Home Software Qnotero


What is Qnotero (formerly Gnotero)?

Qnotero provides lightning quick access to your Zotero references. Zotero is an excellent open source reference manager, but it lacks a simple and direct way to access your references at the click of a button. That is why I created this simple program, which lives in the system tray and allows you to search through your references by Author and/ or Year of Publication. If a PDF file is attached to a reference you can open it directly from within Qnotero. Qnotero is the successor to Gnotero, which is now unmaintained but still available.

Freely available under the GNU General Public License v3.

Download and installation

Ubuntu users: try out the new ppa:smathot/cogscinl 

Common downloads

Windows XP/Vista/7 installer (.exe)

Ubuntu/ Debian package

Other downloads

Windows XP/Vista/7 portable application (.zip)

Source code (.tar.gz)

Other resources


Development via GitHub

The current version is 0.48. Older versions can be found here.

    Linux installation procedure

    To install from source, extract the .tar.gz file somewhere and run the following command (as root) to install Qnotero.

    python install

    To install Qnotero using the Ubuntu/ Debian installer, simply download the .deb file and double-click it. After you have installed Qnotero, you can start Qnotero from the menu (Accessories -> Qnotero) or by running


    Windows installation procedure

    Either use the Windows installer (see above) or download the portable .zip file (link) and extract it to a location of your choice. You can start Qnotero by running.


    Gnote integration (Linux only)

    If you have Gnote installed (a note-taking program for Linux), Qnotero automatically searches Gnote for a (section in a) note belonging to a specific article. Qnotero expects each note to be preceded by a bold line containing at least the name of the first author and the year of publication within parentheses, like so:

    Duhamel et al. (1992) Science 255

    A note on Mac OS compatibility

    There is no Qnotero package available for Mac OS. It should be possible to run Qnotero from source, if you have all the dependencies installed (notably Python and PyQt4). Please let me know of any experiences running Qnotero on Mac OS (good or bad).

    Automated Zotero standalone installer for Linux

    Linux users need to install Zotero standalone manually from a .tar.gz archive. This is a little inconvenient, which is why I created a simple installation script. This script downloads the latest version of Zotero standalone and creates a menu entry. If you use Ubuntu or Linux Mint, you can also use the PPA (see below).

    To run the automated installer, type (or copy-paste) the following in a terminal:

    wget \
        -O /tmp/
    chmod +x /tmp/

    Zotero standalone PPA for Ubuntu/ Linux Mint

    Ubuntu/ Linux Mint users can install Zotero standalone from the PPA. Note that this method of installation is essentially a wrapper around the installation script (see above) and will therefore provide some unusual terminal output.

    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:smathot/cogscinl
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install zotero-standalone

    If you have previously installed Zotero standalone using the installer script above, you will need to remove the installed files before re-installing from the PPA. For a local installation, these are:


    For a global installation, these are:


    Known issues

    • Opening attached PDFs with special characters in the filename causes problems (at least) on Windows XP


    There are a number of channels through which you can ask questions:

    • The comment section below is a good place for brief comments/ simple questions.
    • For (potentially) lengthy discussions, please use the cogsci forum or the Gnotero/ Qnotero thread on the Zotero forums.

    Feel free to leave a comment! For lengthy discussions and technical questions/ remarks, please refer to the forum.