The best CHM Viewer in Ubuntu Linux

What is CHM ?

Let’s have a look at Wikipedia:

Microsoft Compiled HTML Help is a proprietary format for online help files, developed by Microsoft and first released in 1997 as a successor to the Microsoft WinHelp format. It was first introduced with the release of Windows 98, and is still supported and distributed through Windows XP and Vista platforms.

“.chm” is one kind of headache for Linux users so let’s find the best useful CHM viewer for Ubuntu/Linux. I have some great eBooks but in CHM format, so I have been always finding a good and useful CHM Viewer for my system.

My requirements of a CHM Viewer program include:

  • Be able to read .chm file (of course)
  • Good looking
  • Support non-English language
  • Still under development since by time new Ubuntu version releases, so it may have some bugs when we upgrades our systems.

Let’s go to Applications, Ubuntu Software Center and type chm you could see there are 5 available CHM viewer  apps in Ubuntu server:

They are all active projects, but I did have a look at all features and tried all but only KchmViewer can satisfy  me. Let’s have a look at its features

Kchmviewer is a free, open-source chm (MS HTML help file format) viewer written in C++ for Unix, Mac and Windows systems. Unlike most existing CHM viewers for Unix, it uses Trolltech Qt widget library, and could optionally be compiled for better KDE integration. It does not require KDE, but may be compiled with full KDE support, including KDE widgets and KIO/KHTML.

The main advantage of kchmviewer is the best support for non-English languages. Unlike other viewers, kchmviewer in most cases is able to correctly detect the chm file encoding and show it. It correctly shows the index and table of context in Russian, Spanish, Romanian, Korean, Chinese and Arabic help files, and with new search engine is able to search in any chm file no matter what language it is written.

kchmviewer is written by George Yunaev (see the contacts page for details), and is licensed under GNU GPL license. It uses chmlib, and some ideas and code from xchm.

You can have a look at here in more detail. I can give you some reasons why I love this app more than others:

  • Written by using QT Library which is the best cross-platform library. You will feel that each button and edges are very smooth and clean.
  • Support non-English languages
  • Can view .chm files in tabs. I am always tired of managing a lot of opened files in desktop, so this feature helps me a lot then 🙂

The best CHM Viewer for Ubuntu

How to install KChmViewer

Just open Terminal:

sudo aptitude install kchmviewer

and type your super user password, and enjoy the program by going to Applications >> Office

{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Prodis a.k.a. Fernando Hamasaki de Amorim April 20, 2010, 6:49 pm

    Installing KChmViewer via sudo aptitude install kchmviewer didn’t work for me.
    I am running on Ubuntu 9.10 – the Karmic Koala – released in October 2009.

    I have used sudo apt-get install kchmviewer instead of and it worked.

    Thank you for information.

    • admin April 20, 2010, 10:51 pm

      I am running Ubuntu 9.10 as well and can use aptitude to install kchmviewer, but of course you can use sudo apt-get install kchmviewer to install it. However, I think you should have a look at aptitude and figure out why it doesn’t work on your system.

      Best regards,

  • Joe February 16, 2011, 5:51 am

    If you don’t want to install yet another application, you can use a firefox plugin.

    It works great for me! Cheers.

    • mak March 6, 2011, 7:03 pm

      @Joe, too cool bro. firefox wins again 🙂

      • qbantu June 21, 2012, 6:51 am

        Other methods didnt work with Ubuntu Ver 10.10, but Firefox and the simplicity of the installation did it!!
        Cheers 😀

    • Mike June 26, 2012, 9:08 pm

      But then again, why would I want to bloat my firefox with yet another plugin? 😀
      In my opinion a application that is not loaded into ram while it’s not needed is better. But then again I’ve most of my .chm from offline sources 🙂

  • Anderson de Lima May 23, 2011, 7:47 pm

    Thank you, man. KchmViewer is really good. I got it by typing sudo apt-get install kchmviewer.

  • Andrea October 6, 2011, 11:27 pm

    Thanks! The previous software I was using did not let me search through the text. KchmViewer is really fine!

  • vn151502510 November 29, 2012, 10:08 am

    I’m not sure, but my lubuntu require 66MB to install Kchmviewer when xChm just need few MB, maybe because of dependencies. I think xChm is good enough.


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