos and note-keeping. It is open-source and GDPR compliant by design.
The interface is minimalist-looking, uses the familiar Markdown format and supports hotkeys for convenient toggling.
The strength of Cryptee comes from its privacy-focus approach. You only need to provide a username to register as a user. There is no need to provide any personal identifier such as email address or phone number.
AES-256 encryption algorithm
- Use on both offline and online modes
- “Ghost” folders for deniability
- Tag documents and photos for easier searches
- Checkboxes and tables available for use
- Ability to import Evernote database into Cryptee
For Linux users, visit Cryptee homepage and install it natively via Chrome or Edge browser (install button).
Cryptee is also available for iOS and Android users.
Skrifa is open-source software released under the GPLv3 license where you can review and contribute to the code on Github.
It is essentially a simple yet powerful word processor that is packed in encryption features for privacy and security-conscious users.
it has 3 flavours namely; the Skrifa, which is the full-fledged featured note-taking app, the Skrifa Lite, which is very fast but without the encryption features, and lastly the Skrifa Chrome, which is a convenient browser extension, especially for Chromebook users.
Uses PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) encryption keys.
- Offline mode available
- Import existing markdown notes from elsewhere
- import multimedia files to your notes
- MathJax Support
- Custom Themes
For Linux users, you can install using any of these choices; Deb, RPM, Pacman, Snap or AppImage.
Skrifa is also supported by Windows, macOS and FreeBSD.
It is an open-source project that comes with secure encryption.
You can try out the web version before installing the client-side software on your device.
A notable feature of Laverna includes anonymous registration. Just start using the app without providing any personal identifiers.
It uses the AES-256 encryption algorithm.
- Supports import and export of notes database
- Support code highlighting
- Keybindings feature
- Distraction free mode for comfort writing
For Linux, installation can be obtained here.
Laverna is also available for Windows and macOS. You have the option to self-host too.
Need more than a simple note-taking app?
Obsidian is a powerful knowledge base tool that acts as a second brain for us. Ideas and writing can be easily captured using various plugins of your choice.
Plugins are classified into Core and Community.
The ability to add new functionality into Obsidian via plugins such as file explorer, graph view (showing connections), backlinks (linking relevant pages) and markdown format converter is very useful. In addition, you can build your own Obsidian community plugin
On top of these, it uses end-to-end encryption so that your data stays private and encrypted. It keeps your personal notes in “vaults” and enables you to sync on multiple devices.
Obsidian Sync has up to one year of version history, which allows you to revert to an earlier version.
When using Obsidian, you can take part in their online communities like Discord and forum, to learn more about the project’s development, as well as to seek technical assistance.
Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 256 in GCM mode.
- Supports tags for faster searching
- Free for personal and educational use
- Support importing of existing Markdown files from other apps
- Works in offline mode
- Supports more than 22 languages
For Linux users, you can choose in formats like AppImage, Snap, Flatpak or Deb.
Obsidian is available for Windows, macOS, iOS and Android as well.
TagSpaces is a cross-platform tool that uses the popular WYSIWYG Markdown editing for primarily note-taking. It is also ideal for organizing, editing and tagging files and folders.
It supports math expressions, simple text formatting and headers. There is also the feature of having TODO lists with checkboxes and automation.
Once installed, TagSpaces runs offline, which means all your data is stored locally and is never sent to the network.
Optional to store notes in AWS S3 in Paid plan.
- Adding tags to files and folders
- Creating thumbnails for images and videos
- Built-in image and video player
- Clipping webpages
- Dark mode available
- Advanced features for paid plan available
For Linux, download the AppImage, Deb or TGZ file.
It is available on Windows, macOS and Android as well.