substitution of Xowa Offline Wiki Reader by Kiwix; preparing of Kolibri


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As requested by several Labdoo helpers and hubs, the updated Labdoo images are coming from now on with the new Offline Wiki Reader tools Kiwix and Kolibri. Both programs are offline readers, for details refer to the links later in this post. The former tool Xowa wiki tool will be removed from all images and FTP-server soon. Until November 15th, 2020 you will find both images on our FTP-server, with "_xowa" and "_kiwix" in their names. After the 15.11.2020 all Xowa related images will be removed. And the others will get the standard images and "_kiwix" will be removed from their names.

The Kiwix wikis were found to be more complete, more actual as those of Xowa. Some Xowa wikis are not offered within Kiwix, but therefore you will find several 100 new wikis, even in languages which were not available as offline wikis in Xowa. For more details refer to

Some Kiwix offline wikis will be pre-installed in the images, depending on language and size of disk-drive, as you are used to. But in general we reduced the wikis pre-installed, so images got smaller and we left more space, so users can install the wikis they like best. Aside of Wikipedia and Co. there is an incredible number of free and open educational resources. Just use Kiwix to connect to web and download more wikis.

If you need more wikis you can download them easily yourself using Kiwix. A wiki consists by 2 parts (one (larger) zim-file and one (smaller) meta-file) You can even bring new wikis offline to a school or project (edoovillage), e.g. using an external USB-disk-drive.

There is a wonderful feature within Kiwix to spread content to other computer, tablets or mobiles. Just press the ... (3 dots) in Kiwix, start the server and tell other users the link shown. Then they are able to use the Kiwix content via LAN or WiFi on their devices, if they are linked by LAN or WiFi to the same network as your Kiwix computer. Or turn your Labdoo laptop into a hotspot and spread the content locally.

The only thing changing for a user - on his/her desktop he/she will see Kiwix icon instead of Xowa icon.

The Kolibri tool will be pre-installed in our new images as well, but NOT activated nor pre-configurated. Kolibri comes also with a lot of educational material, including those we use today in Firefox browser. Kolibri is based on SQL-server, which needs experienced users. A SQL-server is a powerful tool, but you must be trained and used to it. E.g. a teacher has to create resources like class-rooms, pupil profiles and more. And it has to be maintained by a teacher on-site. Labdoo team is still investigating, if there is an easy way to handle Kolibri and to work out a guideline for projects. But we'll see. So Kolibri is installed in our images and everybody is free to use it, but at own risk. Either status of Kolibri will stay like this for a longer time and we'll use the educational content in Firefox for a longer time. If there is a way to integrate Kolibri in Labdoo concept and to manage it easily there might be a 2nd step in the future to drop the Firefox content and use Kolibri content instead.

We'll keep you updated about the ongoing work.
Stay healthy.

Ralf (Germany)

[Update 09.11.2020]
Some laptops were found not being able to start Kiwix, especially those with Radeon GPU (ATI). Those laptops need "", but it seems that within appimage a former, older C++ library was integrated. So it is not an issue of Kiwix, it seems to be caused by the "wrapping" tool appimage (this technique packs everything needed for a program into one file).

Labdoo will watch the issue, which might get solved by an update of appimage. And we found a workaround, which will be part of all kiwix-based images younger than 09.11.2020. So you can stop reading here, when you need actual images for cloning. For technicians here the solution we have chosen:

Copy the script to folder /home/labdoo/Public/kiwix and make it executable:

cd /home/labdoo/Public/kiwix
LD_PRELOAD='/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/' ./kiwix-desktop_x86_64.appimage

Create a starter on each desktop of the users labdoo and student, use in command line: /home/labdoo/Public/kiwix/

The good news - this will also work on other hardware than those based on Radeon/ATI :)