Best CHM File Viewer (Reader) in Linux

A CHM file is a microsoft compiled HTML help file. This is a Microsoft proprietary online help file format. Many help files opened by pressing F1 in many windows applications are chm files. This is a popular format.

The chm files are optimized for reading and these are heavily indexed. Many e-books are available in chm format.

How can these e-books be read in Linux? Is there any chm file viewer available in Linux? This tutorial brings the best chm viewers available on Linux.

ChmSee: GNOME Desktop users

ChmSee is a chm viewer written in gtk+. For GNOME Desktop, ChmSee is a good choice. Though you can also run it on KDE and other Desktop Environments. ChmSee Features:

Gecko rendering engine
Supports Bookmarks
Support to open multiple files at once
Zoom capability


GnoCHM is another CHM file viewer. It is designed to integrate nicely with GNOME. It uses PyCHM, a Python package that exports the CHMLIB API. Features of GnoCHM include:

Support for external ms-its links
Full text search support
Configurable support for HTTP links
Integrated with Gnome2
Support for multiple languages (be, cs, de, el, es, fr, hu, it, ja, pl, pt_BR, ru, sv, tr, vi, zh_CN, zh_TW)
Support to open multiple files at once
Displays HTML page source

Kchmviewer: KDE

KchmViewer is chm viewer, written in C++. Unlike most existing CHM viewers for Unix, it uses Trolltech Qt widget library, and does not depend on KDE or GNOME. However, it may be compiled with full KDE support, including KDE widgets and KIO/KHTML. The advantage of Kchmview over other chm viewers is its support for foreign languages. It nicely detects the file encoding for languages such as Russian, Spanish, Romanian, Korean, Chinese and Arabic. Its new search engine is able to search in any chm file irrespective of the language.

KchmViewer has complete chm index support, including multiple index entries, cross-links and parent/child entries in index as well as Persistent bookmarks support.


Firefox Add-on

You can add an add-on to Firefox for reading chm files in Firefox. 'CHM Reader' is the extension that makes Firefox support Compiled HTML (.chm) files. You can download and install this add-on to be able to read the chm files under Firefox.


Xchm is a very nice chm viewer tool available for Ubuntu and Debian related distributions. Its allows to show the contents, print page , change fonts and search for text.

You can install xchm using the following command on Ubuntu and Debian.

$sudo apt-get install xchm


In this tutorial, we learned some of the best chm viewers available on Linux. If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to leave a comment.

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