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Kiwix-serve, embedded in Kiwix, on a Microsoft Windows computer
With Kiwix-plug, kiwix-serve runs on pretty small hardwares

Kiwix-serve is a ZIM compatible Web server. With its help you can deliver ZIM file content over your network.

Based on the well known HTTP protocol, kiwix-serve allows you to share the ZIM files available on your computer easily with others connected to your network. You simply need to start kiwix-serve and your content will be available for anybody through their own Web browser.

Kiwix-serve is a good solution if you have a LAN network and don't want to install Kiwix on all computers. It's a good alternative if you don't have a shared network disk from which everybody can start Kiwix.


Kiwix-serve has not so many features like Kiwix, but provides the most important ones:

  • Full text search engine
  • Search suggestions
  • Really small and efficient
  • Compatible with almost all browsers
  • Available on all platforms
  • Available as command line executable
  • Embedded in Kiwix UI
  • Able to deal with one ZIM file or XML library files
  • RESTful API endpoint with OPDS (XML)

Get it

On Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac OS X and GNU/Linux, kiwix-serve is packaged and distributed with Kiwix. You simply need to download the Kiwix installer corresponding to your Operating System.

We newly provide kiwix-serve as part of the Kiwix tools and pre-compiled binaries for many systems are available.

For other systems, you will have to download and compile kiwix-serve source code on your own.

Use it

Kiwix-serve is directly available in the Kiwix menu "Tools > server", but for people wanting to use it from the command line, here is how it works.


  • kiwix-serve binary, available in the Kiwix application directory
  • A ZIM file or a library file (you can use the library.xml file available in your Kiwix data directory).

Unix command line (just use kiwix-serve.exe on Microsoft Windows) example to start kiwix-serve with an XML library file:

kiwix-serve --library ~/

Unix command line example to start kiwix-serve with a ZIM file:

kiwix-serve --port=8080 wikipedia.zim

Once kiwix-serve is started, anyone with access to this computer over the network, will be able to connect to it. You need to retrieve the IP ( of your computer and remember the port (per default 80) you have used and then people will only have to type in their browser address bar:

Kiwix-serve provides a few options:

  • --port=PORT to specify the port you want to open for listening (per default 80)
  • --daemon to execute the software in background
  • --attachToProcess=PID to attach kiwix-serve process to other process
  • --verbose to get a few logs
  • --address=IP to bind a particular IP (per default = all interfaces)

A detailed kiwix-serve user manual is available online.

See also