From ArchWiki

From the project home page:

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.
Zim can be used to:
  • Keep an archive of notes
  • Take notes during meetings or lectures
  • Organize task lists
  • Draft blog entries and emails
  • Do brainstorming


Install the zim package. There is also an AUR package called zim-gitAUR which provides the latest developer git version.


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: $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/zim/preferences.conf. Another important file is located in the same directory: $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/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.


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: gtkspell3 and 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. If you do not want Zim to spell-check based on your system default language, go to File > Properties > Spell Checker and enter a language code such as en_US or en_GB.

Source View

The requirements for Source View are as follows: gtksourceview3


Problems at launch

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

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 as in this thread. 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.

See also