Working with ePUB File Type in Ubuntu

What is an ePUB File?

ePUB (short for electronic publication) is a free and open e-book standard by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF). Files have the extension .epub. ePUB is designed for re-flowable content, meaning that an ePUB reader can optimize text for a particular display device. ePUB also supports fixed-layout content. The format is intended as a single format that publishers and conversion houses can use in-house, as well as for distribution and sale. It supersedes the Open eBook standard.

Features of ePUB Extension:
  • Free and open
  • Reflowable (word wrap) and resizable text
  • Inline raster and vector images
  • Embedded metadata
  • DRM support
  • CSS styling
  • Support for alternative renditions in the same file
  • Use of out-of-line and inline XML islands to extend the functionality of ePUB

How to Open ePUB file

The easiest way to open an ePUB file is to double-click on it and let your PC decide which default application should open the file. If no program opens the ePUB file then you probably don't have an application installed that can view and/or edit ePUB files.

EPUB files can also be opened on a computer with various free programs including Calibre,Adobe Digital EditionsStanza DesktopMobipocket Reader DesktopOkular, and many more.

You can use any of the above, but if we see the user friendly behaviour and the ease of use and installation in Linux or Ubuntu in our case, the best alternative is to use: 
   Firefox AddOn: EPUB Reader
Firefox has provided and addon to open the file with EPUB extension called: EPUB Reader. Just find the addon name in firefox and add it to the browser. Current version as of writing the article is: After the installation is complete, just restart the browser and you are done. 

Then got to Firefox - File- Open File and just give the path to the ePUB file and bingo. You should be able to see the contents now.


Other best option is to install the Calibre software for Ubuntu. I hope you are familiar with software installation in Ubuntu. If not then you can read it Here. For installing the software the package manager may ask you to install libraries or other dependent packages, just select them and click on apply as shown in below screenshot. 


After installing the Calibre, when you launch the software , you'll be shown the screen to setup the location for library as shown in below screenshot.

Just Click Next and then proceed till Finish. You can now see the Homepage of the software as shown below. You just have to click on Add Books to add the ePUB file you want to open. After adding the file, double click it and you should be able to see the contents. 

The best feature of Calibre software is the file conversion, where you can convert the ePUB file from any format you like of your choice. Mostly we convert to PDF format as it is the most basic viewer to be found on every system. You have to select the book you want to convert and then Click on Convert Book. Give the required details like Output format( You can choose as per your requirement) and other relevant details and Click on Ok. On the right below corner, the Jobs will show the conversion proceed and after it turns to 0 means the conversion is complete as shown in below screenshot.  

There are many other different , distinct features you can find there. Try them out. Let me know in case you need more information on them. Hope it helps. Enjoy.

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