Scraper for downloading the entire ebooks repository of project Gutenberg
JavaScript CSS Python
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Project Gutenberg Offline

A scraper that downloads the whole repository of Project Gutenberg and puts it into a localy browsable directory and then in a ZIM file (, a clean and user friendly format for storing content for offline usage. It was created during a Kiwix Hackathon in Lyon, France in July 2014.

Setting up the environment

It's recommended that you use virtualenv.

Install the dependencies


sudo apt-get install python-pip python-dev libxml2-dev libxslt-dev advancecomp jpegoptim pngquant p7zip-full gifsicle
sudo pip install virtualenvwrapper

Mac OS X

sudo easy_install pip
sudo pip install virtualenvwrapper
brew install advancecomp jpegoptim pngquant p7zip gifsicle

Finalize the setup

Finally, add this to your .bashrc:

source /usr/local/bin/

Set up the project

git clone
cd gutenberg
mkvirtualenv gut (or any name you want)

Working in the environment

  • Activate the environment: workon gut
  • Quit the environment: deactivate
  • Install the python dependencies: pip install -r requirements.pip

Getting started

After setting up the whole enviroment you can just run the main script
It will download, process and export the content.



You can also specify parameters to customize the content.
Only want books with the Id 100-200? Books only in French? English? Or only those both? No problem!
You can also include or exclude book formats.

./ -l en,fr -f pdf --books 100-200

This will download English and French books that have the Id 100 to 200 in the html (default) and pdf format.

You can find the full arguments list below.

-h --help                       Display this help message
-k --keep-db                    Do not wipe the DB during parse stage

-l --languages=<list>           Comma-separated list of lang codes to filter export to (preferably ISO 639-1, else ISO 639-3)
-f --formats=<list>             Comma-separated list of formats to filter export to (epub, html, pdf, all)

-m --mirror=<url>               Use URL as base for all downloads.
-r --rdf-folder=<folder>        Don't download rdf-files.tar.bz2 and use extracted folder instead
-e --static-folder=<folder>     Use-as/Write-to this folder static HTML
-z --zim-file=<file>            Write ZIM into this file path
-d --dl-folder=<folder>         Folder to use/write-to downloaded ebooks
-u --rdf-url=<url>              Alternative rdf-files.tar.bz2 URL
-b --books=<ids>                Execute the processes for specific books, separated by commas, or dashes for intervals

-x --zim-title=<title>          Custom title for the ZIM file
-q --zim-desc=<desc>            Custom description for the ZIM file

--check                         Check dependencies
--prepare                       Download & extract rdf-files.tar.bz2
--parse                         Parse all RDF files and fill-up the DB
--download                      Download ebooks based on filters
--export                        Export downloaded content to zim-friendly static HTML
--zim                           Create a ZIM file