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.

1 Answer 1


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!

  • Using Office 365 or OneDrive or another cloud is not acceptable, as stated in the question.
    – Nicolas Raoul
    Commented Sep 29, 2016 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. Commented Sep 29, 2016 at 5:41
  • Hopefully someone will create a third-party compatible server that runs on Linux.
    – Nicolas Raoul
    Commented Sep 29, 2016 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. Commented Sep 29, 2016 at 5:52

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