Latest Joplin on Windows 7 - possible?

Operating system

Windows

Joplin version

2.12.5

What issue do you have?

Hi guys

I’m another ex-Evernote Legacy migrant, currently moving over to Joplin and really liking it so far! The latest version is excellent and takes things even further for us former EN users, with the Trashcan but more importantly improvements to the note list. And with the List Preview plugin things are even more Evernote-like! :slight_smile:

I have one problem – my main workstation is Windows 7 (I know I need to update but it’s an audio workstation and everything including hardware works so smoothly on it that I’m best leaving things for now. I’m also very careful if I go online). Unfortunately all the great new features I’ve mentioned above that are in Joplin 3 aren’t available for Windows 7 and I’m stuck on Joplin 2.12.5 (prod, win32) and can’t go any higher. Later versions require a later version of Electron which made itself incompatible with Windows 7 and so they won’t install.

The thing is, I have a hunch (though I might be wrong) that it’s just an upgrade impediment from Electron and that in theory the latest Joplin should be able to run on Windows 7. It’s certainly not too different from the version I am running which works really well. So... I’m wondering if there’s a way to run the latest Joplin 3 on Windows 7? Is there a way around the Electron limitation for example, or could a Windows 7 compatible version be compiled from the code using an older Electron version (ie like previously)?

Evernote has also banished Windows 7 so I’m sure there are some other users with this same issue and it’d be great if there was a trick or workaround so we don’t get left behind! Would love to hear any thoughts or ideas!

Cheers

Ben

Hi,

none of the normal developers will go to the trouble of implementing an old electron especially for windows 7, which has been out of support since 2020.
Also, the electron has been updated to fix bugs or use new features, so I would say it is close to impossible to create a version with a now 3 version old electron (i mean joplin now uses electron 26).


Only as general information

From Joplin 2.12.7 is Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 no longer supported as Electron 23 no longer supports these outdated operating systems.

Joplin Git Changelog 2.12.7

Joplin Changelog 2.12.7

Electron will end support of Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 beginning in Electron 23.

Microsoft support ended on January 10, 2023 for Windows 8.1

Microsoft Windows 7 support ended on January 14, 2020

Git: Can't launch in Windows 8.1

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Thanks for the explanation Jack. Disappointing of course, but I understand!

Related quick question - do you know if the old version will continue to work alongside newer versions (ie with sync) for the foreseeable future?

Older versions won't have sync capability with newer versions as of June (V3), if not already.

Hey Jack. Slightly OT, just realised that the Note List Preview plugin is your work. Thank you so much for this - absolutely game-changer! For me it totally transforms Joplin into the Evernote realm - so nice and such great work.

One problem for me is that I'm not able to run the plugin on my Windows 7 machine running Joplin 2.12.5. I was just wondering if there's any way at all to get your plugin working on earlier versions?

Many thanks

B

I don't think so. The plugin requires support from the main app and this has been added only recently.

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Thanks for the info. It's hard to understand why though - at the moment all recent versions (ie past year or so) seem to be compatible. For me one of the vibes of open source software is the freedom of backwards compatibility - maybe I'm misreading things - and that's something I really like about it, ie no forced upgrades.

Currently the older versions are working fine with the newer ones and, if possible, I think it'd be good to keep that a going concern for those people who need to maintain older systems.

Best

B

Thanks for the info. That's a shame but it makes sense.

The V3 incompatibility is the trash folder support. If you were on a newer release (I.E 2.14), when V3 lands, the 2.14 releases will complain the sync target is newer than what the client supports and demand an upgrade to V3.

Older clients might not demand you upgrade and just attempt to operate anyway. The delete functionality might not work properly but it might be "good enough" that the general sync nature works.

But, from the perspective of the developers, that's a clear point where one version and the next aren't compatible even if the results aren't necessarily bad, when it comes to testing in the future, nobody will be testing the older releases with the newer ones because the assumption is that everyone will have updated; so it might not be a case of the app instantly cuts out for you, but it's very much a case of "use at own risk".

Thanks for the explanation - I understand and that makes a lot of sense.

Hi, I also have Win 7 (still receiving the updates from MS), and have the same issue with the latest Electron incompatibility making me stop at earlier Joplin version.
I have 2 ideas how to overcome this and use the latest Joplin version, but not yet moved to the practical implementation. Share them with you in case you are interested:

  1. Install VirtualBox with Linux image and install latest Joplin version there, allowing network connections and thus synchronisation.
  2. Install Docker and putting latest Joplin version there - probably this one is more lightweight since Docker is already a linux.
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Good info thanks. I've not tried virtual machines for a long time in Win 7. Is it fairly straight forward to setup?

I was also just reading about something called VxKex - a Github project of API extensions for Win 7, with the idea being you'd then be able to run Win 10/11 apps.

I was a bit wary but tried in on a cloned drive and tried to install the latest Joplin release. No luck unfortunately. I didn't try all the possibilities/settings though - maybe someone else would know what to do. The release notes do mention being able to run Electron apps. Anyway, something to keep an eye on perhaps...

If you have another machine, you can install VirtualBox(free) or VMware(paid) and set up a Win7 virtual machine first, then test if your hardware and software are working in it.
Given that you don't want to introduce any breaking changes to your workstation, I think it's better to keep your workstation dedicated for audio stuffs, and use a new machine for the other stuffs, like Joplin or going online. It does costs some money, but It can keep your workspace safe. The old operating systems is more vulnerable to the cyber attacks, so It's better to keep it isolated. Anyway, this is just my personal advice.

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VirtualBox https://www.virtualbox.org/ runs smoothly on Win7, and takes the operation system image easily. Previously I also used VMWare Workstation Player, but since some time it is not compatible with Win7.
You have to have rather big RAM to allocate another operation system in memory, and I think the Docker would require less system resources.

The VxKex you pointed out is interesting, thanks a lot, previously I didn't know about it. Pity that it doesn't run latest Joplin version.

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Due to the difference of Linux and Windows, the Docker on Windows is actually based on virtual machine, as far as I know. I think it might not be as "lightweight" as you expected.

To be honest I think it's all a bit moot for me anyway. The way I (and I imagine others) use Joplin is that it has to be available for quick drag and drop operations, access to email and files, quick multitasking etc. I think putting it on a VM would make things too messy, for me at least.

I really appreciate the suggestions though.

VM is messy but it might not be as messy as you think.
https://docs.oracle.com/en/virtualization/virtualbox/6.0/user/seamlesswindows.html

You can still have a try and decide if it's suitable for you.

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