Updated on September 16, 2018


Created on August 7, 2017


Upcoming Update

Free and open-source offline reader created to allow offline access to Wikipedia and other projects from the Wikimedia Foundation

Developed By Unknown
Content Partners


Product Description

Kiwix is a free and open-source offline reader created to allow offline access to Wikipedia and other projects from the Wikimedia Foundation as well as public domain texts from the Project Gutenberg, Wiktionary, TED talks and others. Available in more than 100 languages, Kiwix has been included in several high-profile projects, like encyclopedic access in Cuba and Google Impact Challenge’s recipient Bibliothèques Sans Frontières.

It is currently available for Windows, GNU/Linux, Android, iOS and macOS.

Distributors / Implementing Organizations

Many known organizations use Kiwix as a component of their projects. Examples include: - The Afripedia Project set up kiwix servers in French-speaking universities (some of them with no Internet access) in 11 African countries. - Installed on the computers used for the One Laptop per Child project. - Installed on Raspberry Pis for use in schools with no electricity in Tanzania by the Tanzania Development Trust. - Installed on tablets in schools in Mali in the MALebooks project. - Deployed in Benin during teacher training seminars run by Zedaga, a Swiss NGO specialized in education. - A special version for the organization SOS Children's Villages was developed, initially for developing countries, but it is also used in the developed world.

Manufacturing/Building Method

Kiwix is designed and programed by Emmanuel Engelhart and Renaud Gaudin

Intellectural Property Type

Open Source

User Provision Model

Code is available for download in their GitHub site. Users first download Kiwix, then download content for offline viewing with Kiwix.

Distributions to Date Status

More than one million downloads according to the Kiwix Annual Report 2016.

Design Specifications

Kiwix is an offline reader for diverse web content, including Wikipedia, TED talks and many others. Kiwix is for computers without an Internet connection, computers with a slow or expensive connection, or to avoid censorship. This is done by installing all content locally in a file format ZIM, a high compressed open format with additional meta-data, which makes content smaller. The ZIM files are opened with Kiwix, acting as a web browser. Kiwix offers full text search, tabbed navigation and the option to export articles to PDF and HTML. All of English-language Wikipedia, with pictures, fits on a USB stick (54 GB as of May 2016, or 16 GB with no pictures). There is an HTTP server version called kiwix-serve; this allows a computer to host Kiwix content, and make it available to other computers on a local network. Kiwix runs on a wide range of operating systems: Android, iOS, Microsoft Windows, macOS and GNU/Linux..

Technical Support

There is a FAQ section and a user guide section within their web page with technical support and other materials for anyone interested in the solution. There is also a public forum where users solve can solve doubts and contribute with other users.

Replacement Components




Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters

Kiwix aims to bring internet content to people without internet access in schools, universities, prisons, or at home.

Vetted Performance Status




Complementary Technical Systems

This is a software solution. End users require proper hardware as smartphone, personal computer or server to install and use Kiwix.

Academic Research and References

  1. Jimmy Lin. 2015. The Sum of All Human Knowledge in Your Pocket: Full-Text Searchable Wikipedia on a Raspberry Pi. In Proceedings of the 15th ACM/IEEE-CS Joint Conference on Digital Libraries (JCDL ’15). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 85-86. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/2756406.2756938
  2. Iolanda Pensa, The Power of Wikipedia: Legitimacy and Territorial Control, 2012. Wikipedia Academy: Research and Free Knowledge, June 29 – July 1 2012, Berlin.
  3. D. P. Scarpazza and G. W. Braudaway, “Workload characterization and optimization of high-performance text indexing on the Cell Broadband Engine™ (Cell/B.E.),” 2009 IEEE International Symposium on Workload Characterization (IISWC), Austin, TX, 2009, pp. 13-23.
    doi: 10.1109/IISWC.2009.5306798
  4. K. Cosh, “On Automatically Extracting Discoveries from User Generated Content,” 2014 Eighth International Conference on Complex, Intelligent and Software Intensive Systems, Birmingham, 2014, pp. 338-345.
    doi: 10.1109/CISIS.2014.47

Compliance with regulations

Yes. All content available within Kiwix solution is open source and can be freely share everywhere.

Other Information

Don Watkins wrote a review about Kiwix at opensource.com entitled The story behind Kiwix, an offline content provider.

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