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