Ade Malsasa Akbar contact
Senior author, Open Source enthusiast.
Sunday, May 19, 2024 at 18:33

This tutorial will help you to read digital books in format known as Compiled HTML or CHM on Ubuntu 24.04 "Noble Numbat". We write this mainly as an alternative and solution to the absence of useful and beneficial Islamic Al Qur'an and Al Hadith viewers free software like Zekr and Elforkane on Ubuntu because the books themselves are still available in CHM formats. However, this can be applied to any other books too as long as they are CHMs. Now get ready to study and happy reading!


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1. Prepare a CHM file

Firstly, do you have a CHM book? If you don't, you can get some free books for example at Internet Archive

2. Find The Application

Then you will need to install an application known as "CHM viewer" as Ubuntu does not come preinstalled with one. Run Terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and press Enter after typing command line below:

Command line: $ apt-cache search chm viewer

Sample output

kchmviewer - CHM viewer for KDE
xchm - Compiled HTML Help (CHM) file viewer for X

Meaning: On Ubuntu 24.04, at least there are two applications to read CHM books kchmviewer and xchm (notice they are written in lowercase) you may pick any one you wish. We will pick the latter one.

2. Install it

Then you need to install it by doing this command line:

For KCHMViewer: $ sudo apt-get install kchmviewer

For XChm: $ sudo apt-get install xchm  

Once installed, you will find the application on the applications menu. 

3. Read a CHM book

Once a CHM viewer installed, in this example xCHM, you can open up application menu then run the application xCHM. To read a book: click File -> Open -> navigate to directory where you stored CHM files -> pick one -> Open -> book opened. For example, here we open Islamic Al Qur'an and Al Hadith both with Indonesian translations using xCHM.

4. Bookmarking and Finding

In xCHM, unfortunately you cannot search whole book like you normally can in today's book reading applications. However, you can only do Find feature (top panel) within each page but there is Bookmarks feature (bottom-left) to help you organize your finding. 

To find a word or phrase in a page, first open a page -> click Find -> type a word -> click Find Next -> if that word exists in that page, computer will highlight it and you will see it -> if it does not exist, then no response will you see.

To bookmark a page, first open a page -> see bottom-left corner under Bookmarks -> click Add -> bookmark aded.

To access bookmarked pages, click under Bookmarks and pick one Bookmark and the page will open. 


Now your path of studying and learning CHM books has been opened. Happy reading!


See Also


This article is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.