Gobby is a free software collaborative real-time editor available on Windows and Unix-like platforms.[3] (It runs on Mac OS X using Apple's X11.app.) It was initially released in June 2005 by the 0x539 dev group.[4] (The hexadecimal value 0x539 is equal to 1337 in decimal.) Gobby uses GTK+ for its GUI widgets.

Gobby 0.4.0
Original author(s)Armin Burgmeier
Developer(s)0x539 dev group
Stable release
0.5.0 / August 24, 2014 (2014-08-24)
Written inC++, C.[1]
Operating systemUnix, Windows
TypeText editor
LicenseGNU GPLv2+[2]


Gobby features a client-server architecture which supports multiple documents in one session, document synchronisation on request, password protection and an IRC-like chat for communication out of band.[5] Users can choose a colour to highlight the text they have written in a document. Gobby is fully Unicode-aware, provides syntax highlighting for most programming languages and has basic Zeroconf support.[4]

A dedicated server called Sobby is also provided, together with a script which could format saved sessions for the web (e.g. to provide logs of meetings with a collaboratively prepared transcript). The collaborative editing protocol is named Obby, and there are other implementations that use this protocol (e.g. Rudel,[6] a plugin for GNU Emacs). Gobby 0.5 replaces Sobby with a new server called infinoted.[7][8]

Version 0.4.0 featured fully encrypted connections and further usability enhancements.[4] Users have commented versions prior to 0.5.0 had some issues.[9]

Versions numbered 0.4.9x are preview releases for version 0.5.0. The most noticeable improvement is undo support,[10] using the adOPTed algorithm for concurrency control.[11]


While offering Unicode support it has been suggested the product is suitable for producing plaintext rather than formatted documents.[12]

See also


  1. "What is Gobby?". Gobby.0x539.de. Development Area. Archived from the original on 2014-12-29.
  2. "root/COPYING". Gobby.0x539.de. Archived from the original on 18 July 2011.
  3. Brockmeier, Joe (2006-07-11). "Collaborative text editing with Gobby". Linux.com. Retrieved 2019-07-09.
  4. "news". Gobby.0x539.de. Archived from the original on 2014-07-20.
  5. Kereki, Federico (2007-09-24). "Group text editing with Gobby". linux.com.
  6. "Rudel". EmacsWiki.org. 2014-10-23. Retrieved 2016-07-16.
  7. "Infinoted". Gobby.0x539.de. Archived from the original on 2014-10-13.
  8. Mouw, Evert (2010-12-27). "Working together on text and source code with Gobby and infinoted". TechMonks. Retrieved 2019-07-09.
  9. Trentini, Andrea (1 January 2013). "Three years of teaching using collaborative tools: patterns and lessons learned". University of Milan. Archived from the original on 9 July 2019.
  10. "What is Gobby?". Gobby.0x539.de. 2008-10-18: Gobby 0.4.90 released. Archived from the original on 2014-11-26.
  11. "Infinote protocol". Gobby.0x539.de. Archived from the original on 2014-07-20.
  12. Kochedykova, Tatiana. "5 open source alternatives to Google Docs". Opensource.com. Retrieved 9 July 2019.
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