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Gutenberg Offline

This scraper downloads the whole Project Gutenberg library and puts it in a ZIM file, a clean and user friendly format for storing content for offline usage.

Python package Docker CodeFactor License: GPL v3

Coding guidelines

Main coding guidelines comes from the openZIM Wiki

Setting up the environment

It's recommended that you use virtualenv and py3.6+.

Install the dependencies


sudo apt-get install python-pip python-dev libxml2-dev libxslt-dev advancecomp jpegoptim pngquant p7zip-full gifsicle curl zip zim-tools
sudo pip install virtualenv


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

Set up the project

git clone
cd gutenberg
virtualenv gut-env (or any name you want)
./gut-env/bin/pip install -r requirements.pip

Working in the environment

  • Activate the environment: source gut-env/bin/activate
  • Quit the environment: deactivate

Getting started

After setting up the whole environment you can just run the main script gutenberg2zim. 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. You can add bookshelves and the option to search books by title to enrich your user experince.

./gutenberg2zim -l en,fr -f pdf --books 100-200 --bookshelves --title-search

This will download books in English and French 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
-y --wipe-db                    Empty cached book metadata
-F --force                      Redo step even if target already exist

-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)

-e --static-folder=<folder>     Use-as/Write-to this folder static HTML
-z --zim-file=<file>            Write ZIM into this file path
-t --zim-title=<title>          Set ZIM title
-n --zim-desc=<description>     Set ZIM description
-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
-c --concurrency=<nb>           Number of concurrent process for processing tasks
--dlc=<nb>                      Number of concurrent *download* process for download (overwrites --concurrency). if server blocks high rate requests
-m --one-language-one-zim=<folder> When more than 1 language, do one zim for each   language (and one with all)
--no-index                      Do NOT create full-text index within ZIM file
--check                         Check dependencies
--prepare                       Download rdf-files.tar.bz2
--parse                         Parse all RDF files and fill-up the DB
--download                      Download ebooks based on filters
--zim                           Create a ZIM file
--title-search                  Add field to search a book by title and directly jump to it
--bookshelves                   Add bookshelves
--optimization-cache=<url>      URL with credentials to S3 bucket for using as optimization cache
--use-any-optimized-version     Try to use any optimized version found on optimization cache



GPLv3 or later, see LICENSE for more details.