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Is there e-book reader on Ubuntu that read mobi file format?

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up vote 34 down vote accepted

calibre Install calibreInstall via the software center


calibre is a free and open source e-book library management application developed by users of e-books for users of e-books.

Calibre is primarily a ebook cataloging program. It manages your ebook collection for you. It is designed around the concept of the logical book, i.e. a single entry in the database that may correspond to ebooks in several formats. It also upports conversion from a dozen different ebook formats to LRF and EPUB. A graphical interface to the conversion software can be accessed easily by just clicking the "Convert E-books" button.

Supported input formats are: MOBI, AZW, LIT, PRC, EPUB, ODT, HTML, CBR, CBZ, RTF, TXT, PDF and LRS.

Starting calibre's ebook viewer as a standalone application

In certain cases you will not want to add an epub or mobi file to calibre's library before reading it. Luckily calibre's ebook viewer can be started independently via ebook-viewer. This makes it possible to create a standalone launcher:

#!/usr/bin/env xdg-open
[Desktop Entry]
Exec=ebook-viewer %f
Name=Ebook Viewer
Comment=Display .epub files and other e-reader formats

See here for more information on adding launchers to your system.

To click an ebook and open in ebook-viewer, make this application (usr/bin/ebook-viewer) the default for that type of file.

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@cipricus updated the answer – Glutanimate Apr 18 '13 at 11:13
@MHC - thanks, I have also added some info, as I had difficulties making ebook-viewer the default reader - i didn't know its name in fact. ebook-viewer is able to display more elements of the ebook than fbreader. also, latest versions can handle azw/kindle extension. – cipricus Apr 18 '13 at 11:41
i find ebook-viewer very heavy with large files – cipricus Apr 18 '13 at 12:29

Use FBReader, which is available as 'Ebook Reader' in the Software Center (fbreader in Synaptic Manager). Less bulky than calibre.

enter image description here

It can open a variety of ebook types, including 'azw'.

To open ebook on single/double click, the executable file to be added is usr/bin/fbreader.

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Yeah, it installs Django (a web framework) for some reason... – Nitrodist Mar 11 '12 at 2:40
the fact that it installs Django web framework may be related to it being able to search network libraries. fbreader displays slightly fewer elements of an ebook (like cover) than calibre's ebook-viewer, but it is much faster and lighter. (Opening a large and complex mobi file in both these readers, the Task Manger records 377 MiB for Calibre's ebook-viewer and 39 MiB for FBReader.) – cipricus Apr 18 '13 at 12:30

If you install calibre, and you just want to read a mobi file, then you can use the ebook-reader application is that installed as part of the calibre package. To do this:

  • Right click on the mobi file and choose "Open with other application ..."
  • expand the arrow near the bottom that says "Use a custom command"
  • in the text box that appears, type "/usr/bin/ebook-viewer"
  • tick the box that says "Remember this application for "Mobipocket e-book" files
  • click on the "Open" button
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Thanks, that worked for me, but it is /usr/bin/ebook-viewer (on Calibre 0.6.42 on ubuntu 10.0.4, at least) – Darren Cook Oct 1 '12 at 7:05
@DarrenCook: thanks for that catch - fixed the answer – Hamish Downer Oct 1 '12 at 12:13

Another option is Okular.

You also need the kdegraphics-mobipocket package.

sudo apt-get install okular kdegraphics-mobipocket
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Sorry yes, accidentally left -s in the apt-get command. Fixed. – gacrux Aug 18 '13 at 23:58
This seems to be neat. Okular is the best PDF viewer out there and to reuse it for multiple purposes is good. – JI Xiang Jan 27 at 11:20

In Calibre:

Click on the view button (looks like an hourglass)...

The ebook viewer will open up a separate window...

Click on the the open ebook button...

You will be given a screen that asks you what file you want to open...

Choose your .mobi file and it will open in ebook viewer.

Note: I couldn't make any other option work for me and I stumbled on this method by mistake. Soooo easy and the ebook reader is better than any other Ubuntu reader.

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Couldn't follow these instructions in 12.04 – NikolaiDante Aug 29 '12 at 7:05
You propably meant magnifying glass. – Alfred M. Nov 14 '12 at 19:20

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