Take the 2-minute tour ×
Web Applications Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for power users of web applications. It's 100% free, no registration required.

How can I get all of Wikipedia, except the images, in a standard ebook format like ePub or mobi for putting on my e-reader?

Is there a reason this isn't more readily available? Are some ebook formats ill-suited to large files?

share|improve this question
    
“Is there a reason this isn't more readily available?” Most likely because Wikipedia is huge, having all of it in a single ebook wouldn't be very useful. –  svick Oct 21 '12 at 10:24
    
can you elaborate? "wouldn't be very useful" why? –  themirror Oct 21 '12 at 20:06
1  
the full wikipedia is available for direct download or torrent as a ZIM file, the emerging standard for wiki data –  themirror Oct 21 '12 at 20:07
1  
How would you find something in that giant ebook? Do you really think having a book with millions of chapters makes sense? Do you think ebook readers would be able to deal with it? –  svick Oct 22 '12 at 18:10
    
There's nothing wrong with a book of millions of chapters. Every ebook reader has a full-text and index search feature. This is how we use wikipedia ordinarily; the only difference is that it's offline. As I said, ZIM readers do exactly what I want except that ZIM is not a standard ebook format, and for the sake of consistency in my workflow, I would like to have all my texts (including wikipedia) in a format such as epub or mobi. –  themirror Oct 23 '12 at 2:55

2 Answers 2

The sheer size of the data is the biggest problem. The XML database dumpfile containing all text of the most recent revisions of the articles is approximately 9.0 GB even when compressed. I haven't seen a EPUB file that big; and in fact, some readers are unable to open a EPUB file larger than a mere 25 MB.

Of course, there are plans to create offline stable versions of Wikipedia, and the Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team has been working on this for quite a while. Note that when the team started working, eBooks weren't so widespread as today, so most of their output so far has taken the form of CDs. They might consider eBooks in the near future, but that still remains a possibility.

The next best thing is the recently-introduced Book creater function, allowing you to produce PDF/ODF/openZIM format of manually selected collection of articles.

EDIT: To give you an idea of how large the content of Wikipedia is, take a look at this image. This was back in 2006, when Wikipedia had 4.4 GB of text. Now it's twice that. Typical eBook formats are designed to work with only one small volume of text. If you were to split the contents up into feasible pieces, you're going to end up with hundreds of files. If that's what you want then that's okay, but still, I don't know any existing tool to perform that conversion.

share|improve this answer

There's Kiwix, a bit of software "especially intended to make Wikipedia available without using Internet".

It uses the ZIM format. The format is intended for offline storage of data, specifically aiming at Wikipedia but hoping to grow into a more general format. At the moment, it is not widely supported. In this format, the English Wikipedia is (as of February 2014) about 42GB of information with the pictures and about 12GB without.

Usable on Android, Windows, Mac, Linux (or compile it yourself).

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.