The Problem

Can I make nautilus show thumbnails of book covers for files in .epub format?

It shows thumbnails for pdf files but not .epub. Is this achievable by adding a thumbnailer?

Each of these .epub files has a cover.jpeg file inside it.


Example Epub file (Google Drive)

  • 1
    Yeah, I overlooked it :) Could you add a link to an epub file? I don't have any to check on. May 1, 2017 at 10:24
  • 1
    Got it! not sure if I can try today, but I definitely will :) May 1, 2017 at 10:31
  • 1
    Hi Sumeet I am so sorry for the delay, kind of in a time shortage, I can only spend a few minutes per day atm. Will get back though. May 4, 2017 at 14:00
  • 1
    A better approach would be to edit your question and include the "update" as though you had written it this way from the beginning. As it stands, it really isn't very clear which is why @Rinzwind suggested you post an answer: presumably, he thought the script did work at least partially. So, just rewrite this so that i) you state the problem and ii) the solution you have so far and iii) exactly what more you need. How does it work and how does it fail?
    – terdon
    May 8, 2017 at 15:41
  • 1
    There's no need to re-invent the wheel here. This has been done. See here
    – Elder Geek
    May 8, 2017 at 20:48

2 Answers 2


No need to worry about scripts. do everything one by one

 sudo apt-get install python-pil

Now download this file from epub-thumbnailer GitHub page

now extract that file to a folder, and go into the extracted folder, Right click in empty space and select Open in Terminal and type the following command

sudo python install.py install
nautilus -q

now check your Epub files they should have thumbnails

  • well I already did it with the help of Elder Geek in comments but thanks for the answer anyway. procedure was pretty much the same May 16, 2017 at 9:56
  • Thx. Got it working on ubuntu 18 by installing: sudo apt-get install python-pil
    – Osolong
    Nov 22, 2018 at 16:30

It works like a charm in Ubuntu 22.04.01

$ lsb_release -a 
No LSB modules are available.
Distributor ID: Ubuntu
Description:    Ubuntu 22.04.1 LTS
Release:    22.04
Codename:   jammy

$ python --version
Python 3.10.4

Step by step instructions

  1. Clone the epub-thumbnailer projectgit clone https://github.com/marianosimone/epub-thumbnailer.git
  2. Change directory cd epub-thumbnailer/
  3. Install Pillow pip install Pillow
  4. Install epub-thumbnailer sudo python3 install.py install
Checking dependencies ...

Required dependencies:
    Python Imaging Library .......

Installing epub-thumbnailer to /usr/bin/ ...
Installing thumbnailer hook in /usr/share/thumbnailers ...
You might have to restart your file manager for the thumbnailer to be activated.
  1. Clear the cache rm -rf ~/.cache/thumbnails
  2. Restart your file manager
  3. Done!

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