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Wikimedians for offline wikis

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Offline Projects


There have been many efforts to distribute offline snapshots to places with little connectivity, via schoolservers, wikireaders, and pocket-sized servers that run on batteries.

  • We created a static content initiative early on;
  • An offline mailing list has been around for many years;
  • Kiwix has provided a stable toolchain for creating and viewing offline snapshots;
  • At various times (2011-12, 2016-) the WMF has staffed or supported offline teams testing and developing toolchains for translation and article selection, including one simply called "Offline".
  • A number of community grants from WMFR, WMDE, WMF and other foundations have supported offline deployments and focused translations for that purpose.
  • Other chapters (like WMIT) have variously supported offline initiatives, including Kiwix and PediaPress, for about a decade.

This user group is a shared community for people using the mailing list and developing any of these related initiatives!

Objectives of the UserGroup[edit]

+ Consolidate and support offline snapshots of wiki knowledge, and deployments of them in schools, clinics, and rural communities.
+ Update and maintain the offline projects portal here on Meta.
+ Advocate for better distribution of and awareness of offline wikis, in all parts of the world where internet access is restricted, expensive, or unavailable: including schools, clinics, prisons, refugee camps, disaster areas.


  • Development of offline distributions with Kiwix
  • Support for editors compiling modern snapshots of wikipedia, such as WP 1.0
  • Offline distributions to rural clinics, schools, and libraries
  • Offline editing with WikiFundi including deployment in at least one community telecoms network (in South Africa)
  • Educational projects using WikiFundi, such as WikiChallenge African Schools (since 2018)
  • Development of synchronizing solutions
  • Past events: 2017 offline hackathon in NY
  • Future events: Offline meetup @ Wikimania, Kiwix hackathon



In 2017, a retreat for offline-wiki developers, users, and deployers was organized by Martin Walker at Potsdam University. In addition, Kiwix has organized hackathons for their toolchain and related use cases for many years.

This group was formed at the WMCON in 2018, by implementers in different countries who found one another and realized that we were not coordinating efforts as well as we might -- and did not know the current status of many important offline projects, as these were not gathered in a single place.

In 2019, the group organized a Summit prior to WikiCon North America.

Contact information[edit]

  • sj <at> laptop.org
  • fdevouard <at> anthere.org

Current membership[edit]

Anyone interested in offline wiki use can join this group by adding their name below. We will send you sporadic updates.