Best of Linux

Best Whiteboard Apps for Linux

This article will cover a list of useful whiteboard applications available for Linux. Whiteboard applications provide a digital board or canvas on which shapes and lines can be drawn in real time using mouse cursor or touch based input. Some of the whiteboard apps can also display images and play audio and video files. These whiteboard apps are specially used on large screen computing devices, projectors, and specialized hardware specifically created for whiteboard apps. These dedicated whiteboard devices are simply called Whiteboards, so the term is often used for both software and hardware. Whiteboard software can have a lot of use cases, but they are most commonly used in classrooms for teaching purposes.


OpenBoard is a free and open source whiteboard application that is especially designed to facilitate teaching in schools and educational institutions. It supports multi-monitor setups, touchscreen devices, wacom tablets and other such input and display devices. OpenBoard is a cross-platform app that works on Linux, macOs, and Windows. Other main features of OpenBoard include support for handwritten input, built-in web browser, full screen mode, multi-page view, supports backgrounds with grids, built-in virtual keyboard, laser style virtual cursor, built-in screenshot functionality, ability to import media files in to the whiteboard, built-in support for recording whiteboard sessions along with audio, ability to livestream whiteboard sessions, and so on.

You can download OpenBoard in Ubuntu using the command mentioned below:

$ sudo apt install openboard

OpenBoard can be installed in other Linux distributions from the package manager. More packages and installation instructions are available here.


Excalidraw is a free and open source whiteboard application developed in Node.js and TypeScript. It is available online for everyone to use, but you can also install locally on your PC or self host it on a server. It can also be embedded into other Node.js based apps, so you can also develop your own whiteboard app using it. Other main features of Excalidraw include tools for drawing objects in various shapes and sizes, dedicated keyboard shortcuts, ability to import drawings from spreadsheets, ability to align and group objects, ability to show backgrounds with grids, built-in themes, built-in tools for live collaboration, multi-language support, mobile optimized responsive design and so on.

You can access Excalidraw directly in a web browser by visiting its official website. To install it locally or host it on your own server, follow instructions available here. Full source code is available on GitHub.


Xournal is a free and open source drawing, sketching, and note taking app that can be used to keep journals, create drawings or annotate images. It comes with numerous drawing and shape tools that can be used to create drawings in a variety of different styles. While it is not a dedicated whiteboard app, it has excellent support for touch screen devices and other pointing devices like styluses. It also comes with a dedicated fullscreen mode, making it suitable to use it as a whiteboard app. You can change the background color and type in Xournal. It also supports backgrounds with a representational grid and notebook style rulers and markers.

You can download Xournal in Ubuntu using the command mentioned below:

$ sudo apt install xournal

Xournal can be installed in other Linux distributions from the package manager. More packages and installation instructions are available here.


Lorein is a free and open source hand drawn note taking and drawing app that can be used as a whiteboard app. Developed in Godot game engine using its built-in programming language, Lorein supports pressure sensitive touch input providing better accuracy and drawing experience. Other main features of Lorien include a distraction free mode, ability to export drawings, brush and eraser tools, background color changer, and so on. Lorien is currently under development, but I found it quite usable when I tested it.

You can download pre-compiled binaries for Lorien for all Linux distributions from here.

Rainbow Board

Rainbow board is a free and open source whiteboard app developed in Node.js, TypeScript and Electron. It comes with dedicated fullscreen mode and supports touch screen input devices like styluses. Other main features of Rainbow board include multi-page view, ability to export drawings to its own custom file format or to PNG and SVG images, built-in themes, customizable brush tools, and so on.

You can get pre-compiled binaries, snap and deb packages from here. Source code is available on GitHub.


These are some of the most useful whiteboard apps available for Linux that have built-in support for touch based input. Whiteboard apps allow you to create and erase drawings in realtime and they are specially suitable for live classroom sessions. You can also use them to create online tutorials and courses by recording your own drawing sessions.

About the author

Nitesh Kumar

I am a freelancer software developer and content writer who loves Linux, open source software and the free software community.