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Kiwix logo.svg
Developer(s) Emmanuel Engelhart,
Renaud Gaudin
Stable release 0.9[1]
Operating system Linux, Windows, Mac, Android
Size 21 MB + ZIM file
Available in 100+ languages[1]
License GPLv3
Kiwix on a Android powered tablet
Kiwix on an OLPC laptop
Kiwix on a Raspberry Pi and CRT TV

Kiwix is free software developed in order to offer an offline access to the content of any website, meaning it does not use any Internet connection.

It was firstly launched to give access to Wikipedia but then used to spread other kind of free content. The program is available for the following operating systems: Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and Android.


Emmanuel Engelhart's motivation to develop Kiwix goes back to 2003 when a first attempt to publish Wikipedia on a CD-ROM had failed. Interviewed by email, he stated that Wikipedia was like water, a common good everybody should have access to irrespective of whether having access to the Internet or not.

With Kiwix, it has become possible for everybody interested in the contents of Wikimedia-projects to access them, even in places where knowledge and especially the Internet are censored.[2]


Kiwix reads the content of the project stored in a file of the ZIM format, which contains the compressed contents of articles. Consequently, you first need to download and then save the ZIM file of a Wikipedia-project or any other web site. Then these files have to be opened with Kiwix.

The software is designed for computers without Internet connection, particularly for schools[3] in developing countries, where the access to the Internet is still difficult or too expensive.[4] That is why a special version for the organisation SOS-Kinderdorf was developed. Moreover, Kiwix was installed on the computers used for the One Laptop per Child.[2]

Kiwix uses the Mozilla framework localised on[5] It offers full text search, tabbed navigation and the option to export articles to PDF and HTML.[1]

Available content[edit]

Since 2014, the largest of the 280 Wikipedia versions as well as most of the Wikipedia-coprojects are available for download in the Kiwix-archive.[6] The servers are updated every six to twelve months. There are full versions as well as text versions, which do not contain any pictures, in order to save disk space and bandwidth while downloading.

However, there are even more projects for the Kiwix-browser. In November 2014 a ZIM-version of all open texts forming part of the Project Gutenberg was made available.[7]

Furthermore, there are Kiwix-versions of the wiki for Ubuntu-users,[8] of open texts, which form part of the online Public domain library Gutenberg[9] and of TED Talks editions.


As a software development project, Kiwix itself is not directly involved in deployment projects. However, Wikimedia or third part organisations use the software as a component of their own projects. For example, Wikimedia CH has deployed Kiwix in many jails in Switzerland[10] and the Fondation Orange has used kiwix-serve in its own technological knowledge product they have deployed in Africa.[11]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Kiwix". SourceForge. Retrieved 22 March 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Joe Sutherland: Emmanuel Engelhart, Inventor of Kiwix: the Offline Wikipedia Browser. In: Wikimedia Blog. 12. September 2014. accessed on 26. november 2014.
  3. ^ "(fr) ASRI Education may 2013" (in French). Retrieved 2013-07-10. 
  4. ^ "kiwix aims to spread wikipedias reach february 2013". 2013-02-04. Retrieved 2013-07-10. 
  5. ^ Kiwix localisation page on Translatewiki
  6. ^ Overview of the Kiwix content catalog
  7. ^ Emmanuel Engelhart: 50.000 public domain books available to everybody, everywhere, offline. In: Wikisource-l-Mailinglist. 19. November 2014. Accessed on 26. November 2014.
  8. ^ Ubuntuusers Hilfsmittel
  9. ^ #Wikimedia & Project #Gutenberg - the sum of all knowledge on Words and what not blog
  10. ^ Offline online, Annabelle, September 2014
  11. ^ Fondation Orange: le programme "écoles numériques"