tomboy-ng Download and Install


You can download ready to run binaries or source code for the current release, v0.18, from Github. There is a list there of whats new too.

See below for platform specific advice, how to import Tomboy notes and how to setup spell check.


If your Linux system can use Debian packages, use the deb files, they will put the binary in the right place and install a number of icons. But not, at this stage, put menu items in place or set tomboy-ng to start automatically.

Double click on the down loaded deb or install with a command like

  • gdebi  tomboy-ng_0.18a-0_amd64.deb

if your system does not have gdebi, you can, of course, use dpkg -i tomboy-ng_0.18a-0_amd64.deb but remember dpkg does not resolve dependencies, its possible you may need also install a couple of libraries on some systems.

If your system uses RPM packages, good news, v0.16 and beyond provides an rpm package. Download and install, typically with a command like

yum install tomboy-ng-0.17-0.x86_64.rpm

Otherwise, use one of the gz files. They contain just the binary, you can (and must) put it somewhere suitable where you can find it to start manually. Or tuck it out of the way and set up your startup system to start it automatically, typically Control Panel - > Startup Applications. If you use the .gz files, you will need to restore the executable bit before using it, eg chmod u+x tomboy-ng

When you start tomboy-ng the first time, please check that your distribution is not affected by the System Tray Bug (ie Fedora), can you see the small green System Tray Icon ? If not, see the Bugs and Known Issues page.


You should download one of the zip files, double click it to unzip.

tomboy-ng is available in both 32bit and 64bit versions and has been tested on Windows 7 and Windows 10.

As of v0.15, tomboy-ng can spell check given a suitable DLL and dictionary file. Therefore, the 64bit version of tomboy-ng now includes the hunspell.dll and a license file relating to it. This means that when you down load the zip file, you will find it contains a folder with three files that ideally need to stay together. So, drag the folder somewhere suitable and start the application from there. If you download one of more dictionary files, put them in that folder too.

I have not bundled a 32bit dictionary as I am doubtful there are too many people still using 32bit windows, those that do are, I am sure, capable of sorting out their own issues.

You will get a warning from Windows Defender (or other protective software) that this application is from an Unknown Publisher and might be dangerous. It might be too but not deliberately so. Click "More Info" and the "Run Anyway".

There might be a proper Install Kit available some time in the future if I see any interest.

tomboy-ng on the Mac

As a Mac user, download the dmg file. At present, only a 32bit version is recommended for normal use, the 64bit version has several problems as detained in the Know Bugs and Issues page.

The file you download is a "disk image". Its probably in your downloads directory and if you double click it, it will mount the image and show you the contents, the tomboy-ng app and a shortcut to your Application Folder. Drag the app file (its actually a directory) to the Applications Folder. You can now close and even delete the dmg file, you don't need it.

You can now use the Finder->Applications to find the new tomboy-ng app. Starting tomboy-ng the first time is an issue. Apple charge its (commercial) developers a fee so they can sign applications and avoid this process but you will need to do it. But only the first time. Instead of double clicking the directory, you must hold down the control key and click it. From the popup menu, choose Open (Check wording), and then say yes to the Proceed query you get, assuming you feel the binary has not been tampered with.

After this, you will be able to start tomboy-ng with the usual double click.

Note that when you start 32bit tomboy-ng on the Mac, you see a green Icon down on the dock, not a TrayIcon top right. Click the icon you do see and you get a tomboy-ng menu.

Importing Notes from Tomboy

Tomboy and tomboy-ng use (hopefully) exactly the same file format. So, you could, if you felt very brave, point tomboy-ng to where your existing Tomboy notes are. I do not suggest that ! A safer approach might be to copy all your existing Tomboy notes from where they live now to where tomboy-ng expects to find its notes.

Or, and this might make sense for many people, if you already use a file sync process with Tomboy, setup tomboy-ng to join that file sync.

Note that tomboy-ng allows you to have a note in more than one Notebook. This is turned off by default (in the Config page), if you turn it on, and use it, I suggest you don't mix those notes with Tomboy anymore. Some tests indicate you might be OK but I do not recommend taking that risk. Similarly, tomboy-ng supports underlined text, Tomboy does not.


Spelling is a new feature in v0.14. A major design goal of tomboy-ng is to keep things small so the spelling capabilities are, as much as possible provided by libraries and dictionaries already likely to be on your computer. But you might need to help tomboy-ng a little in finding them. "Out of the box" spelling is not configured and won't work. You need to go the the config page, select the "spell" tab and, firstly, see if tomboy can find what it needs. If so, save and all is good. If not, you need to be come involved ! Keep reading....

On all three platforms, you will require both the hunspell library and suitable dictionary files to use this feature. For Linux I have assumed you already have both, properly installed and ready to share. If not, please use you system's package manager, search for hunspell. Mac users will also probably have the library installed but might need to find the dictionaries already installed for (eg) Firefox or OpenOffice. Or download new ones. Windows, sigh. Windows does not share well so I have provided a bundled hunspell library for the more popular 64bit downloads. Again, you probably already have dictionaries available bundled with another application, if not, they can be obtained freely online.

Mac and Window's users, if you download a library and/or dictionaries, put them in the same directory as the tomboy-ng executable, tomboy-ng will look there first. (Linux knows where to put them.)

Apps/Tomboy/tomboy-ng/DownLoadInstall (last edited 2018-08-18 10:40:47 by David Bannon)