Monday, January 17, 2011

Wikipedia for Schools project

Inviting one and all to a very ambitious project : Wikipedia for Schools - the Indian leg


I've created a WIKI page for this grassroots movement - all info on that now, in a much less confusing form!


Let me just quickly put in the essentials here...

Welcome to

You can download and install separately kiwix and the huge .zim file from here, or take the torrent for the whole thing. It is recommended that you take the torrent.

Direct link for torrent file
The magnet URL for the torrent is: magnet:?xt=urn:btih:MY657CRWERM4QHKMIVQXW6Q3SPZLQELA
Alternate direct download:
(Using Opera Unite, this is a direct bridge to my computer)

In case it's not working, please contact yours truly here or on twitter or facebook,  or anyone else in the seeders community that is going to be formed once this gets out.

Background : On the 10th Anniversary of Wikipedia on 15th Jan 2011, at an event held in VJTI, Mumbai, one of the big goals stated was to take the offline version of wikipedia for schools ( to all the computers across the nation that kids use but that don't have internet connection. One of the wikipedians happened to have it on his portable HDD! There was immense interest expressed by everyone gathered and we all made a committment to share this and spread it as far and wide as possible. This is the first step towards that.

Aim :
Many schools and computers in childrens' homes across the country don't have internet connection. So our aim is to copy this encyclopedia - wikipedia for schools - to each and every one of those computers, so all the kids have a chance to tap into the number 1 knowledge resource of the world!

If you're going the torrent way:
1. Download the .torrent file and open it in your torrent sofwtware. Start downloading.
2. Read the READ ME FIRST  text file in the folder that you download.

If you're going the other way:
1. Download the kiwix software, either from here or check out

2. Download the huge wikipedia for schools .ZIM file. There's a folder for it here and it's got the file split into parts of 100 MB each. They simply have to be joined together once you've downloaded them all. See the README file in there for instructions. (Note: They're still getting upload as this is being written, so you might not find them there immediately)

3. Copied instructions from the torrent here on.. it's the same:

4. Run / double-click on kiwix.exe (the executable with the black kiwi icon)

5. From the top menubar, click File > Open

6. Locate the .zim file you want to use, press Open / Ok.

7. Now you will probably see a popup asking you : "Do you want to index your ZIM file now?" -- press OK.

8. This indexing is a 1-time activity that may take some time. You'll see the progress on the bottom right. May take 10 mins or more. It is necessary to complete for you to be able to search for articles.

9. Meanwhile, you can click-browse through the encyclopedia while you're waiting for indexing to finish. In case you by mistake cancelled it, you can open it again and will be asked again..

10. Once indexing is done, it's ready! Now next time you run Kiwix, you'll get the last opened .zim file already opened and ready for searching.

Thanks for showing interest in this project!
Let me / us know if you're facing any problems!


Kelson said...

You may also download a pre-indexed version of the ZIM directly bundled with the Kiwix software, an installer for Windows, autorun and DVD launcher here:

Nikhil Sheth said...

Hi Kelson,
Thanks a ton!
I'm downloading it, then will split it and host on the mirror site!
A single 2GB+ download is unfeasible for many people, so we need an alternative that's split to smaller parts.
Has anyone started a torrent for this one?
I've set up a wiki page that will serve as the focal point for this project - please visit:

Kelson said...

I Nikhil.

There are no torrent made by me for this file and other ZIM files. But I'm a big supporter of P2P in general and Bittorrent especially.

Kiwix 1.0 will be released full with P2P technologies to download and share new content and I'm starting to test/deploy solution to allow that.

I setup a solution based on mirrorbrain which massively uses metalink, mirrors, bittorent and magnet.

I search currently a first mirror to start the staging phase. Requirement are around 100GB and a rsync account. Would be great to have such a mirror in India ;)

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