The Libkiwix provides the Kiwix software suite core. It contains the code shared by all Kiwix ports (Windows, GNU/Linux, macOS, Android, iOS, ...).
This document assumes you have a little knowledge about software compilation. If you experience difficulties with the dependencies or with the Libkiwix compilation itself, we recommend to have a look to kiwix-build.
Although the Libkiwix can be (cross-)compiled on/for many sytems, the following documentation explains how to do it on POSIX ones. It is primarly thought for GNU/Linux systems and has been tested on recent releases of Ubuntu and Fedora.
The Libkiwix relies on many third party software libraries. They are prerequisites to the Libkiwix compilation. Following libraries need to be available:
- ICU (package
- ZIM (package
- Pugixml (package
- Mustache (Just copy the
mustache.hppsomewhere it can be found by the compiler and/or set CPPFLAGS with correct
-Ioption). Use Mustache version 4.1 or above.
- Libcurl (
- Microhttpd (package
- Zlib (package
To test the code:
- Google Test (package
The following dependency needs to be available at runtime:
- Aria2 (package
These dependencies may or may not be packaged by your operating system. They may also be packaged but only in an older version. The compilation script will tell you if one of them is missing or too old. In the worse case, you will have to download and compile bleeding edge version by hand.
If you want to install these dependencies locally, then use the
libkiwix directory as install prefix.
The Libkiwix builds using Meson version 0.45 or higher. Meson relies itself on Ninja, pkg-config and few other compilation tools.
Install first the few common compilation tools:
These tools should be packaged if you use a cutting edge operating system. If not, have a look to the Troubleshooting section.
Once all dependencies are installed, you can compile the Libkiwix with:
meson . build ninja -C build
By default, it will compile dynamic linked libraries. All binary files
will be created in the
build directory created automatically by
Meson. If you want statically linked libraries, you can add
--default-library=static option to the Meson command.
Depending of you system,
ninja may be called
The android wrapper uses deprecated methods of libkiwix so it cannot be compiled
werror=true (the default). So you must pass
-Dwerror=false to meson:
meson . build -Dwrapper=android -Dwerror=false ninja -C build
Static files compilation
These static files are available in the
static directory and are
compiled by custom Python code available in this repository
directory. This happens automatically at compilation time without any
additional command to run.
To avoid HTTP caching issues, the URLs (to the static content) are
appended with a
cacheid parameter (this is called "cache
cacheid value derived from the
sha1sum of each targeted
static file. As a consequence, each time you change a static file, the
cacheid value will change.
To properly test this feature, this
cacheid needs to be added
manually to the automated tests and has to be commited. After
modifying the needed static file, run the automated
tests. They will fail, but the inspection of the testing
log will give you the new
cacheid value(s). Finally update
test/server.cpp with the appropriate
cacheid value(s) which have
To run the automated tests:
cd build meson test
If you want to install the Libkiwix and the headers you just have compiled on your system, here we go:
ninja -C build install
You might need to run the command as root (or using
where you want to install the libraries. After the installation
succeeded, you may need to run
If you want to uninstall the Kiwix library:
ninja -C build uninstall
Like for the installation, you might need to run the command as
Custom Index Page
to use custom welcome page mention
customIndexPage argument in
kiwix::internalServer() or use
(note - while using custom html file please mention all external links as absolute path.)
to create a HTML template with custom JS you need to have a look at various OPDS based endpoints as mentioned here to load books.
To use JS provided by kiwix-serve you can use the following template to start with ->
- To get books listed using
<div class="book__list"></div>under body tag.
- To get number of books listed add -
<h3 class="kiwixHomeBody__results"></h3>under body tag.
- To add language select box add -
<select id="languageFilter"></select>under body tag.
- To add category select box add -
<select id="categoryFilter"></select>under body tag.
- To add search box for books use following form -
<form id='kiwixSearchForm'> <input type="text" name="q" placeholder="Search" id="searchFilter" class='kiwixSearch filter'> <input type="submit" class="kiwixButton" value="Search"/> </form>
If you compile manually Libmicrohttpd, you might need to compile it without GNU TLS, a bug here will empeach further compilation otherwise.
If the compilation still fails, you might need to get a more recent version of a dependency than the one packaged by your Linux distribution. Try then with a source tarball distributed by the problematic upstream project or even directly from the source code repository.
If you need to install Meson "manually":
virtualenv -p python3 ./ # Create virtualenv source bin/activate # Activate the virtualenv pip3 install meson # Install Meson hash -r # Refresh bash paths
If you need to install Ninja "manually":
git clone git://github.com/ninja-build/ninja.git cd ninja git checkout release ./configure.py --bootstrap mkdir ../bin cp ninja ../bin cd ..