While the core of PB is implemented for Linux, there appear to be several of the PB6 features which aren't available in Linux. These include:

Drag-n-drop of some attachments (Files and URLs) (I should write this in my Linux system so I can be specific but it is not with me at the moment)

Support for Gnome's smb URIs

Transparent Mode


Should we just accept that the Linux variant will be a less-capable product or are there plans to bring the versions to parity? (I do appreciate that the differences in operating systems, window managers, and common tools means that conceptual capabilities won't be realized in identical manners on different platforms.)
I would love to see Drag and drop work better, I know muCommander works with drag and drop.  But, I don't like to be forced to use a specific program. And would like to see the inside of documents to be indexed for searches.  Use something like "catdoc" for turning a doc to text for indexing or a plugin location for 3rd part apps to help.  I'm just happy that there is a Linux version at all.  
I am part of the group of linux pbrain users ...
I discovered the product under windows, then as I got rid of windows on all my computers, I experienced too the jump back in functionalities.

I must say that it made me almost stop using the brain, as basic functionalities such as drag & drop, customization of file types etc. are really deficients.
(Have you noticed that every time you launch pbrain executable, the file DefaultUnixCommand.properties get rewritten, with the samew line added at the end of the file ( mine was a few megabytes large when I noticed that). THe sad thing is that this bug has been corrected several time, but reappared at each new version ... a mix up in the developper sources depot ??

Anyway, I still have hope in the product, and had secret hope that version 6 would provide same functionalities as the windows one ... but apparently not.  Such a shame...

TheBrain 9.0.250 -  OsX High Sierra &  Win7
I just add a immutable flag to my DefaultUnixCommands.properties file
Now it won't change! ha

"chattr +i DefaultUnixCommands.properties" as root
The lack of drag-and-drop functionality is a shame, but the real deal-breaker for me is that it seems to be dramatically slower. I'm going to give it another shot, now that I have a much faster computer. Maybe I need to make sure I'm using the proprietary Java? I'm not sure if I was before.

It's nice that they offer a native Linux version... And I understand that it's a lot of work to make it run seemlessly, and they may not feel that there's much economic incentive to do it..

But for what they're charging, it better run as well as the Windows version, or there's no way I'm paying their exorbitant upgrade fee again. Especially as I've been getting used to getting unlimited amounts of good software for free. I'm not opposed to paying for good software if it's worth it...and it is really nice, I'll give them that, and their customer support is exceptional...but $100 a year, after a $250 initial purchase, is REALLY pushing it. So if it doesn't run flawlessly on my OS of choice, forget about it.
Personal Brain Pro 5
Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit SP 1
Java Version 6 Update 13


Did you resolve the slow operation on your Linux system? I am using PB both at work under Windows and at home under Linux and I must say it is frustrating to see how much slower it works at home.

Hi first post here.

I'm trialling Personal Brain after using Compendium for a while and have to agree with oelindarina that PersonalBrain is a bit overpriced for what you actually get. In some areas it's got more features, in others less, but the fact remains that Compendium is freeware and also runs on all platforms as it's also written in Java. Both are good products and it will be difficult to decide which or both to use.

I'll hang around in this forum for a while and see what others have said.


Thank you for your reference - I didn't know about Compendium. I am a PB user for about 1.5 years and somehow missed the Compendium all together when did my research for this type of application.

In addition to Compendium, take a look at Cmap tools.
Just thought I would share a custom configuration for Linux
  • I use XFCE 4.6.2 as of now, 4.8 is out and uses a new version of the file manager so when I upgrade I will update for the new version.  I don't see why it shouldn't work with gnome and KDE with some research.
  • Not being able to drag and drop file into the plex has been an accepted annoyance to me. But in the last few days with some research, I created an alternative way around it.
In XFCE I use a file manager called Thunar. I added a custom "Send To" action to the thunar context menu on files. to copy files to a specific thought in my PersonalBrain.   Documentation on here on the "Send To" menu.

  • I assume you have some basic linux knowledge here. I will try to answer some questions as best I can.
  1. Change directories to "/home/[username]/.local/share/Thunar/"
  2. If needed make a new directory named "sendto" should look like this. "/home/[username]/.local/share/Thunar/sendto/"
  3. make a new file named "[something_meaningful].desktop" I personally used "x-PersonalBrain.desktop"
  4. Edit your new desktop file with the following, make changes as needed to work with your system. Use the code at the bottom.
    • You will have to find the "GUID" entry
  5. You should now be able to send files to your specific PB. PB does not have to be open and running to be able send/copy files.
  • For more locations, create two or three files. "Different brains for exp"

[Desktop Entry]

Exec=cp -ar %F /home/jtmusky/Documents/Thoughts/Pingu_brain/Files/097A059F-FADF-C88F-64FA-0837B1834E11/

Name=Menu name in the "Sent To" Context menu
Exec=command to run [cp=copy, -ar=archive and recursive,]
The long number is the GUID number. Change ID to yours here
Icon=point this to the icon32.png in the res directory.

 NOTE: You must have the Pro version for multi files. Core version will only see the first file, Free will not see anything.

Click image for larger version - Name: SendTo_Thunar_lowq.jpg, Views: 652, Size: 47.64 KB Click image for larger version - Name: GUID_PB_lowq.jpg, Views: 664, Size: 53.09 KB

why PB for Linux is so limited?
(I would like to work also without barriers with Linux).


P.S. This would be for me the strong advantage for PB, but if the content-development under Linux is so painful - I will only loose my time (copy & past of text from a webpage into a note, Drag & Drop of files, etc.).

PB is limited somewhat in linux but there are some alternative ways around some issues, some solutions are better IMHO than the windows features. In other places, linux has features that windows doesn't have.

Drag and Drop still doesn't work, due to some silly java... stuff. If you really need this feature, use the java ran muCommander. I personaly like the "sendto context menu" solution better. I still can't install PB with the shell script installer due to install crashes, but the tar-gzip version works fine for me. You can use the above instructions for creating a send-to context menu in your file manager if you use XFCE and Thunar. I should update for the gnome and kde file managers. Since the above instructions I added two more context menu items on my personal system. One that moves the file and one that creates a symbolic link. The symlink is treated as the actual file in PB, Internal file designator.

If you use compiz-fusion, you can actually setup your desktop to be easier than windows for coping content over as PB is never in the way or behind the active window, but on a separate screen. Screenshot is of my 6 virtual screens below, I never overlay any windows on top of each other. You can navigate faster using an expo plugin with compiz-fusion than you can with windows. IMHO this makes the transparent option in windows, if ported over, to linux useless. Also, you can make transparency on any window in linux.

I had a couple of problems coping text from Firefox into PB. I did not have problems with google-chrome though. But firefox is my main web browser. Glitches and extra characters were copied into the note from firefox. I found a solution around this with an addon. copy text only for firefox. I just copy url links from the address bar in firefox and paste into the plex with out any problems.

Also in linux you can load PB multiple times. With that, I haven't had any problems coping thoughts from one brain to the other instance. See screenshot below.  I haven't tried loading the same brain_file in each PB instance, but that would probably cause bad juju.

You can't really copy email into PB in linux as easy with windows counterpart.  But I found a solution with my email client mutt. I use a program called muttprint. I use a command in my .muttrc file like this. Same concept as the "sendto context menu"
set print_command="muttprint -p - | ps2ascii - $HOME/Documents/Thoughts/[Your Brain File]/Files/[GUID of Thought]email.eml"

muttprint converts the email to latex typeset, then pipes to ps2ascii to convert it a normal ascii text file with an extention of "eml" In the DefaultUnixCommands.properties file, I assoictated "eml" with gvim. You can use gedit from gnome or your fav text editor.

My biggest disappointment is the loss of indexing some certain file types, exp: doc, xls. oh well. I'm not complaining, Not many companies can pronounce linux, and asking them to create and support linux would be asking too much. The fact I don't have to do anything special to make it work with my x86_64 java is super awesome. I'm just thankful TheBrain does, and does it well. Especially with such an innovated piece of software that changed my whole life structure. Good job guys!

Wow, this was supposed to be a quick reply.
Click image for larger version - Name: 6_Virtual_Screens_DualPB_lowq.jpg, Views: 614, Size: 48.65 KB

fine the copy paste prob with Linux I could save with the google-chrom brower.

Myself I run OpenSuse.


Thanks for the hint!

oelindarina wrote:
The lack of drag-and-drop functionality is a shame, but the real deal-breaker for me is that it seems to be dramatically slower. I'm going to give it another shot, now that I have a much faster computer. Maybe I need to make sure I'm using the proprietary Java? I'm not sure if I was before.

I was having the same problem, personal brain was really slow in Ubuntu 10.04. Turns out i was running java version 6 update 20. I upgraded to update 26 and it runs waaaay faster
Dear jtmusky, thx alot for the mucommander tip! That is briljant stuff! Can you describe the "send-to" How-to also for Nautilus? If possible of course. 


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