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Web archives

A web archives reader offering the ability to browse offline millions of articles from large community projects such as Wikipedia or Wikisource.

Goals / Reasons

  • Availability : offline, anytime, anywhere
  • Confidentiality : no need to trust network's protocols or server's policy
  • Shareability : disseminate knowledge


This software, despite its defects, bugs and instability, can be useful for anyone who needs to browse important websites such as Wikipedia or Wikisource without any Internet connection.

No guarantee regarding the update of internal databases until the release of a stable version.

As long as it has not been improved, it is recommended to use it wisely. Also, it only allows reading ZIM files for the moment.


Application home page


  • List recently opened web archives
  • List available local web archives
  • List of web archives available to download
  • Print a page
  • Night mode (Darkreader)
  • Zoom controls
  • Search in page
  • History
  • Bookmarks
  • Search a page
  • Keyboard shortcuts
  • Multi-windows
  • Multi-tabs
  • Random page
  • Sandboxed pages (Pages are isolated from the web)
  • Ask for confirmation when opening an external link
  • Handle the opening of zim files from external applications (Nautilus...)
  • Fullscreen mode
  • Table of contents
  • Responsive (Mobile ready)
  • Global search (Search through all archives available on device)
  • Search provider (Depends on previous feature)
  • Inter web archives linking (Links from A pointing to B, can be directly opened in the corresponding archive)

Enhancements (Unconfirmed)

  • Immersive mode (See what is done on Android)
  • External links handling (Open Wikipedia link from GNOME Maps for example)
  • Hint mode (Open links quickly using keyboard)
  • Nearby pages (Pages referencing nearby points of interest)
  • Link preview popup (Preview the targeted page on mouseover or tap)
  • Speech synthesis
  • Stream a local archive to nearby app instances (Useful in a classroom)
  • Show a list of archives where the subject of the page can also be found
  • Option to block javascript
  • Options to control save strategy for items such as searches or history
  • Save images, video, audio on right click
  • Gallery of the media present on a page (Useful to browse images)


WebArchives was developed and tested under GNU/Linux, with GNOME in sight. However, it can be used under other desktop environments.

No method is provided to install this application on other platforms, such as Windows or macOS. This is a desktop application so it's not compatible with mobile platforms such as Android or iOS.

WebArchives in Flatpak format

Flatpak installation is required : Getting Flatpak.

Then add the Flathub repository and install WebArchives from a terminal :

flatpak remote-add flathub
flatpak install flathub com.github.birros.WebArchives

If this is your first Flatpak, restarting your session is necessary to make the application appear in your launcher. It can also be executed from a terminal :

flatpak run com.github.birros.WebArchives

Some problems may occur when running the application, especially if your desktop environment does not use GTK+, such as Kde.

The installation of two additional services is then required on the system side to solve these problems, requiring the execution of one of these commands depending on your distribution :

Debian & Ubuntu :

apt install tracker gvfs-backends

Fedora :

dnf install tracker gvfs

Other installation methods

The implementation of a common installation method for existing distributions is in preparation, with Debian and Ubuntu as priorities.


This application is directly inspired by the Kiwix application. In this way WebArchives as well as Kiwix can read the Web archives in ZIM format. Kiwix is available for Windows, GNU/Linux, iOS and Android.

For contributions and technical documentation

See :

Useful links

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