XOWA : An Offline Wikipedia Reader And Editor

So you are a hardcore Wikipedia user or contributor who can’t live without it and searching a tool to read or edit wikipedia articles? I have a good news for you guys. Today I’ve come up with an awesome handy tool called XOWA. It is a desktop application for reading and editing Wikipedia offline. It displays all articles from Wikipedia without internet connection.

XOWA not only works with wikipedia, it also works with other wiki’s such as Wiktionary, Wikisource, Wikiquote, Wikivoyage, Wikidata, Wikimedia Commons, Wikispecies, or any other MediaWiki generated dump, as well as non-English language wiki such as French Wikipedia, German Wikisource, Dutch Wikivoyage, etc. It renders articles with full HTML formatting and downloads images and other files on demand.

Using XOWA, we can setup a simple Wikipedia in less than 5 minutes. You can edit Wikipedia articles and XOWA can be customized at many levels. You can easily install it to a flash memory card for portability to other systems.

Install XOWA On Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Debian

XOWA requires Java Runtime Environment. If you haven’t installed it, visit this link to know how to install JRE.

or you can install Java with command:

$ sudo apt-get install openjdk-7-jre

Check the installed java version with command:

$ java -version

You will see the following like output.

java version "1.7.0_25"
OpenJDK Runtime Environment (IcedTea 2.3.10) (7u25-2.3.10-1ubuntu0.13.04.2)
OpenJDK 64-Bit Server VM (build 23.7-b01, mixed mode)

Also make sure that you’ve installed unzip utility and your system has 512MB RAM.

Download latest XOWA application from sourceforge website. Extract it with command.

$ unzip xowa_linux_64.jar

And then run it with command:

$ sh xowa_linux_64.sh

The XOWA home screen will look like below.

Main Page - XOWA _001If this is the first time you’ve run XOWA, then you have two options to setup offline wikipedia.

Option 1 – New users with internet access

If you have Internet connection, scroll down in the above screen, you will see a section called “New users with internet access”.

Click on the Setup Simple Wkipedia link. It is a small wiki that fits in about 100MB. It will download and setup the simple website in less than 5 minutes depending upon your internet connection speed.

Selection_002Option 2 – New users without internet access

If you don’t access internet often i.e offline user, then scroll down further, you will see a section called “New users without internet access”.

Click on the import/export link to import a wiki from a list of 663 known wikimedia foundation wikis.

Selection_003You will see the following like screen. It will show you the complete list of 663 known wikimedia foundation wiki pages. Select the wiki you want to import and sit back. XOWA will download the respective wiki and save them to your local drive.

Help:Import-List - XOWA _004That’s it. Now you can use, read and edit the wikipedia( either online or offline) as the way you do in the browser. I find it very useful for all Wikipedia readers and Contributors. Hope it useful for you.