Syncing Tomboy notes with Ubuntu One

Lots of people keep asking the same question (how do I sync Tomboy notes with Ubuntu One?), so, since there is a nice tutorial already, posting it here to get to a wider audience: the tutorial.

Since this is also my first post about it (didn’t want to make it too public until it worked great), I wish to give special thanks to Sandy Armstrong, Tomboy’s super hacker, whose help in making this work has been very valuable. Not only he helped us in all the problems we found, but he was very receptive on our suggestions for changes in the syncing protocol. So, every time you sync your notes (to Ubuntu One or a Snowy server), please save some money to pay him (and me, if possible) some beers :-D


22 Responses to “Syncing Tomboy notes with Ubuntu One”

  1. Marcus Vinicius says:

    It would be great if this synchronization with Ubuntu One worked with the Mac version of Tomboy. I am a big fan of Tomboy, using it at home (on Ubuntu) and at work (on OSX).
    Right now, I am using version 0.15.07 on OSX, and no one (of the two) available sync plugins work (both are grayed and cannot be activated).

  2. rodrigo says:

    Marcus, is the Mac version of Tomboy the very latest one? If so, it should work, let me know if it doesn’t and I’ll let Sandy know

  3. Sandy says:

    Marcus: I was on vacation recently and have not merged an outstanding patch from Rodrigo that is required to make sync work correctly with Ubuntu One. Right now the patch is only applied in Ubuntu’s Tomboy package.

    You can expect Tomboy 1.0.1 to be released soonish, with this patch merged in, and all distros that adopt 1.0.1 will support Ubuntu One, and of course the Windows and Mac binaries we distribute will support it as well.

  4. When I grow up I want to be a great like Sandy!

  5. When I grow up I want to be a great hacker like Sandy!

  6. mgunes says:

    Does Tomboy syncing work over a local network, without the need for Ubuntu One, similar to Bindwood?

  7. rodrigo says:

    mgunes: yes, just setup a snowy server on your local network. For syncing like bindwood, we need to make tomboy store notes on the local couchdb (desktopcouch), which we’ll probably work on soon

  8. Sandy says:

    Reminder: Snowy is still pre-alpha, and although it works fine for syncing, it has not been thoroughly tested for security, so I would not recommend running it outside of a LAN right now if you care about your data and server.

    We’ll hopefully have a release we can recommend to testers by the end of the year.

  9. deLeewit says:

    I followed the tutorial and everything worked. Only 1 problem, I could not choose an existing computer and ended up with the same computer listed twice in Ubuntu One

  10. rodrigo says:

    deLeewit: yes, we need to change the wording on that page from ‘computer’ to ‘application’, since this is about allowing an app (Tomboy) to access the data on the server, not about registering a new computer, as you do with the u1 client applet

  11. cHagHi says:

    Every time I try to authorize tomboy, I get this error:

    Unable to load page

    Problem occurred while loading the URL http://localhost:8001/tomboy-web-sync/?oauth_token=XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX&oauth_verifier=XXXXXXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXXXXXXXXXX&return=

    Cannot connect to destination

    The port sometimes is 8000, simetimes 8001 or 8003. Any ideas about what could be wrong?

  12. Sandy says:

    @cHagHi please file a bug against Tomboy (in GNOME bugzilla, please) and we’ll figure out what’s going on there. This problem is with Tomboy or your system, not with Ubuntu One.

  13. cHagHi says:

    Sandy, thanks for your reply. I opened bug #600398 (

  14. Miguel says:

    Hi, I’ve just installed Tomboy 1.0.0 on Windows XP but I can not synchronize with

    Error message: Server not responding. Try again later.

  15. rodrigo says:

    Miguel, the last patch to make it work was just merfed a few days ago in Tomboy source, so that hasn’t been released yet. You’ll need to wait for the new version (1.0.1 I guess) to have it working

  16. sirblackheart says:

    No doesn’t seem to work on windows (7 64-bit) for me using tomboy 1.1.0
    It says Server not responding. Try again later.
    Starting it with command line:
    Failed to get auth URL from
    Exception was:(Original message in german…)The remoteserver returned an error message(400) unvalid respone

  17. Sandy says:

    @sirblackheart did you get to the point where your browser launched, asking to authenticate with U1?


  18. sirblackheart says:

    No that seems the problem, no browser opens.
    I’m using Firefox as the default browser…
    Synchronisation already works on my Ubuntu installation.

  19. Newsflx says:

    Here’s a great PDF guide for Ubuntu Karmic Koala. Its something both linux newbs and experts will appreciate.

  20. […] Moya From lost to the river « Syncing Tomboy notes with Ubuntu One The dream comes true […]

  21. cYcYc says:

    Definetly a dream come true.. Half a year ago I was so sad, that the cloud was no part of ubuntu, now I’m keeping various desktops at synch :)

    Anhow: A question concerning security. What encryption is used in storing and transferring the data?? If none I will quickly disable this service: My tomboy notes _usually_ contain some security relevant information.
    The “launchpad” password is kind of being upgraded from yet another forum password to 2.nd after root :|

  22. James Lewis says:

    For some reason, both with 1.0.1 and 1.1.0, I get a strange error when syncing with Ubuntu one. One moment it will be working, and then I will make another change and sync will fail.

    It seems to go through the whole process, “downloading”, “uploading”, “committing changes”… then it says “Could not synchronize notes, Check the details below and try again”.

    The details below say that the changes were uploaded to the server, but they were not. Clearing the sync options and re-initialising will get it going again, but changes will be lost of course.

    Any ideas?