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"Zim is a graphical text editor used to maintain a collection of wiki pages. Each page can contain links to other pages, simple formatting and images. Pages are stored in a folder structure, like in an outliner, and can have attachments. Creating a new page is as easy as linking to a nonexistent page. All data is stored in plain text files with wiki formatting. Various plugins provide additional functionality, like a task list manager, an equation editor, a tray icon, and support for version control.


  • Keep an archive of notes
  • Take notes during meetings or lectures
  • Organize task lists
  • Draft blog entries and emails
  • Do brainstorming


Zim can be found in the community repository.

# pacman -S zim

There is also an AUR package called zim-bzr which provides the latest developer snapshot.


The usage of Zim is very self-explanatory. This screencast provides a good overview about the basic functionality.


The main configuration file is located in Zim's config directory: ~/.config/zim/preferences.conf. Another important file is located in the same directory: ~/.config/zim/notebooks.list. This file contains a list of all wikis and there file path.

Besides the configuration there exist the wiki directories which are set up when a new wikis are created. Those folders store all wiki pages in plain txt format.

Zim Tips

Specific user tricks to accomplish tasks.


Zim provides a lot of useful plugins where many of them are not enabled by default. They can be found at Edit -> Preferences -> Plugins. That is, there is a plugin which provides a tray icon.

Spell Checker

The requirements for the Spell Checker plugin are as follows:

# pacman -S gtkspell python2-gtkspell aspell-en

Change aspell-en to your desired language support. Now you can configure the Spell Checker and define the default language, in my case en_GB.


Problems at launch

A common error is at start up resulting in a error message like the following *:

UnboundLocalError: local variable 'i' referenced before assignment

It is often related to a problem with the file path of the wikis stored in ~/.config/zim/notebooks.list. Try to delete or move this file and restart Zim.

Error: Unable to find or create trash directory

This error message indicates that Zim is not able to find the trash directory *. This occurs when the wiki is stored on a partition that does not have any trash directory under /partition/.local/share/Trash. Due to that one is not able to delete pages as Zim tries to move them to the trash. Solutions are either the creation of a trash directory or the installation of the developer snapshot instead of the stable version which permanently deletes a page if no trash directory can be found. Thus, the user does not receive this error message anymore.