Brief: If you are fond of reading comic books on your desktop, you can use these comic book viewers for Linux.
I used to be a huge fan of comic books. You might have grown reading Batman, Superman, X-Men etc, but I spent my childhood and teenage on regular doses of Dhruva, Nagraj and Doga (Indian superheroes). While I no longer read comic books, I do stumble upon some old comics here and there.
These comics are usually created in specific file formats and sometimes cannot be viewed in the default document viewer. This is where we need a dedicated application to read comics on Linux.
In this article, I’ll list some of the options available for reading comic books on Linux.
Best comic book viewers for Linux
Before we see the comics viewers for Linux, I would like to mention that I am deliberately not including Comix and Calibre in this list.
Comix is available in almost all the major Linux distribution repository, however, this application has not been updated for last 8 years.
I would also like to add that some document readers such as Okular, Evince (Document Viewer in Ubuntu) etc are capable of opening a regular comic book. But dedicated comic book readers provide additional functionalities that add to the joy of reading comics on Linux.
Let’s see what applications you can use in Linux to view comic books.
MComix is a user-friendly and customizable image viewer. Though it is specifically designed to handle comic books (both Western comics and Manga) and supports a variety of file formats such as CBR, CBZ, CB7, CBT, LHA and PDF.
MComix is actually a fork of the Comix project with the aim to provide bug fixes and stability improvements on top of Comix. Some of the main features are:
- Along with most common image formats used for comic books it also reads PDF, ZIP, RAR, 7Z and LHA archives directly.
- Multiple viewing modes: full-screen mode, double-page mode, fit image to window width, height or both.
- Smart scrolling for easier reading (just hit the space bar a few times and see how it works)
- Manga mode for right-to-left comic books
- Bookmark pages and add books to the library
In Ubuntu, Linux Mint and other Ubuntu-based Linux distributions, you can use the command below to install it:
sudo apt install mcomix
You can get more information on its homepage:
Peruse is a comic book reader from KDE. It was created to make reading comics on the desktop as easy and pleasant as possible.
Peruse tries to provide a modern user interface and succeed to an extent. Apart from the UI, some of the other main features of Peruse are:
- Supports a wide variety of file formats: cbz, cbr, cb7, cbt, cba, pdf, epub, dvi, djvu and chm
- Provides a library that can be sorted by author, series or recentness
- Welcome screen gives quick access to recently used files
- Sidebar view for quick access
- Available for both Linux and Windows
You can get the download information on its website:
YACReader is a cross-platform open source application for reading digital comic books. It is available for Linux, Windows, macOS and iOS. Some of its main features are:
- Supports a wide variety of comic files and image types. rar, zip, cbr, cbz, tar, pdf, 7z and cb7, jpeg, gif, png, tiff and bmp.
- Plenty of configuration options: image rotation, double page mode, full-size view, fullscreen mode, customizable background color, custom page fitting mode, bookmarks, resume reading etc
- Image adjustments available in the reading mode. You can use the brightness, contrast and gamma sliders to enjoy the new vibrant colors.
- Library to organize comics
- Keeps track of your reading progress
- Download comics’ information such as title, number, volume, authors etc from Comic Vine.
- Built in search engine to find comics
You can get the download information on YACReader homepage.
Bonus: Websites to legally download old comic books
Apart from listing the best comic book readers for Linux, I would also like to mention a few websites from where you can download vintage comic books. And it is completely legal to download them.
While these might not be popular ones like Batman and Spiderman but perhaps you might have come across some of them in your childhood. Even if not, it is fun to read the literature and watch movies of the bygone era. Being a fan of black and white film-noir fan, I certainly enjoy them.
If you have some other preferred tool for reading comics or some other website to download comics legally, don’t forget to share it with rest of us. Enjoy reading comics on Linux.