Best Whiteboard Applications for Linux Systems

5 min


We will show you a couple of whiteboard applications for Linux systems. I am sure these are going to be super beneficial for you. Read on.

In general, a digital whiteboard is a tool that contains a large interactive display in the form of a whiteboard. Some examples of whiteboard devices are – Tab, large-screen mobile phones, touch screen laptops, surface displays.

If an instructor uses a whiteboard, you can draw, write or manipulate elements on those device screens using a touch-sensitive pen, stylus, finger or mouse. That means you can drag, click, erase, draw – do everything on the whiteboard that can be done on a piece of paper using a pen.

But to do all those, you need software that supports all those functionalities. That means bridging the gap between your touch and the display.

Now, there are many commercial applications available for this work. But we will talk about some of the free and open-source whiteboard applications in this article that are available for Linux Systems.

Best Whiteboard Applications for Linux Systems

1. Xournal++

The first application we feature is Xournal++. In my opinion, this is the best app on this list. It’s pretty solid and here for some time.

Xournal++ allows you to write, draw, and do everything you usually do on paper. It supports handwriting, custom pen with highlighter, eraser, etc. The support for Layers, multi-page features, add external images, add audio are few to mention among its great list of features.

This application support almost all pressure-sensitive tablets, including Wacom, Huion, XP-Pen. I tested it on a touchpad laptop, and it works with minor settings changes. So, you can start using any touch-sensitive device.

It is written in C++ and GTK3.

Xournal++ Whiteboard Application for Linux
Xournal++ Whiteboard Application for Linux

For Linux systems, this is how you can install. It is free and available for Linux, macOS and Windows as well. A BETA copy is also available if you want to try it out on mobile.

How to Install

This application is available as AppImage, Snap, Flatpak and deb package. Also available as PPA for Ubuntu/Debian based systems.

Also dedicated packages for Fedora, SUSE and Arch are available. Head over to the below link to grab your preferred executable format.

More information

2. OpenBoard

The next one we would like to highlight is OpenBoard. This simple whiteboard drawing application is easy to use and doesn’t get in your way with too many options.

This one is perfect for beginners and junior students who take notes from online classes.

OpenBoard loaded with features. Such as colours, brushes, texts, simple drawing shapes, page support and more. This app is built using Qt technology.

OpenBoard
OpenBoard

How to Install

This application is only available for Ubuntu as a stand-alone deb package. You can download it from the below link.

More Information

3. Notelab

NoteLab is one of the decade-old oldest whiteboard applications. It is a free and open-source application with a vast set of features. So, you can understand how stable and popular this application is.

Here are some of its features:

  • This app supports all popular image formats as an export option. For example, SVG, PNG, JPG, BMP, etc.
  • Configuration option for pen and paper customization
  • Built-in memory manager for custom allocation of memory used by NoteLab.
  • There are several rule formats in paper, such as broad rule, college rule, and graph paper.
  • All standard drawing tools.
  • You can resize, move, delete, change colour, and perform other operations in any note section.
NoteLab
NoteLab

However, this application is a Java application and distributed as a .jar file. So you need the Java runtime for it to work. You can refer to our guide to install Java or JRE in Linux systems by following links.

How to Install

NoteLab comes with a standalone executable .jar file, which you can download from SourceForge via the below link. Remember, you need JRE to run this application.

More Information

4. Rnote

The third app we want to highlight is called Rnote. Rnote is an excellent application for taking handwritten notes via touch devices. This application is vector image-based and helps to draw, annotate pictures and PDFs. It brings native .rnote file format with import/export options for png, jpeg, svg and PDF.

One of the cool features of Rnote is that it supports Xournal++ file format support (the first app in this list) which makes it a must-have tool.

Built using GTK4 and Rust, Rnote is perfect for your GNOME desktop and all types of Linux systems.

This application is currently under development, and keep that in mind while using.

Rnote - Whiteboard Application for Linux based on GTK4 and Rust
Rnote – Whiteboard Application for Linux based on GTK4 and Rust

How to Install

This application is available as a Flatpak package. You can set up Flatpak for your Linux system using this guide and then click on the below button to install.

More Information

Home page and Source code

5. Lorien

Lorien is a perfect digital notebook software for your ideation sessions where you can create notes with its various tools. Lorien is a cross-platform, free and open-source “infinite canvas drawing/note-taking” app based on Godot Game Engine. This app is a perfect fit for taking quick notes for brainstorming sessions.

The toolbox is pretty standard with a Freehand brush, eraser, line tool and selection tool. You can move or delete a selected section of your brushstrokes – that act as a collection of points and renders at runtime.

Lorien Whiteboard Application for Linux
Lorien Whiteboard Application for Linux

How to Install

The installation is not required to use Lorien. A self-contained executable is available to download from the below link (download the tar file). Once downloaded, extract the files and double click to run.

More Information

Home Page and Source Code

6. Rainbow Board

The Rainbow Board is a free and open-source whiteboard application based on Electron and React. In general, people do not like Electron apps due to their performance and bulky nature. But as we are listing the apps in this category, I thought it’s worth mentioning this one.

It comes with a standard canvas to draw that supports touch and stylus support. The toolbox includes Brush sizes, colours, fill colours, fonts, undo & redo actions. You can export your drawing as a PNG or SVG file.

Rainbow Board Whiteboard application for Linux
Rainbow Board Whiteboard application for Linux

How to Install

This application is available as Snap, Flatpak and standalone deb installer. You can download them from the page in the below link.

More Information

Honorable Mentions

The last two drawing applications I want to mention here are Vectr and Ecxalidraw. These are web-based whiteboard drawing applications. I am putting them in a separate section because they are not desktop applications.

So, if you are reluctant to install another app; Or use a school or work system where you do not have permission to install, you can open the web browser and use these. Here is their web address.

Vectr
Ecxalidraw

Closing Notes

There you go, with some modern-day whiteboard drawing applications for Linux and other operating systems. Many of you are probably taking notes in pen and paper for your online sessions or classes due to Pandemic and work-from-home situations. I am sure these will help you in your study work.

Try these out, and you will definitely find the one best suitable for you. Let me know your comments or feedback about this list in the message box below.

Cheers.

Image credit – respective app owners. Feature image credit – unsplash


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Arindam

Creator of debugpoint.com. All time Linux user and open-source supporter. Connect with me via Telegram, Twitter, LinkedIn, or send us an email.
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