How to install Foliate eBook viewer on Ubuntu 20.04

There are a growing number of ebook reader applications for Linux desktops but Foliate is by far and away the most interesting of them all. I know I sound like a follower but I really dig this application.

The GTK-based Foliate boasts a thoughtful, clean, and clutter-free User Interface(UI) provides a stack of font sizing, spacing and page layout options, and supports text notes, bookmarks, dictionary lookups, and tracks your page progress. If you own an Amazon Kindle or some other eBook reader, you probably miss that kind of reading experience on the desktop.

Foliate supports distinctive e-book formats with reflowable text: EPUB (Prime Focus), Mobipocket, AZW, and no formats with fixed layout, although PDF support is being considered. It is based on Epub.js, and supports both two-page view and scrolled view.

This application stores your reading progress, annotations and bookmarks in your XDG data directory as plain JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) files, so you can export or sync them easily with other devices. Foliate uses metadata included in the eBook to determine which language to lookup.

Key Features of Foliate

  • Customize font and line-spacing
  • Quick dictionary lookup
  • Reading progress slider with chapter marks
  • Bookmarks and annotations
  • Light, sepia, dark, and invert mode
  • Supports .mobi, .epub, .azw, text files, unpacked EPUB files, comic book archive
  • Find in book
  • Two-page view and scrolled view
  • Zoom-In and Zoom-Out
  • Translation of text using Google Translate
  • You can also add custom themes to tweak the appearance of the eBook viewer
  • Supports speech synthesis using eSpeak, eSpeakNG or Festival
  • Customize colors and brightness
  • Available in 12 Languages

This article explains three methods of installing Foliate eBook viewer on Ubuntu 20.04. Choose the installation method that is most appropriate for your environment.

Method 1: Installing Foliate as a Snap Package

The easiest way to install Foliate on Ubuntu 20.04 is by using the snap packaging system.

A snap package is a type of universal Linux package that you can enjoy irrespective of the distro. Its an self-contained software packages that include the binary all dependencies needed to run the application.

All you need is the snap service pre-configured, In the case of Ubuntu 20.04, it comes with snap pre-installed.

If snapd package is not already installed then you can install it by running following command.

$ sudo apt install snapd

Note: Snap packages can be installed from either the command-line or via the Ubuntu Software application.

This is actually the Snap version of the Foliate eBook viewer. It can be used on any Linux distribution that has Snap support.

Open your terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and type the following command to install the Foliate package.

$ sudo snap install foliate

At this step, you have successfully installed Foliate on Ubuntu 20.04 system.

If you are not comfortable with the command line, open Ubuntu Software, search for “Foliate” and install the application.

Type the following command to update Foliate package.

$ sudo snap refresh --list

Method 2: Installing Foliate using deb package

We’ll download and install the Foliate eBook viewer .deb package from its GitHub page.

Step #1

Visit at Foliate’s GitHub page to Download the Foliate .deb package.

Step #2

Now type the following command to install the downloaded package.

$ sudo dpkg -i com.github.johnfactotum.foliate_2.6.3_all.deb

You can also use the apt command to install .deb files.

$ sudo apt install com.github.johnfactotum.foliate_2.6.3_all.deb

If you get a dependency error while installing the .deb packages, you can run the following command to fix it.

$ sudo apt install -f

That’s it, Foliate eBook viewer has been installed on your Ubuntu System, and you can start using it.

Method 3: Installing Foliate via PPA Repository

If you want to install the most recent version of Foliate eBook viewer, you can use the PPA repository.

Personal Package Archives (PPA) are software repositories designed for Ubuntu users and are easier to install than other third-party repositories. PPAs are often used to distribute pre-release software so that it can be tested.

Step #1

First of all open the terminal from system application launcher and type the following command to add the Foliate PPA to your system.

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:apandada1/foliate

Step #2

Then, execute the following commands to install Foliate package on your Ubuntu system.

$ sudo apt update && sudo apt install foliate

Once installed, launch it from your system application menu.

Starting Foliate

In the Activities search bar type “Foliate” and click on the icon to launch the application.

Foliate User Interface:

How to Uninstall Foliate eBook viewer from Ubuntu 20.04

For some reason, If you want to uninstall Foliate application, refer following methods.

Method #1

If you have installed Foliate via Snap type the following command:

$ sudo snap remove foliate

Method #2

If you have installed the appication using .deb then uninstall by running the below command:

$ sudo apt remove foliate

Method #3

If you have installed the appication via PPA then uninstall by running the below commands.

Step #1

It’s most likely that you added the PPA using add-apt-repository command. You can use the same command to remove the PPA as well. Just give it --remove option in the command.

$ sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:apandada1/foliate

Step #2

As of now we removed the PPA. What about the applications installed using these PPAs? Will they be removed as a result of removing the PPA? The answer is NO.

So this is when ppa-purge comes in picture. It not only disables the PPA but also uninstalls all the programs installed by the PPA or revert them to original version provided by your distribution.

So type the following command to install the ppa-purge package and uninstall the Foliate package.

$ sudo apt install ppa-purge && sudo ppa-purge ppa:apandada1/foliate


I hope that now you have a good understanding of How to install Foliate eBook viewer on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa.

If anyone does have any questions about what we covered in this guide then feel free to ask in the comment section below and I will do my best to answer those.

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