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Tutorial: How to store and view Wikipedia offline

page: 1

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posted on Nov, 1 2009 @ 01:12 PM
Overview and scope
I know some people are probably wondering how to download all of Wikipedia so I provide this detailed tutorial on how I went about it this weekend. I know I know the Internet is never going down. There is no electricity when the SHTF etc etc. Please do not use this thread for saying it is useless because even in regular day-to-day life your ISP might cut your internet connection for a few hours and you can use this offline version to find something you might need.

NOTE: I don't encourage downloading the wikipedia dump from their official website as this will unnecessarily burden their servers and waste their bandwidth. I will show another method. We will not download the images as this would amount to hundred of Terabytes!!!

Open source software we will use:
- Aard Dictionary (
- uTorrent (

STEP1. To view wikipedia offline we need a reader and the best I found is Aard Dictionary. Aard is a multiplatform dictionary and wikipedia reader. Go to their website and download the software. Choose Save as... instead of Open because we will need the installation file. Windows version:

STEP2. Install the software on your computer.

STEP3. Now we need to get the wikipedia data. To do that we will use P2P (peer2peer sharing) software. A good program for downloading torrents is called uTorrent. Download the windows version

As far as I know there is no virus/spyware: it is a popular free program that is open source.

STEP 4. Install uTorrent. It might ask you to close your browser this is normal (Bookmark this page!).

STEP 5. Once it is installed start your browser and go back to Aard Dictionary homepage. On the left-hand side you will see wikipedia data in different languages. Obviously the most complete version is English. This is a 7GB download so it might take a day or two. In my case it downloaded in 2 days. Click on English and choose "open with" and find the location where you installed uTorrent. Open that .torrent file with uTorrent. In the dialog box choose where you want the wikipedia dump to be saved. And.. that's right wait a couple of days before coming back here. Unfortunately it takes a while but you can download another language from the Aard website that will download very fast and you can try the rest of this tutorial.

STEP 6. Once you have the .aar file(s) downloaded open Aard Dictionary and choose Dictionary/Open. Select a .aar file and search something in the search box. The results should appear like so:

STEP 7. Buy an external storage disk of at least 10GB. Solid state disks (SSD) are most sturdy because they don't have moving parts but they are very expensive. If you have a couple of old usb keys that in total have around 10Gb then you can use them instead. I will explain what to do in case you decide to go this route in step 8, else skip to step 9.

posted on Nov, 1 2009 @ 01:12 PM

STEP 8. Because the .aar files are so large you can split them using an utility called HJSplit and store them on usb key or multiple CDs. Then when we want to use an aar file we can recombine those chunks. Download and install HJSplit. Save the installation file we will need it. Fire up the program and choose SPLIT. Select the size of each chunk (depending on how much you can store in one usb/CD). Make sure you select MB not KB-sized chunks! Save your split files onto your usb/CD. Store the installation file of HJSplit on one of the usb keys or CDs (so you can recombine the files when the SHTF, duh!).

STEP 9. If you come from step 7, save your .aar file(s) on the external storage device. Once you have wikipedia on some sort of medium, be it usb, disk or CD/DVD, save the installation file of Aard that you have kept from step 1 as well on your backup device. This will allows to install Aard reader on other computers. That's it you're done

Please ask questions and share this thread. I can also show a neat way of downloading any site for 100% offline use. If you're interested let me know and I will post this method as well.

posted on Nov, 1 2009 @ 01:22 PM
Thanks a ton, this is very interesting.



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