Some of our users want to use Microsoft OneNote, but recent versions ONLY allow saving files to the cloud (not acceptable for our business docs), or to a local SharePoint server. Since we are trying to get rid of Windows (moving to Linux) I'm looking for a solution.

Is there any open source server product/protocol that allows syncing OneNote files? I would hate to bring up a SharePoint server just to create a sync repository.

Must run on Linux. Must work on the local network even when Internet lines are cut. Any price is fine.


I've just tried with my Office 365 enabled version of OneNote 2016 and it most certainly still allows new notebooks to be created anywhere you like. All you need is OS-level access to a filing system.

I think that capability is available in all paid versions of OneNote on the desktop. But probably not with the free version you can get which I think only works with OneDrive (the consumer service).

OneNote files are a simple compressed XML and folder structure so they are easily synchronised at the filing system level though you do, of course, loose the multi-user edit capability when doing it that way.

To the best of my knowledge, there is no direct Linux support for OneNote.

I suggest checking again because we certainly have people using notebooks on shared and local drives and I have notebooks scattered all over!

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  • Using Office 365 or OneDrive or another cloud is not acceptable, as stated in the question. – Nicolas Raoul Sep 29 '16 at 2:58
  • Well, as stated, you need a paid version of Office to be able to save anywhere. If not the 365 version (I only mentioned that because that's what I happen to have installed), then one of the other licenses. OneNote is not free nor open source, it is a paid-for product. MS make a limited version free on several platforms but not Linux. The notebook format has been opened but not the sync technology. – Julian Knight Sep 29 '16 at 5:41
  • Hopefully someone will create a third-party compatible server that runs on Linux. – Nicolas Raoul Sep 29 '16 at 5:44
  • I wish it were so but I'm afraid that, although OneNote has been around - largely unchanged - for over a decade, it hasn't happened yet. They would have to reverse engineer the sync process somehow I think. All the newer changes to ON are focused on Office 365. – Julian Knight Sep 29 '16 at 5:52

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