Foliate: A Modern eBook Reader App for Linux

Brief: Foliate is simple and elegant open source eBook viewer that provides a Kindle-like reading experience on Linux desktop.

Foliate provides modern reading experience on Linux desktop

Foliate ebook viewer app for Linux

While we already have a list of best eBook readers for Linux, I recently came across another eBook viewer for Linux. It is called Foliate.

Foliate is a modern GTK eBook viewer that offers quite a lot of essential features. If you own an Amazon Kindle or some other eBook reader, you probably miss that kind of reading experience on the desktop.

Foliate Library View
Foliate Library View

Foliate addresses those complaints. Foliate shows an estimate of remaining reading time and pages in the book. You can add bookmarks, highlight text and add notes. You can export this data or sync them easily.

Foliate Ebook Viewer Features
Foliate Ebook Viewer Features

You can also look up for words using Wiktionary and Wikipedia. You can switch between two page view and scroll view. It also has several themes to suit you reading preference.

Foliate Screenshot

And the best thing is that it is being actively maintained and developed.

Features of Foliate

Foliate Options

Let’s take a look at all the features Foliate offers:

  • Supports .epub, .mobi, .azw, unpacked EPUB files, text files, comic book archive (cbr, .cbz, .cbt, .cb7) , fiction book (.fb2, .fb2.zip) and .azw3 files. It DOES NOT support PDF files.
  • It lets you read the eBook on a two-page view mode and offers a scroll view mode as well.
  • Ability to customize font, line-spacing, margins, and brightness
  • A library view to show recent books and reading progress
  • Default themes include Light, sepia, dark, Solarized dark/light, Gruvbox light/dark, Grey, Nord, and invert mode.
  • You can also add custom themes to tweak the appearance of the eBook viewer
  • Reading progress slider with chapter marks
  • Bookmarks and annotations support
  • Ability to find a text in the book
  • Ability to zoom in and zoom out
  • Enable/Disable sidebar for navigation
  • Quick dictionary lookup using Wiktionary and Wikipedia
  • Translation of text using Google Translate
  • Touchpad gestures—use a two-finger swipe to turn the page
  • Text-to-Speech support with eSpeak NG and Festival

Recommended Read:

Installing Foliate on Linux

For Ubuntu and Debian based Linux distributions, you can get the .deb file from its GitHub releases section to download the .deb file. Installing applications from deb file is as easy as double-clicking on it.

For other Linux distributions like Fedora, Arch, SUSE etc, Foliate is available as Flatpak and Snap package. In if you don’t know how to use them, you may follow our guide on using flatpak and using snap packages in Linux to get started with it.

You can explore its GitHub page to build from source if you need it.

There is no mobile app for Foliate but if you really want to use it on your Android phone, there is a tweaking workaround available.

Wrapping Up

I tried it on Pop!_OS 19.10 using the latest .deb file available on GitHub and it worked well. I liked its features though I don’t read a lot on my desktop.

Have you tried Foliate yet? Feel free to share your experience with it.

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  • Just distro hopped to Fedora 35 and wanted a good ebook reader for Gnome and I really like Foliate. I would love to be able to add pdf’s and would like to be able to sync covers between devices. The reading progress syncs well by making the soft link to a folder on my nas but the covers only show for the device where the book was added

  • Sadly, there is no sort feature. My books in library are randomly placed. Else, the interface and other is excellent and app itself is a few mb

  • I am much interested by Foliate, though I usually read from an ebook reader.
    It is portable and energy cheap, but its software is not great. I wish there
    was an open one available (or is there one?)

    I have two questions, possibly naive.
    1- How do I get an Amazon ebook from Amazon to the Foliate on my computer,
    or just to my file system.
    2- What of books with DRM, whethher amazon or epub.

    note: I can run Adobe Digital Editions on my Linux (with some difficulty)

    • “How do I get an Amazon ebook from Amazon to the Foliate on my computer, or just to my file system.”

      You cannot. Amazon ebooks are DRM protected and cannot be downloaded to computer.

  • I have used this program for a couple weeks and I would say that with 2 additions it would be perfect.
    1) Support for a remote library server
    2) Support For PDFs
    I would say that the 1st one is most important.

  • Never heard about Foliate before. Read the article, installed Foliate on my PC and voila! Got a good reading-focused experience!