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FAQ

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This is the Kiwix Frequently Asked Questions (or FAQ) page. If you don't find an answer to your question, please consider reading the Help page or visit our Forum.

Where can I find new content?
Kiwix uses the ZIM format. We release our own ZIM files which are available for download in the Kiwix library (in the software). You can also use the Book creator on Wikipedia to generate your own ZIM files.
My ZIM file is too big, what should I do?
USB flash drives and memory cards are often formatted using the FAT32 filesystem which can't store files bigger than 4GB. Kiwix is able to deal with 2GB splitted ZIM files. The splitted ZIM files must be named xxx.zimaa, xxx.zimab, xxx.zimac, etc. To split a ZIM file you may use:
  • On Microsoft Windows: FFSJ or HJ-Split (slower option)
  • On Apple Mac OS X: Split&Concat
  • On GNU/Linux in the console:
    split --bytes=2000M my_big_file.zim my_big_file.zim
    

You can also download a pre-splitted version of the ZIM file by downloading a pre-indexed/portable ZIP file and copy the chunks from the directory "data/content".

To be readable by Kiwix, all chunks must be located in the same folder. Open then the xxx.zimaa file with Kiwix.

Why is Kiwix not available for PPC Macs?
We do not have a PPC architectured Mac and this architecture is outdated.
Is it possible to update a ZIM file?
It is not possible to update a ZIM file itself, but you may download a new ZIM file with updated versions of the contents.
How can I build a ZIM file by myself?
To export articles from Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects, please go to their Special:Book. For any other use case, this is unfortunately still too complicated (in short: Parsoid needs to be installed, then mwoffliner + zimwriterfs). Please read this page if you want to have some information.
How may I optimize the search engine index?
Launch the script "./kiwix-compact" (only available on GNU/Linux) and this should reduce disk use by almost 50%
How to install a pre-indexed ZIM file on Mac OS X?
Move or copy the "data" directory in "/Applications/Kiwix.app/Contents/". You will probably need to go to the Kiwix "library" to load the ZIM content.
Is there a user forum where Kiwix users can exchange experiences and help each other?
Yes, it is located at https://forum.kiwix.org
I have downloaded a ZIP file (pre-indexed ZIM file) but I can't unzip it, the file seems to be corrupted. What should I do?
Use an unpacking software which supports the ZIP64 format (ZIP format for big files), like for example 7-zip. If this still fails, then your file was corrupted during the transfer, please restart the download using BitTorrent, then it will work.
I can't copy Kiwix on my USB flash drive because the index files (*.idx directory) are too big.
USB flash drives are often formatted using the FAT32 filesystem which can't store files bigger than 4GB. We recommend to use exFAT or NTFS which can deal with big files and are broadly supported.
How can I launch Kiwix with a specific article?
You need to launch Kiwix from the command line using the -articleByUrl option. For example:
kiwix.exe -articleByUrl "zim://A/foo.html" bar.zim
I have a downloaded a .torrent file, but the download does not progress in my BitTorrent client.
There are a few reasons why the download with BitTorrent might failed, most of them are related to the usage of web seeds:
  • Your computer is behind a proxy, you need to configure your BitTorrent correctly to use it.
  • Your computer is part of a local network with custom network rules forbidding the BitTorrent usage, you should complain to your network system administrator.
  • Your BitTorrent client does not support web seeds (correctly), please try with a better one (for example, Deluge).
Where are located, on my computer, the content files I have downloaded?
If you have used the Kiwix library, the content are stored:
  • On OS X:
    /Users/<LOGIN>/Library/Application Support/Kiwix/Profiles/<PROFILE>/data/
    
  • On GNU/Linux:
    /home/<LOGIN>/.www.kiwix.org/kiwix/<PROFILE>/data/
    
  • On Windows:
    C:\Documents and Settings\<LOGIN>\Application Data\www.kiwix.org\Kiwix\Profiles\<PROFILE>\data
    

See also