Excellent Utilities: Tusk – Evernote desktop software

This is a new series highlighting best-of-breed utilities. We’ll be covering a wide range of utilities including tools that boost your productivity, help you manage your workflow, and lots more besides.

Evernote is a proprietary cloud-based software service designed for creating, organizing and storing various of media files. It’s often used as a notetaking and archiving program. Evernote enables users to help remember everything important.

When a file is uploaded or changed on a machine, Evernote syncs all changes across an account. This lets you work on the same document on different machines wherever they are located in the world. As the files are stored in the cloud, they don’t consume large amounts of storage space on your PC or mobile device. These days, we use computers at work, at home, and on the move. Accessing your files from each machine using Evernote is more convenient than having to email files or copying them to a USB key. And because it’s designed to be a complete virtual filing system that makes finding any individual note or file easily, you don’t need to remember where they are saved.

Evernote can be used for something as basic as a shopping list. But it comes into its own for business purposes, by sharing files and collaborating on projects with coworkers.

Evernote Corporation, the developers of Evernote, have never indicated any plans to develop a Linux client. They assert they are a small organization without the resources to build a Linux native client. However, there are native third party clients available. Tusk is one such client.

Tusk is billed as a feature-laden, open source, community-driven, free Evernote app used by people in more than 140 countries. Let’s put it this application through its paces, and why it warrants inclusion in our “Excellent Utilities” series. The first release of the software was back in August 2017, but it’s come a long way.


I’m not going to devote much time to the installation process, as the developer offers a few official methods that make installation trivial. There’s official packages for Debian/Ubuntu, as well as Fedora. And there’s distro independent packages in the form of AppImage and snap. I’m a big convert to AppImage if only because it’s really easy to help someone install them. Simply download an AppImage, make the file executable (chmod u+x filename), and then double click it. You can then choose to integrate the AppImage into your system which moves the AppImage into a predefined location, and adds it to your application launcher.

As this is open source software, you can clone the project’s repository, compile, and install the software. It’s not difficult…

$ git clone https://github.com/klaussinani/tusk.git
$ cd tusk
$ sudo npm install
$ npm run release

You’ll probably be aware that npm is a package manager for the JavaScript programming language.

Tusk is cross-platform software, as the developer also supplies a Windows binary. I’ve not tested the software under Windows to any great degree, but feel free to detail its performance in the comments box below.

Next page: Page 2 – In Operation

Pages in this article:
Page 1 – Introduction / Installation
Page 2 – In Operation
Page 3 – Other Features
Page 4 – Summary

Complete list of articles in this series:

Excellent Utilities
tmuxA terminal multiplexer that offers a massive boost to your workflow
lnavAdvanced log file viewer for the small-scale; great for troubleshooting
PaperworkDesigned to simplify the management of your paperwork
AbricotineMarkdown editor with inline preview functionality
mdlessFormatted and highlighted view of Markdown files
fkillKill processes quick and easy
TuskAn unofficial Evernote client with bags of potential
UlauncherSublime application launcher
McFlyNavigate through your bash shell history
LanguageToolStyle and grammar checker for 30+ languages
pecoSimple interactive filtering tool that's remarkably useful
Liquid PromptAdaptive prompt for Bash & Zsh
AnanicyShell daemon created to manage processes’ IO and CPU priorities
cheat.shCommunity driven unified cheat sheet
ripgrepRecursively search directories for a regex pattern
exaA turbo-charged alternative to the venerable ls command
OCRmyPDFAdd OCR text layer to scanned PDFs
WatsonTrack the time spent on projects
fontpreviewQuickly search and preview fonts
fdWonderful alternative to the venerable find
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