Wikipedia without Internet

Access Wikipedia offline

WMCH supports actively two software projects which provide solutions to  make Web located content available for offline usages. The free software  projects openZIM and Kiwix were launched a few years ago by individuals  and thank to the early support of WMCH they are know world wide well  known and promoted. They are now supported by many other chapters, the  WMF and others international NGOs.

  The openZIM project has two different targets:

 * the ZIM file format, an open, standardized file format to store Web  content efficiently for offline usage ;

 * an open source reference implementation of the ZIM file format  consisting of the zimlib and divers tools.

 OpenZIM does not provide end-user solutions but is an important part of  the software stack necessary to do that. Both, format and reference  implementation, are now recognized as the most efficient solution for  offline. More informations at

  The Kiwix project develop the offline reader with the same name. With  Kiwix, you may enjoy all the Wikipedia content everywhere: in the middle  of the desert, on the north Pole, in the airplane. Using the ZIM  technologie, Kiwix offers also many handful features like full text  search engine, content manager, bookmarks manager, etc. Kiwix is a free  software available for Windows, OSX and GNU/Linux. More informations at


KIWIX in Jail

In early 2013, an unexpected partnership between the swiss prison of Bellevue and Wikimedia CH has been created:

Since March 2013, prisoners who request can have an access to Wikipedia offline. The idea is to stimulate or to support the interest for education of prisoners who were, for a large majority, condemned to long-time sentences. 

After three months of pilot phasis, the project is successful: Among the 36 prisoners of the Bellevue’s prison in Gorgier, 18 possess or rent a computer. All of them requested the upload of Wikipedia offline on their PC. For security reasons, swiss prisoners have a very restricted access to internet. 

The feed-backs are unanimously positive: they reveal that Wikipedia is seen as an improvement of the education and/or information activities in jail. 

The follow-up of the project aims to use Wikipedia in the training program of the prisoners: use of Wikipedia in the classes, organization of general culture contests, even train new Wikipedia editors. The goal is also to extend the project to other swiss prisons and to detention centers for minors. 

The partnership between Wikimedia CH and the direction of the prison aims to be durable: Wikimedia CH installed the Kiwix files and trained the IT team of the prison, who can now upload the software for every new prisoner who requests.