Installing Xowa Wikis



If you have any questions about this page or if you find any errors, please write a message to the support wall and a Labdoo volunteer will help resolve it. Thank you for helping to improve our wiki pages.

Over 800 offline wikis are available via Xowa tool. This allows children to read in wikis even when they do not have internet access. We install a Wikipedia suitable for children called Wikidoo.
In the Labdoo images, Wikidoo and Xowa are already included with 4 wikis (Simple English), otherwise, it can be installed by script, see a href="../content/installing-education-packages-using-scripts".

Path to Xowa: /home/labdoo/Public/xowa
Path of the Xowa Wikis: /home/labdoo/Public/xowa/wiki

To start Xowa there is already a Xowa starter (Xowa icon) on the desktop, which can be started by double-clicking.
If you need more wikis, you can download them from our FTP server or from Xowa itself:

Download a wiki as a zipped file from the Labdoo FTP server

Please check first if the required Xowa wiki bundle is available as a tar.gz file on our FTP server If not, send an email to and we will try to prepare and upload the Xowa wiki bundle you need.

Once you download the zipped "tar.gz" file from the FTP server above, please unzip it into the folder ~/home/labdoo/Public/xowa/wiki. Finally, the script is executed (by double-clicking; this gives all users access to the contents in the /Public folder).

Alternatively, if you want to download and install XOWA by yourself, there are 2 ways:

  • Version 1: text only, no graphics or pictures (please pay attention to the size of the wiki in the table, can range from 100 KB to 40 GB); images can be installed for a wiki version 1 via Import Offline (see below).
  • Version 2: includes version 1 plus linked pictures and graphics (recommended, as it is more user-friendly and informative, although it needs more disk space)

After you have installed Xowa, you can start it by double clicking on the Xowa starter icon that you will find in the laptop desktop.
There are 2 ways to download Wiki. To do so, start Xowa and scroll down to "Links" on the main page of the program:

  • Import Online (corresponds to version 1): Start Xowa → scroll down to links → Import Online → scroll down to the wiki list → search for the English name of the language → in column set up click on the link download → download starts, may take hours depending on wiki size → last delete the folder /dump in /home/labdoo/Public/xowa/wiki.
  • Import Offline (supports versions 1 and 2): This is the recommended method. We recommend to download by the script → scroll down to links → Import Offline → select the desired wiki and language → Category system: version 2 → Import: click on Generate script → repeat → until the script is complete, then click on "Run script".

    Be careful! Not every wiki is available in every language, often Wikivoyage is missing. If you click on a non-existent wiki during offline import, a script will be created, but it will crash during execution. So please check if the Wiki exists. Here is a trick: Open 2 tabs (file → New Tab); with one you go to the online import table, with the other to the offline import page. In the online page, you can search for the language and wikis by clicking Edit →. This way you can quickly see if a specific wiki exists.

Matching wikis to Xowa
The Xowa wikis can only be used with the same Xowa version that was used to download them. Labdoo updates Xowa version every 6 months (at the beginning and middle of the year) to minimize the work of keeping wikis up-to-date.

So if you download new wikis at home and want to take a USB stick to an Edoovillage, make sure you do this process with the same Xowa version that was installed in the laptops deployed at that Edoovillage.

Clean up:
After importing, there is a subfolder /dump in the folder /xowa/wiki. This trash contains downloaded wikis to delete after the installation because they only block space unnecessarily.

Rights of the Xowa folders
Initially, only the default user 'Labdoo' can access the post-installed Xowa wikis. To ensure that the user student also has read rights, the script is located on the desktop. Please execute this script every time you have installed the learning content.
To do this, execute the script in the terminal or the quick version (works with this script): right mouse click on → Open with / Open with → Xterm (if Xterm is not offered → Open with / Open with → system tool → Xterm). The script starts without further input, runs for about 1 - 5 minutes, depending on the computer, and closes automatically.

English wikis:
If the hard disk (HDD) is not large, but you still want to upload as many English Wikis as possible, go to (That's why the children have the Wikipedia Wikidoo filtered for children). The other English wikis together take up to10 GB, while en.wikipedia alone needs about 30 GB!

Especially for hubs in the DACH region:
On request, ready Xowa wikis for frequently used languages are available in zipped form on the FTP server.
Download zipped wiki → unpack it and move it into the folder /home/labdoo/Public/xowa/wiki → Set the rights of the Xowa folder correctly on the desktop using the script →.sh (see above)
Have a look at h (in it you may find subfolders for the respective Xowa version) Maybe your language is already included. If not, send an email to

A Xowa version for Android mobile phones and tablet PCs is in the works. This will enable us to provide children with wikis on mobile devices in the future.

Download Xowa (for experts only)
from the FTP server: (but it is strongly recommended to use this installation script
Xowa Sourceforge:


Continue reading to the next page:
BOKS- Community Development Lessons

Go back to read the previous page:
What scripts can NOT do