LinuxTag 2010

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LinuxTag is europeans biggest Free and Open Source software conference, it takes place June 9th - 12th in Berlin.

openZIM has a booth at LinuxTag in hall 7.2a, stand 215.

There will be a workshop on openZIM - Wikipedia Offline - Current State at Saturday, June 12th 1 - 2pm in room New York 2 ([1]).

Meet us at LinuxTag! See the new features and adoptions of ZIM format and tools, get in touch with the developers or just learn more on how to use Wikipedia without internet access.


Hotel Pension Messe Google Maps

Booked (booking no. PM3533533):

  • Single Room 48 EUR (-5% discount)
  • Double Room 60 EUR (-5% discount)

including breakfast, already paid by openZIM

How to reach

just take the S train to "Messe Nord/ICC" - the hotel is just adjacent at the corner of Wundtstrasse / Neue Kantstrasse.

Participants / Itineraries

please list yourself

08 09 10 11 12 13 Transportation Name Accomodation
X X X X X X arriving with ICE276 about 17:45 at the hotel Manuel Schneider double room booked 2010-03-27
X X X X X X arriving with ICE276 about 17:45 at the hotel Annette Schneider
X X X X X X arriving with ICE690 about 17:30 at the hotel Tommi Mäkitalo single room booked 2010-03-27
Mirko Lindner(?)
Mirko Voigt(?)
Emmanuel Engelhart n/a

Material List

please list your name if you can bring something from this list or add other things you will bring or which you think we should get


  • Title: openZIM - Wikipedia Offline - Current State
  • Language: English prefered, German possible
  • Category: Applications
  • License: Creative Commons License

Abstract (Presentation)

for program committee, approx. 1 page

Since 2008 we are working on a free implementation of a toolchain for offline Wikipedia, providing a container format, reader and writer softare. The first attempt was based on the Zeno file format used by Directmedia, the publisher of the Wikipedia DVD. The Wikipedia DVD 2008/2009 contained a free implementation developed by the people who form today the openZIM project and was the start of the openZIM project.

Starting 2009 openZIM defines itself as "a free and open implementation of the ZIM file format", while openZIM provides both a free documentation of the file format as well as the tools to create ZIM files from web content and a reader to present them in a browser. Inspired by the Zeno format ZIM means "Zeno Improved".

While the open documentation of the ZIM file format enables everyone to write software using it, openZIM also provides tools to create ZIM files from HTML and a reader application that allows to browse the content in a standard internet browser along with some advanced tools. These are all based on zimlib, a library written in C++ that can be easily used in other applications to make them ZIM-aware.

Since our start we released two versions of the ZIM format, the first version was spread in the public during LinuxTag 2009 when Wikimedia CH sponsored a batch of 500 editions of the german Wikipedia on DVD as free give-aways which gave us a lot of valuable feedback.

During our first year we have been able to attract partners such as the Wikimedia Foundation that is working on a regular ZIM export on MediaWiki, the Israelian OLPC project that wants to provide hebrew Wikipedia on XO computers or a manufacturer of embedded devices which presents Wikipedia Offline on a device with only 8 MB of RAM. Most of these people gathered to a Developers Meeting and we are very happy that we were able to cover all of the needs that occured to us, even though some of them seemed to be mutually exclusive at the first glance.

With this talk we introduce openZIM for those who haven't heard about it and give a short overview over the history of Offline Wikipedia in general to provide a common basis and an understanding of the issues when dealing with huge data chunks such as Wikipedia content. The main part of the talk is focused on these issues and how openZIM has addressed these. A part of this will involve the ZIM internal structures, tools and the zimlib library. The goal is that attendants are able to understand how ZIM works, where implementational details can be found in case the file format should be implemented in any other programming language as well as enabling to work with the zimlib which can be used in any C++ application to make use of the ZIM format directly.

Abstract (Workshop)

openZIM deals with the technical issues when webcontent should be usable offline. Especially with big amounts of data, eg. Wikipedia there are many challenges to solve.

1.000.000 articles (all german Wikipedia, only text) take about 7-8 GB disc space, so they need to be compressed. On the other hand we have to deal with very small devices such as embedded Linux gadgets or mobile phones. We want simple, fast access to random articles and a fulltext search available.

In the past several special solutions for special needs have been implemented by individuals and abandoned soonafter. There is no way to update contents for these applications as nobody can tell how it was stored.

openZIM has developped an efficient file format that provides high compression (lzma), fulltext search and that can store all kind of content including images, CSS or JavaScript files. This file format is called ZIM and publicly documented to be implemented and used by everyone who wants to store webcontent offline.

openZIM also provides a Free and Open Source implementation of the ZIM file format, written in C++ and published under GPL. The zimlib can be integrated in any third-party software to make it very easy to use the ZIM file format without implementing it.

This workshop will provide you an insight into the ZIM file format and the tools provided by the openZIM project and third parties. ZIM runs on standard PCs, XO notebooks (OLPC), mobile phones or Linux gadgets (Ben NanoNote).

Manuel will show you reader applications as webserver on Linux, a GUI browser on Windows and a Symbian application running on mobile phones.

Tommi will give an introduction on how to use zimlib in another application with live coding example.

We invite you to join the discussion, ask questions etc... we can tell a lot about the processes around publishing Wikipedia offline or on the technical challenges and solutions we have been working on, but we don't want to bore you with theoretical things.

Short Abstract (Presentation)

for visitors / schedule, max. 450 characters

openZIM provides a free and open ZIM file format and tools - developed for and used to provide offline access to Wikipedia content.

We will give a introduction in openZIM and the ZIM format and then focus on technical issues when dealing with amounts of data like Wikipedia and how we have addressed them. After the talk you know the tools that are available, have got a overview on the file format and the resources to find more details if you plan to implement it by yourself and you know how to start using zimlib in your own application.

Short Abstract (Workshop)

openZIM provides a free and open ZIM file format and tools - developed for and used to provide offline access to Wikipedia content.

We will give a introduction in openZIM and the ZIM format and then focus on technical issues when dealing with amounts of data like Wikipedia and how we have addressed them. We also give live coding examples on how to use the zimlib in your own applications.


  • URL:
  • Description: website of the openZIM developer team with documentation, SVN, bugtracker and ZIM file archive


General Information

Project Description

  • English (short): The openZIM project develops a file format and software to store and use Wikipedia articles and other content on offline devices - suitable for handhelds, ebook readers, DVDs or classroom servers.
  • English:
    Our mission is to make Wiki content available offline, with a primary focus on the contents of Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects.
    The core focus of this project is on extracting and encoding of all data from MediaWiki for offline use. With the help of the Wikimedia Foundation we are working together to create a regular process of making ZIM files for the Wikimedia projects.
    When this is successful we would like to add support for other wiki engines so that this can become a ubiquitous file format for offline wiki data. We even believe the file format could be flexible enough to support any kind of web data.
    The general goals we want to achieve are:
    • the file format is the most efficient and works on all platforms, embedded devices and desktop computers
    • the file format is used by all kind of publishers and even outside the Wikimedia community
    • both reader applications and content files are freely interchangeable
    • everyone can implement software for this file format because it is in a open and documented standard
    • there is at least one free implementation which is open source
    • the free implementation can be used easily in other software to make it easy to use the file format without having to implement it
  • German (short): Das openZIM-Projekt entwickelt ein Dateiformat und Programme um Wikipedia-Artikel und andere Daten ausserhalb des Internets zu nutzen - passend für Handheld-Geräte, ebook-Leser oder Schulserver.
  • German:
    Unser Ziel ist es Wiki-Inhalte ausserhalb des Internets verfügbar zu machen, dabei konzentrieren wir uns vorranging auf die Inhalte der Wikipedia und der anderen Wikimedia-Projekte.
    Der Kern des Projektes besteht darin Daten aus MediaWiki zu exportieren und für die offline-Nutzung aufzubereiten. Mit der Hilfe der Wikimedia Foundation arbeiten wir daran einen regelmässigen Prozess zu schaffen um ZIM-Dateien aus den Wikimedia-Projekte zu exportieren.
    Sobald dies abgeschlossen wurde möchten wir auch andere Wiki-Software unterstützen und damit ZIM zum universellen Datenformat für Offline-Wikidaten zu machen. Wir denken dass das Dateiformat flexibel genug ist um jede Art von Internet-Daten zu speichern.
    Unsere allgemeine Ziele sind:
    • ZIM ist das effizienteste Speicherverfahren und funktioniert auf allen Plattformen, embedded Geräten und normalen Computern
    • das Dateiformat wird von allen Herausgebern benutzt, auch ausserhalb der Wikimedia-Gemeinschaft
    • sowohl die Lesesoftware als auch die Inhalte sind beliebig austauschbar
    • jeder kann seine eigene ZIM-Software schreiben, da es sich um einen offenen, dokumentierten Standard handelt
    • es gibt mindestens eine Implementierung als Freie Software
    • die Freie Implementierung can einfach in andere Programme eingebunden werden um das Dateiformat zu nutzen ohne es selbst implementieren zu müssen

Project Community

Development Process

Developer Community Size

  • Germany: 4
  • Europe: 7
  • Worldwide: 9
  • Developers employed by single company: 0

Supporting Institution

Exhibtion at Linuxtag

Last year's participation

  • Did you participate at last year's LinuxTag? yes
  • Feedback on booth size and equipment: we had a small booth together with tntnet, but with two counters and a table shared for both which was perfect and would be great to have the same setup this year again
    the network connection (LAN) was not available at the booth, later we got one cable from another booth causing problems as eg. some exhibitors shut down the booth early on Saturday, cutting us off the net
  • Feedback on booth location: the location was maybe the most quiet area in the hall, directly behind the second entrance where hardly people were around - only a lot of commercial exhibitors
    a bit more inside the halls with more community projects would be nice - eg. Linux4Africa, SkoleLinux,


  • Highlights: new version of the ZIM file format, running smoothly on tiny embedded devices
  • Merchandising: n/a
  • Partner Project(s): tntnet


  • Wanted size: 9 m²
  • Number of Staff: 5
  • Equipment: posters, beamer
  • Advantages for other exhibitors:
  • Required special booth equipment: board to put beamer on

Public Relations

Press Contact

  • Name: Manuel Schneider
  • Address: Scheffelstrasse 1, 79585 Steinen
  • URL:
  • Email:

News during LinuxTag

  • News: n/a