How to view CHM files in Ubuntu?

17 Answers 17


xChm Viewer Install xchm

Install the xChm Viewer for viewing CHM files:

sudo apt-get install xchm

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  • The search function doesn't work for me.
    – user643722
    Mar 29, 2018 at 10:29
  • It seems xchm doesn't support multi-bytes characters. I encountered an error when open a .chm document which contains multi-bytes characters: ../src/common/unichar.cpp(65): assert "Assert failure" failed in ToHi8bit(): character cannot be converted to single byte Oct 21, 2020 at 8:40

chmsee is no longer available in Ubuntu, as it is no longer being maintained. Here is the announcement on the project site:

Stop maintain

ChmSee is not being developed anymore.

I haven't read CHM documents more than a year, new and update IT books are pdfs or epubs, so it's right time to end this chm viewer.

chmsee Install chmsee

alt text


sudo apt-get install chmsee
apt-cache --names-only search chm

gives several results.

  • 15
    +1 for helping people to find their own answers. But a more verbose answer, explaining the results would be better. Oct 19, 2010 at 8:26
  • +1 for teaching ppl how to fish!
    – user1984
    Apr 23, 2020 at 16:33

kchmViewer Install kchmviewer

The main advantage of kchmviewer is the best support for non-English languages. Unlike other viewers, kchmviewer in most cases is able to correctly detect the chm file encoding and show it. It correctly shows the index and table of context in Russian, Spanish, Romanian, Korean, Chinese and Arabic help files, and with new search engine is able to search in any chm file no matter what language it is written.


  • This worked for me while the others didn't.
    – xji
    Aug 17, 2018 at 10:06

I like the reader that comes with wine! (hh.exe?)

Open hh.exe that comes with wine and browse for your CHM file from it, or supply it as a command line argument:

$ wine /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/wine-development/fakedlls/hh.exe WindowsHalp.chm


Use browser extensions

What could be better than a web-browser to view web-pages?

CHMFox is an excellent CHM file reader. It is much better than all the third party programs that others are suggesting, which are mostly lacking many web-browser capabilities that Firefox and alike have.

I initially suggested the CHM reader extension for Firefox, but it isn't actively maintained anymore.

  • 5
    There is a new firefox add-on called ChmFox 1.2. Supposed to be a replacement for the old CHM reader project. you can find it at addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/chmfox
    – Julio
    Jul 21, 2011 at 20:33
  • Cannot install CHM reader, but ChmFox is good.
    – Stefano
    May 8, 2014 at 7:39
  • Thanks for the recommendation. I have installed the add-on (ChmFox) but firefox doesn't open the file, it just tries to re-download it from the local storage. Would you please suggest what should I do to fix this? May 10, 2017 at 6:12
  • 2
    The link is broken. Currently, there's no CHMFox extension in Firefox Add-ons. I think it has been removed. Jul 17, 2019 at 11:23

As an alternative, since the CHM format is not very popular you can convert it to PDF using chm2pdf:

sudo apt-get install chm2pdf
chm2pdf --webpage your.chm

This will produce a your.pdf file. As an alternative you can use the --book or --continuous options instead of --webpage; more info here http://www.ubuntugeek.com/how-to-convert-chm-files-into-pdf-files-in-ubuntu.html


Also a plugin called CHM Reader exists for Firefox.


In addition to the Firefox extension(s), there's a neat Chrome app called Chumium that does the job.


extract_chmLib does a very good job of converting chm (compiled html) files into htm format. It is in the Ubuntu repository in the package libchm-bin.

extract_chmLib maintains the full functionality of the original.. However, I did need to rename files to lowercase, for one .chm (becaue chm is a Windows format which is not case-sensitive like Linux), but the overall result is ideal for me...

Here are a couple of links...


Calibre is a library manager that can read all sorts of book formats, CHM included.


In Ubuntu Software Center you can do a search for "chm" (no quotes) and find some decent chm viewers.

However, while using them, I'm always missing the scaling features in firefox (to make everything bigger - not just fonts).

Therefore, my favorite CHM viewer is Firefox itself via the ChmFox extension.

sudo apt-get install kchmviewer

This worked for me on Ubuntu 16.04

  • It works on Ubuntu 18.04 as well :)
    – Aminu Kano
    Jan 26, 2019 at 8:20

There are a lot of CHM readers. You can find them in Software Center. Just type chm.


I prefer GnoCHM.

  • 1
    gnochm isn't available in maverick 10.10
    – hhlp
    Oct 19, 2010 at 16:02
  • 1
    why gnochm is any more on Ubuntu repository? Apr 7, 2011 at 10:19

By default ubuntu doesn't provide any chm reader.

If you have installed wine, then by default it provides one package named hh.

  1. Right click on file.
  2. Open with wine
  3. Just select hh as default option it shows and select

Sumatra PDF can display .chm files also. Although, Sumatra PDF is a Windows program, you can just download the "portable version" and run it under Wine.

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