Kiwix is perfect to read Wikipedia offline. In order to read and enjoy the Wikipedia articles offline, you will need:
- Kiwix (the software)
- The ZIM file with the content of the specific linguistic Wikipedia the user want (for example in English).
- Optionally, the index allowing fulltext searches.
To obtain Wikipedia offline on your computer, you can download the components separately or download a package including all of them:
- Non-indexed ZIM files contain only a ZIM file you may want to index later if you need to do fulltext searches.
- Portable pre-indexed ZIM files contain the Kiwix software with a pre-indexed ZIM file. Everything is compressed in a ZIP file. For now, these packages work only with Microsoft Windows and GNU/Linux. In these packages, the ZIM files may be split into several two gigabytes parts to be compatible with FAT32 file-systems.
The Portable pre-indexed ZIM is always a little bit bigger than the Non-indexed ZIM file, but if you have enough bandwidth, we recommend to download it. It's the easiest way to have a directly usable Wikipedia offline and this package will be really easy to copy to many different places.
There are two ways to download each file:
- Bittorent (recommended) which downloads the file with a torrent software. Using Bittorrent you save our bandwidth and you get the certainty that your file won't get corrupted during the download process.
- Direct download which downloads the file directly with your browser. If you already have Kiwix installed on your computer, we recommend to download this ZIM file from the internal Kiwix library.
If you have downloaded a Non-indexed ZIM file, then you only need to open it with Kiwix (you have downloaded seperatly) and if you need it, index it in addition.
If you have downloaded the Portable pre-indexed ZIM, you will need to unzip it before using it. One time it's unzipped you can find the Kiwix executable in the "kiwix" directory if you use Microsoft Windows or in "kiwix-linux" directory if you use GNU/Linux.