Collaborative note taking and journal application.

View project on GitHub


Cournal allows multiple users to annotate PDF files in real-time.

The goal of this project is a full featured note taking application (like Xournal or Windows Journal), which allows multiple people to collaborate (like Gobby).

Why not extend Xournal?

There have been numerous discussions over many years on the Xournal mailing list and Xournal++ even had experimental networking support, but it didn't work out. So I started Cournal, which got networking support just after PDF viewing and simple drawing was done. Therefore it was designed with networking in mind from scratch.

Does it work yet?

Yes, but you might miss some features (see next section ;-)).

How to help

You are very welcome to support the project!

To get into Cournal hacking, have a look at, which contains a list of most things you need to know. Feel free to contact me, if questions arise or if you want to improve Cournal, but don't know how to get started.


  • Python 3.x
  • Poppler 0.18 or newer
  • Cairo
  • GObject Introspection
  • GTK+ 3.2 or newer (GTK 3.4 is strongly recommended)
  • Python bindings for all above this line
  • ZopeInterface 3.6.0 or newer
  • Twisted for python3 (included)


There are packages for Gentoo and Arch Linux. Users of other distributions will have to adapt the following Ubuntu guide:

  1. Download the latest Cournal release
  2. tar xvf cournal-?.?.?.tar.xz
  3. cd cournal-?.?.?
  4. sudo apt-get install python3 python3-zope.interface python3-gi python3-cairo gir1.2-poppler python3-gi-cairo
  5. sudo python3 install
  6. cournal


Server -p [portnumber]

Start Cournal, select "Annotate PDF" and then "Connect to Server".

File Format

The file format is compatible to Xournals .xoj files, but Cournal is not able to open all .xoj files created by Xournal, because it doesn't support all features of the file format. The other way around should work though.