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What software can I use to view .epub documents?

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possible duplicate of: Ebook Reader Software – BuZZ-dEE Oct 26 '12 at 12:21
up vote 124 down vote accepted

You can use calibre software for viewing .epub documents.

To install calibre from terminal:

sudo apt-get install calibre

Or click the icon below.

calibre Install calibre

If you don't want to launch the full calibre client just to view your ebook files you can add a .desktop launcher to calibre's inbuilt ebook viewer:

  1. Create a new .desktop file in ~/.local/share/applications:

    gedit ~/.local/share/applications/calibre-ebook-viewer.desktop
  2. Copy and paste the following passage into the file:

    #!/usr/bin/env xdg-open
    [Desktop Entry]
    Name=Calibre Ebook Viewer
    Comment=Display .epub files and other ebook formats
  3. Save the file. You should now be able to launch Calibre's inbuilt ebook viewer both from the dash and through the right click "Open with" menu.

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calibre is amazing. You can import just about any format and convert it to just about any other. Great for downloading magazines, viewing books, and pushing to your favorite ebook reader. – csgeek Nov 22 '10 at 15:07
Yes, well, providing it outputs properly. Tried doing an ePub to RTF translation the other day (I am a huge fan of Gentium Book Basic, so I try to retypeset all my books) and had OO complain the file was corrupt. – Samizdata Nov 24 '10 at 12:33
Today got my first epub file. Did not know this format existed. – Luis Alvarado Mar 1 '12 at 12:49
Calibre is great for managing epub books, for syncing them to your ereader (and much better than the Sony software), but in my experience the built in reader is slow. The firefox addon mentioned in the other answer works a lot better. – SPRBRN Apr 4 '14 at 15:00
The icon doesn't display in 14.04. Everything else works fine (.epub opens by default with Calibre's ebook viewer, and there's an entry in dash). The only problem is that it doesn't have an icon in dash nor in Open With ... Can you fix this icon issue? Thanks. – becko Oct 20 '14 at 14:01

I recommend fbreader. Small, fast, single key page turning. Quite pleasant.

Use the command line to install FBreader:-

sudo apt-get install fbreader

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Decent app, a bit buggy, but it works. – HDave Aug 19 '12 at 15:26
Opens for me epub documents that "calibre" couldn't. $ sudo apt-get install fbreader – leticia Oct 12 '13 at 1:32
Although whomever decided to call the fbreader executable FBReader deserves to be shot. – g33kz0r Apr 5 at 22:38

Another useful option, try this in Firefox;, a fairly good extension for the Firefox web browser that lets you read .epubs from the browser, especially good since on Ubuntu you are likely to be using Firefox and it is usually kept open when you are using your computer.

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Super! Fast and I like the fact that it's just another tab in the browser. – SPRBRN Apr 4 '14 at 14:57
It have to be mentioned that, unlike any other alternative on this page, that extension is non-free. – Dmitry Alexandrov Oct 6 '15 at 22:03

I prefer Okular, a document viewer made for KDE. It has features including bookmarks and highlighting.

It's available in the main ubuntu repository and can be installed on a plain vanilla Ubuntu installation; kubuntu is not required.

To be able open epubs with okular, you must also install the okular-extra-backends package.

    sudo apt-get install okular okular-extra-backends 
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Coolreader 3 one or two pages, bookmarks, memory last reading pages, settings background, fonts, fonts color. Settings avilable only for root, but save for user. PPA

Editor fb2

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lucidor at does a decent job. I completely removed calibre from my system because it doesn't let me leave the books in my own directory structure. (Then spent hours moving the thousands of books into a directory structure I like by hand.) I couldn't find coolreader to try. Okular I like but the extensions did not work on epub for me. fbreader works but you have to open it up first and then the book whereas lucidor you can right click from the file manager to associate epubs to lucidor.

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Unfortunately, it looks like the website is dead. – balu Jul 21 at 5:43
Seems like source code and Debian packages are nowhere to be found anymore (except for this older version here which I can't guarantee can be trusted). There is a Firefox plugin, though, called "Lucifox". – balu Jul 21 at 5:55

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