As one does when it appears the world might end, you might want to be able to have a copy of the world’s knowledge in your pocket. You might also want to share that knowledge with anyone within earshot of you so that you might all learn together. My solution to this was to build a Wikipedia-in-a-box as it were. After learning about the various forms wikipedia dumps can take, how large they are, which ones are missing illustrations and images, and what it takes to actually make the dump browsable up, I settled on using Kiwix which uses the ZIM file format.

I set off to build the easiest and lowest power setup I could using a Raspberry Pi 0w and a 128 gigabyte SD card. The entire english wikipedia dump from October 2018 weighs just under 80 gigabytes. You can find a direct link to the ZIM file with all articles and images that you can use with Kiwix here or check here for smaller versions with fewer articles, no images, or other languages entirely.

To use with a kindle for the ultimate low power wikipedia usage you’ll need to disable rejecting wifi access points that do not have an internet connection. You can do this by plugging your kindle in to your computer and creating a file named WIFI_NO_NET_PROBE with no contents at the root of the storage device your kindle shows up as. Unplug your kindle and you should now be able to connect to the Kiwix raspberry pi hotspot even though it doesn’t have internet access.

The pre-made image I have made available for download contains all of Wikipedia in English including illustrations and most images. It also contains Wikifundi allowing you to edit and create new articles as well.

You can create your own hotspot images using the tools provided at https://www.kiwix.org/en/documentation/how-to-set-up-kiwix-hotspot/ or pay a few bucks to donate to the project and have them build your image for you using their Cardshop which is what I did considering I didn’t want to build my own hotspot from scratch and their macOS tool is not currently working.


SSID: Offline Wikipedia

Hostname: offline-wikipedia.hotspot

Credentials

Username: pi

Password: raspberry