ZIM (file format)

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The ZIM file format is an open file format that stores wiki content for offline usage.[1] Its primary focus is on the contents of Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects. The format allows for the compression of articles using LZMA2 as implemented by the xz-utils library, features a full-text search index and native category and image handling similar to MediaWiki. Unlike the native Wikipedia XML database dumps, the entire file is easily indexable and readable using a program like Kiwix. The Wikipedia XML dump in January 2012 had about 3.8 million articles with no images, and was 7.5 GB; the equivalent ZIM file is 9.7 GB (approximately 30% overhead).[2] In addition to the open file format, the openZIM project provides support for an open source ZIM reader.

The ZIM file format replaces the earlier Zeno file format. ZIM stands for "Zeno IMproved".[3][4] The openZIM project is sponsored by Wikimedia CH and supported by the Wikimedia Foundation.


  1. ^ "openZIM project wiki". Retrieved 4 April 2012. 
  2. ^ "Kiwix project wiki". Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  3. ^ "Zeno File Format". openZIM.org. Retrieved 10 April 2012. 
  4. ^ ".ZIM File". FILExt. Retrieved 10 April 2012. 

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