Offline Documentation Discussion

Hahaha :slight_smile:

Bravo. Impressive indeed and although its not ideal/secure as the markdown solution, it delivers an offline and easy means to share the information.

Can this be further pruned by adding a switch to exclude the /Dev pages and /Deprecated ?

These I would guestimate would have marginal effect on size. The major
source of size would be duplicated contents as well as images.

Not a solution but a summary of the most similar we have for now:

Browsing Whonix ™ Documentation Offline

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fix offline documentation - pdfbook

GitHub - WhonixBOT/whonix-wiki-html: HTML-only copy of the Whonix wiki outdated. Script is broken.

fix whonix-wiki-html backup / fix

This was fixed.

No idea how to fix.

A post was split to a new topic: BlackArch Offline Documentation


Would it be possible to publish a Github site with all of the Whonix documentation for offline viewing? Other privacy oriented projects like QubesOS have all the documentation published this way.

Thank you

Welcome to Whonix forums and thank you for your question!

Yes, that would be very good to have.

The current much less than ideal state of things is summarized in this post:
Offline Documentation Discussion - #73 by Patrick

Technical challenges and limited resources prevent it from being improved. See also discussion in this forum thread. To make it better than that, someone capable needs to help.

wget can be used to download the entire site, correct?

wget not easy. Would need to script it but other tools such as htttrack do this.

New approach.

Offline reader Kiwix (requires ZIM file):

ZIM file creation from mediawiki:

Help welcome!

I heard news that httrack is not developed since 2017. Github has an html version of the wiki already. In what way can that be improved?

Zim files are single files, but it should be noted that the Firefox reader add-on can only search titles for terms, not content.

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I made a functional .zim file using Zimwriterfs[1] and WhonixBOT’s html wiki from Github. Zimwriter requires a png favicon, so I upscaled the Whonix website favicon. HTML wiki is 144MB as a zip, 254 MB uncompressed. The Zim file is 65 MB. I can upload the file if requested.

edit: problem with in-page TOC links (firefox doesn’t know where to find it) but links across different pages works.
[1] Index of /release/zimwriterfs/


How does zimmer fare? Is it easy to set up?

To anyone… How is whonix-wiki-html? Useful? Any limitations?

As far as I understand Build your ZIM file - openZIM one can go

website → HTML dump → ZIM file

Or directly

website → ZIM file

Why not go for the ZIM file? Why take the extra step through HTML?

We need a script or at least instructions on how to create the ZIM file.

Would MWoffliner produce better results?

Zimwriterfs is simple to use, the interface for the viewer is simple too. It uses a start page and has a search function, but only for page titles. Good for kiosk applications.

There are different options for viewers/servers, but I use the extension for Firefox. Some features are crippled (e.g. service workers) so viewing active content is not possible with this browser. Some files error when following links between articles, not sure if that is the extension or the html of the source at fault.

I love it! Browsing complete html is so much better than markdown. Limitation: I remember one or two “link not found” hyperlinks that should have been. That’s a common issue for mirrored websites, though.

No load on Whonix servers and I am comfortable with using the HTML dumps.

Sadly, I don’t know how to script.

$ /.zimwriterfs

Usage: zimwriterfs [mandatory arguments] [optional arguments] HTML_DIRECTORY ZIM_FILE

$ ./zimwriterfs --welcome=Documentation.html --favicon=favicon.png --language=eng -title=‘The Whonix Wiki’ --description=‘A crash course in anonymity and security on the Internet’ --creator=‘Whonix Project’ --publisher=daniel.d whonix-wiki Whonix_Wiki.zim


I’ve been polishing whonix-wiki-html.

  • removing duplicate contents (pages that where renamed where the old page now is only a redirect)
  • removed contents deleted (such as previously never finished translations)
  • make git history quieter (by not updating the html files every day with a new fetch timestamp even though the wiki page remained unchanged)

The issue is introduced with whonix-wiki-html. I was fixing some broken link issues too. Let’s see if this would be fixed then. Will post when the update is available.

If whonix-wiki-html by itself is useful…

  • Do we really still need Kiwix?
  • Do we really still need ZIM files?

Any compelling advantages?

Now documented how one can already use whonix-wiki-html:

While imperfect, we now have a functional implementation of offline documentation for all users.

Keep the docs as they are, and forget about Kiwix. The advantage I expected was from an alternative distribution channel to raise awareness. If everything stays first-party that advantage does not exist.


Now online.

When clicking on images, this is currently broken.

Such as for example when visiting Tor Browser Essentials and clicking on an image on the online version the File: link would pop up. I.e. would show File:Tor browser how tor works.png - Whonix

These links / files are currently excluded in whonix-wiki-html. Technically it would probably be easily possible to include these files as well. Would that be worth it?

Size of whonix-wiki-html might increase. I didn’t test how much yet. If we were to use compression (such as in case if we were to pre-install offline documentation inside Whonix-Workstaiton) the difference in disk space use may or may not be negligible. Needs to be tested.