Kiwix returns in Debian Bullseye


(This is my belated #newindebianbullseye post.)

The latest version of the Debian distro, 11.0 aka Bullseye, was released last week and after a long absence, includes Kiwix! Previously in Debian 10/Buster, we only had the underlying C/C++ libraries available.

If you're not familiar with it, Kiwix is an offline content reader, providing Wikipedia, Gutenberg, TED talks, and more in ZIM (.zim) files that can be downloaded and viewed entirely offline. You can get the entire text of the English Wikipedia in less than 100GB.

apt install kiwix will get you a graphical desktop application that allows you to download and read ZIMs. apt install kiwix-tools installs kiwix-serve (among others), which serves ZIM files over an HTTP server.

Additionally, there are now tools in Debian that allow you to create your own ZIM files: zimwriterfs and the python3-libzim library.

All of this would not have been possible without the support of the Kiwix developers, who made it a priority to properly support Debian. All of the Kiwix and repositories have a CI process that builds Debian packages for each pull request and needs to pass before it'll be accepted.

Ubuntu users can take advantage of our primary PPA or the bleeding-edge PPA. For Debian users, my goal is that unstable/sid will have the latest verison within a few days of a release, and once it moves into testing, it'll be available in Debian Backports.

It is always a pleasure working with the Kiwix team, who make a point to send stickers and chocolate every year :)