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Setup and Install Kiwix Serve on Debian Systems

Kiwix Serve is a .zim compatible web server: it allows you to deliver .zim files over the HTTP protocol within your local network – be it a University or your own house. Simply start Kiwix-Serve on your machine, and your content will be available for anybody through their web browser.

Kiwix is an offline reader – meaning that it allows you to browse text or video that is normally only available on the internet. We turn various online contents (such as Wikipedia, for example) into ZIM files, and these can be opened by Kiwix even if you have no connectivity.

Our technology’s main advantage is its high compression rate. For instance, the entirety of Wikipedia (more than 6 million articles, with images) can fit in 80Gb. The Gutenberg Library’s 60,000 books will fit on 60 Gb of storage space.

Docker Compose Stack

Change the volume location to that of your own and add the correct zim file names that are in that directory to the stack.

version: '3'
    image: kiwix/kiwix-serve
      - /docker/kiwixserve:/data
      - '8080:80'

It is advised to just use the run command and use an asterisk so you don't have to add or change the zim filenames in the compose stack above. It's just easier to use.

docker run -v /docker/kiwixserve:/data -p 8080:80 kiwix/kiwix-serve *.zim

Kiwix Files I Host

All of the Kiwix zim files I host with detailed information

File Name Download Link Size
wikipedia_en_all_maxi_2021-03.zim 82G
askubuntu.com_en_all_2021-05.zim 8.1G
gardening.stackexchange.com_en_all_2021-05.zim 938M
gutenberg_en_all_2021-10.zim 64G
crashcourse_en_all_2021-09.zim 39G
wikibooks_en_all_maxi_2021-03.zim 4.3G
wiktionary_en_all_maxi_2021-09.zim 6G
superuser.com_en_all_2020-10.zim 8.5G
wikisource_en_all_maxi_2021-03.zim 14G
ted_en_technology_2021-10.zim 45G
wikistage_multi_all_2021-09.zim 21G
wikivoyage_en_all_maxi_2021-10.zim 658M
wikinews_en_all_maxi_2021-08.zim 231M
wikispecies_en_all_maxi_2021-08.zim 2.2G
wikiversity_en_all_maxi_2021-03.zim 2.3G

Find and download .zim files here

What do mini, nopic and maxi mean in the Wikipedia zim files?

File size is always an issue when downloading such big content, so Kiwix produces each Wikipedia file in three flavours:

  • Mini: only the introduction of each article, plus the infobox. Saves about 95% of space vs. the full version.
  • nopic: full articles, but no images. About 75% smaller than the full version
  • Maxi: the default full version.
  1. CD into your mapped data directory for the Docker container to download the zim files using wget.
  2. Add the name of each zim file to your stack.
  3. Start or deploy the docker stack and enjoy!

There is also a desktop app for both Windows and Linux called Kiwix JS Electron.

Pause wget Download

If you find yourself in a situtation where you’re downloading a large file and need to shutdown your computer during the download for whatever reason, no problem, you can pause the download.

In the terminal window that is downloading your file just enter the following keyboard shortcut.

Ctrl + c

This will stop the download and then you can shutdown your computer if you need. To resume the download, read on.

Resume wget Download

To resume a wget download it’s very straight forward. Open the terminal to the directory where you were downloading your file to and run wget with the -c flag to resume the download.

wget -c