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XOWA is an offline Wikipedia application that lets you run Wikipedia on your computer.

XOWA showing Wikipedia's article on Wikipedia


  • Run a complete copy of English Wikipedia from your computer.
  • Display 5.0+ million articles in full HTML formatting.
  • Show images within an article. Access 4.0+ million images using the offline image databases.
  • Set up over 800+ other wikis including: English Wiktionary, English Wikisource, English Wikiquote, English Wikivoyage, Non-English wikis (French Wiktionary, German Wikisource, Dutch Wikivoyage), Wikidata, Wikimedia Commons and many more.
  • Update your wiki whenever you want, using Wikimedia's database backups.
  • Navigate between offline wikis. Click on "Look up this word in Wiktionary" and instantly view the page in Wiktionary.
  • Edit articles to remove vandalism or errors.
  • Install to a flash memory card for portability to other machines.
  • Run on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. (Android Alpha available)
  • Run as an HTTP server to browse from Firefox, Chrome or Safari
  • View the HTML source for any wiki page.
  • Search for any page by title using a Wikipedia-like Search box. Search across wikis as well.
  • Browse pages by alphabetical order using Special:AllPages.
  • Find a word on a page.
  • Access a history of viewed pages.
  • Bookmark your favorite pages.
  • Preview articles by hovering over links
  • Customize any one of over 50 options


XOWA is written in Java and requires 1.7 or above.


  • Download from
  • Unzip to any folder on your hard drive (or flash memory card)
  • Run XOWA
    • On '''Windows''', double-click '''C:\xowa\xowa_64.exe'''
    • On '''Linux''', open a terminal and run sh /home/your_user_name/xowa/
    • On '''OS X''', open a terminal and run sh /Users/your_user_name/xowa/

Development Info

Compilation instructions (Command-line)



  • Copy-paste to a plain-text file; EX: /cygdrive/c/xowa_dev/
  • Adjust these environment variables to your system: PLAT_NAME, ROOT_DIR, ANT_BINARY, JAVA_JDK_DIR
  • cd to your ROOT_DIR
  • Run the file using "sh"
  • Run the xowa_dev.jar
    • (Windows) java -jar xowa_dev.jar
    • (Linux) SWT_GTK3=0 && java -jar xowa_dev.jar
    • (Mac OS X) java -Xmx256m -d64 -XstartOnFirstThread -jar xowa_dev.jar

Compilation instructions (ANT command-line)

Setup the XOWA app

  • Download the latest XOWA app package for your operating system. For example, if you're on a 64-bit Linux system, "".
  • Unzip the XOWA app package to a directory. For the sake of simplicity, these instructions assume this directory is "/xowa/"
  • Review your directories. You should have the following:
    • An XOWA jar: "/xowa/xowa_linux_64.jar"
    • An XOWA "/bin/any/" directory with several jar files. For example, "/xowa/bin/any/java/apache/commons-compress-1.5.jar"
    • An XOWA "/bin/linux_64/" directory with an SWT jar: "/xowa/bin/linux_64/swt/swt.jar"

Setup the XOWA source

  • Download the latest XOWA source archive. For example: "xowa_source_v1."
  • Unzip the source to "/xowa/dev". When you're done, you'll have a file called "/xowa/dev/build.xml" as well as others
    • NOTE: if you're not on a Linux 64-bit system, overwrite the swt jar at "/xowa/dev/150_gfui/lib/swt.jar" with the copy from your "/bin/OS" directory. For example, if you're on a 64 bit Windows system, replace "/xowa/dev/150_gfui/lib/swt.jar" with "/bin/windows_64/swt/swt.jar"

Run the ant file

  • Open up a console, and run "ant -buildfile build.xml -Dplat_name=linux_64"

IDE instructions (Eclipse)


The '''xowa_source.7z''' was built with Eclipse Indigo. There are no OS dependencies, nor are there dependencies on Eclipse.


  • Follow the steps in these two sections from above:
    • Setup the XOWA app
    • Setup the XOWA source
  • Launch Eclipse. Choose a workbench folder of "/xowa/dev"
  • If the projects don't load, do File -> Import -> Existing Projects Into Workspace
  • Select all projects. Do File -> Refresh.
  • Right-click on 400_xowa in the Package Explorer. Select Debug As -> Java Application. Select Xowa_main. XOWA should launch.
  • Right-click on 400_xowa in the Package Explorer. Select Debug As -> JUnit Test. All tests should pass.

Eclipse-specific settings

This section documents specific project customizations that differ from the standard Eclipse defaults.

Project properties

Resource -> Text file encoding -> Other -> UTF-8


These settings are available under Window -> Preferences

  • Disable Spelling
    • General -> Editors -> Text Editors -> Spelling *Ignore Warnings
    • Java -> Compiler -> Errors/Warnings
      • Annotations -> Unhandled token in '@SuppressWarnings'
      • Potential programming problems -> Serializable class without serialVersionUID
      • Generic Types -> Unnecessary generic type operation (In Eclipse Luna: "Unchecked generic type operation")
      • Generic Types -> Usage of a raw type
      • Unnecessary Code -> Unused import
Configuration arguments
  • Configuration arguments
    • Run -> Debug Configurations -> Arguments
      • --root_dir /xowa/ --show_license n --show_args n


XOWA is licensed under the terms of the General Public License (GPL) Version 3, or alternatively under the terms of the Apache License Version 2.0.

See LICENSE.txt for more information.

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