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November 20, 2022 5:59 PM   Subscribe

Kiwix is a utility that allows you to download entire websites including wikipedia, Khan Academy.....

Kiwix has been around for a long time, but is still not familiar to many people.
posted by storybored (24 comments total) 56 users marked this as a favorite
 
Interesting, but why the multiple listings of the same site with completely different sizes? Wikipedia is anywhere from 13 gigs to 95 gigs.
posted by zardoz at 6:38 PM on November 20 [1 favorite]


They have a wikipedia version that just has the top wikipedia articles and another one that's the full collection.
posted by aniola at 6:46 PM on November 20 [4 favorites]


There's usually a description somewhere if you click around. I ran into this site a while back looking at how you could put all of wikipedia on a thumb drive. Wouldn't be the worst thing to have an offline version stashed somewhere just in case!
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 6:48 PM on November 20


this is interesting cuz i've been off-and-on trying to download project gutenberg for years now (i already have the DL DVD) but never seem to figure it out before something shiny comes along and i forget. i'm pasting the magnet link in now, we'll see how it goes.
posted by glonous keming at 6:48 PM on November 20


> Wouldn't be the worst thing to have an offline version stashed somewhere just in case!

that's exactly why i want all of gutenberg
posted by glonous keming at 6:49 PM on November 20 [1 favorite]


Having Wikipedia in your pocket offline is transformative, particularly when traveling. So many times I've been in a museum and been able to learn more about something I was looking at thanks to it.

Kiwix is very good, I've been using it fora few years now. It's gotten better over time and feels very solid now. But the download selection UI is very awkward; it's hard to find what you actually want. I have an 88.7GB English wikipedia with pictures, 6.5M articles. That may be all articles or at least a very large subset of all. There's a "Best of Wikipedia" with 50,000 articles that's a good intro: 6 GB with pictures, 2.3 GB without. The pictures are worth the space if you have it.

(Bonus link; you can also get offline maps. The app for that is Organic Maps, the open source free evolution of Maps.Me after that became a crypto scam.)
posted by Nelson at 6:58 PM on November 20 [9 favorites]


I used Kiwix to send copies of Wikipedia, Project Gutenberg, and several other things with a computer lab I put together for a very remote school in the Pacific. It's was a really handy thing.
posted by madhadron at 7:25 PM on November 20 [8 favorites]


What a great tool. I love posts like this!
posted by JHarris at 7:39 PM on November 20 [2 favorites]


Are there similar projects, or preferences for this tool, that would let me get just part of Wikipedia?

Like, can I grab all the European history, art, and geography articles before a vacation? Or all the computer articles, or something?

Or do I need to find more-focused sites to grab all of?
posted by wenestvedt at 7:55 PM on November 20 [2 favorites]


The English Gutenberg download is 73 gigs.
posted by zardoz at 8:15 PM on November 20 [4 favorites]


Like, can I grab all the European history, art, and geography articles before a vacation? Or all the computer articles, or something?

Kiwix has selections from Wikipedia, including (searching right now) about one gigabyte on the topic of "computer." I don't know which articles that includes. There are also several different complete Stack Exchange sites in there, including StackOverflow.

It also has Wikivoyage content for travel: 700MB for everything including pictures, or 230MB for Europe. Then there are Wikipedia selections for "Geography" and "History." I can't find much on art, though.
posted by whatnotever at 8:20 PM on November 20 [1 favorite]


1997, I remember wanting to grab The Onion week by week, I think for about 12 minutes I'd had it figured out but they changed things up fast. If I recall correctly, the software that I found to grab the site was on nonags.com -- anyone else remember nonags?

~~~~~

Is there a way I could grab Wikipedia and put it onto some device simple to navigate? At one time there was a dedicated unit for this, I purchased one for my older sister and she was just smitten with it, and then it broke, and no more available. She is older than I by five years (she's 72, 73 next month) but has never, ever been able to figure out anything even remotely techie.

We've bought her the simplist cell phones possible and she forgets to charge it and then can't figure even that out, it's really frustrating for another sister and myself. We've tried tablets -- ha ha ha ha. My sister just cannot make a go of it.

My mother was the same, 25 years ago, I set her up with the simplest Windoze machine possible, and a printer, she wanted to print out cards to send to people she loved, hour after hour we spent and she just could *not* get it. Frustrating for all involved, plus heart-breaking -- she just wanted to send greetings to people she loved. How she wanted to make a card with a flower on it and a nice inscription inside! We really, really tried -- no cigar. It really did sting, still even does -- all my mother wanted to do was send a nice, personalized card to those she loved.

I guess this could/should be an AskMe -- is there a way to totally dedicate an inexpensive tablet as a Wikipedia machine. My older sister, if anything, is less capable than my mother. Not her fault. It would be the best possible birthday present, beyond a doubt.
posted by dancestoblue at 11:44 PM on November 20 [3 favorites]


I haven't had much luck with the linux client - seems hit or miss in terms of usability. Some Kiwix tomes just seem to be html links to pdfs and some have a front page with no obvious way to get to an index of articles. I suspect its my window manager. Will have to try it on a Windows or Mac machine. Certainly seems like a great idea. Reminds me of people turning out epubs of all sorts of things for reference on the Palm or Newton but on a much bigger scale.
posted by phigmov at 11:55 PM on November 20


i've been off-and-on trying to download project gutenberg

What an astonishingly brilliant idea!! Wow. I will try with Kwikfit or whatever it's called right away. Kiwix - I mean - I probably even knew it was 'Kiwix' but every time I learn a new one of these awful, made up, meaningless names I feel like another a bit of my soul died - making up joke names is my puny fight back. Even so, I am very grateful to learn of this utility.... erm... Kiwix. Thank you!
posted by dutchrick at 6:45 AM on November 21 [1 favorite]


It is worth noting that the archives you download from the linked site are mostly in ZIM format. To read them, you'll need the Kiwix Reader program/software/app, which is free.

dancestoblue, you could probably put the Kiwix version available from the site on a tablet with enough storage to hold the complete version of Wikipedia. If they can learn to use Kiwix Reader, it can download the Wikipedia archive to store on the device. You could possibly set that much up for her? Maybe download Kiwix Reader onto your own phone and use it to download a relatively small collection, like maybe the top 100 Wikipedia articles, as a trial run.
posted by JHarris at 7:35 AM on November 21 [3 favorites]


Is there a process I'm not seeing for requesting websites they don't already have available?
posted by penduluum at 9:06 AM on November 21


I love this idea!

I downloaded it a few years ago and found that my conception of 'enough storage' on my phone wasn't really fit for all of wikipedia.

It sure seems like a better use of storage space at home than retaining old tv shows that are not really likely to get a rewatch!
posted by Acari at 11:52 AM on November 21 [1 favorite]


So ... I'd need to be a member of Khan Academy, or brilliant.org, etc., to use this on such sites successfully correct?
posted by riverlife at 12:06 PM on November 21


So ... I'd need to be a member of Khan Academy, or brilliant.org, etc., to use this on such sites successfully correct?

No - the readers for most popular platforms (from https://www.kiwix.org/en/) and the library of downloadable content (from https://library.kiwix.org/?lang=eng) are all free to use.
posted by phigmov at 2:38 PM on November 21 [1 favorite]


Hmmm I don’t suppose anyone ran this over Z-Lib at any point prior to this month…?
posted by MarchHare at 2:28 AM on November 22 [1 favorite]


If you mean file compression, I would rather hope the ZIM format was already compressed.
posted by JHarris at 4:37 PM on November 22


i thought that too at first, but i suspect what MarchHare refers to is the giant Z Library of ebooks & texts whose domain was recently seized by the US Government
posted by glonous keming at 4:49 PM on November 22 [1 favorite]


@dancestoblue wrote: Is there a way I could grab Wikipedia and put it onto some device simple to navigate? At one time there was a dedicated unit for this, I purchased one for my older sister and she was just smitten with it, and then it broke, and no more available.

You're probably talking about https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WikiReader - Yup, discontinued, but there's an active community on Reddit for content, if you can find a working one.

Otherwise, Kiwix is probably the best option.
But http://xowa.org/ is another option.
posted by Penumbra at 7:08 PM on November 22 [2 favorites]


OK gang, wish me luck here -- I just bought two refurb laptops off Woot.com, $282 shipped to my door.

SPECS:
Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga 11E
5th Gen Convertible Ultrabook
11.6" Touchscreen Display
4GB RAM, 128 GB Storage
Windows 10 Pro

One is to load Wikipedia on, for my sister. I will lock down the machine as much as is possible, I will do all I can to make it to where all she can do is access the Wikipedia which will be loaded onto the machine using Kiwix.

She also *loves* Sudoku -- absolutely loves it -- and I would love to have some simple version of it loaded on this machine I'm going to send her.

But I do not want to tempt The Fates; if I can even get the machine to her with Wikipedia, where she is able to use it, and not somehow break it, that is a HUGE win. Huge. And another sister sends her sudoku games out of her local newspaper, I think like every two weeks she sends them in the mail.

I may tap some of you total techie gods here for help in totally, completely, absolutely locking down a WIN10 PRO machine. She will not need internet access. I do not want her to have internet access.

The Fates will destroy my life if I try to do too much. Destroy my life, and worse, she will once again feel incompetent.

Which she absolutely is but I don't give a rats ass; I love her, it's worth it to me to bet $140 in hopes that somehow this time it will all work out, and she can look up road runners, or diamonds, or Democrats, or outer Mongolia, or Franklin Roosevelt, or anything else.

~~~~~

So but why did I buy two of those machines? I'm going to put Linux Mint on one and use it for a coffee shop beater. I love Linux Mint in any case, and while that machine will likely be a pig with WIN10 on it with Mint it will act right.

Anywaze. Pray for my lame ass, or wish good thoughts my way, or send me money, because I'm a nice man and stuff.
posted by dancestoblue at 11:48 PM on November 23


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