zimwriterfs (migrated to zim-tools repository)
zimwriterfs is a console tool to create ZIM
files from a locally-stored directory containing "self-sufficient"
will contain all the files of the local directory compressed and
merged in the ZIM file. Nothing more, nothing less. The generated file
can be opened with a ZIM reader; Kiwix is one
example, but there are others.
zimwriterfs works - for now - only on POSIX-compatible systems, you
simply need to compile it and run it. The software does not need a lot
of resources, but if you create a pretty big ZIM files, then it could
take a while to complete.
This document assumes you have a little knowledge about software
compilation. If you experience difficulties with the dependencies or
zimwriterfs compilation itself, we recommend to have a look
zimwriterfs can be compiled/cross-compiled on/for many
systems, the following documentation explains how to do it on POSIX
ones. It is primarily though for GNU/Linux systems and has been tested
on recent releases of Ubuntu and Fedora.
zimwriterfs relies on many third parts software libraries. They are
prerequisites to the Zimwriterfs compilation. Following libraries
need to be available:
- ZIM (package
- Magic (package
- Z (package
- Gumbo (package
- ICU (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 a more recent version by hand.
If you want to install these dependencies locally, then ensure that
pkg-config) will properly find them.
zimwriterfs builds using Meson version
0.39 or higher. Meson relies itself on Ninja, Pkg-config and few other
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
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
-Dstatic-linkage=true option to the Meson command.
Depending of you system,
ninja may be called
If you want to install
zimwriterfs 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 'sudo'), depending where you want to install the libraries. After the installation succeeded, you may need to run ldconfig (as root).
If you want to uninstall
ninja -C build uninstall
Like for the installation, you might need to run the command as root (or using 'sudo').
Statically pre-compiled binaries are provided here https://download.openzim.org/release/zimwriterfs/.
A Docker image with
zimwriterfs can be built from the
directory. The project maintains an official image available at
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 ..
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.