Open Source Ubooquity

Elouan 8 years ago updated by Pasha Finkelshtein 2 years ago 44


I really appreciate your work on ubooquity, and would be eager to collaborate on improving it. you mentionned in a couple of places that you may consider making ubooquity open-source, have you made progress on the idea? There are a lot of features that could be implemented/improved and I'm sure it could go faster if we went collaborative on ubooquity


I have thought about it and decided against open, sourcing Ubooquity.

Merging pull requests and "managing" a community are not activities I would do for fun (I'm already doing enough of this at work).

So open sourcing Ubooquity would only result in frustration for contributors and/or a complete loss of control over my work when somebody decides to fork it.

If at some point I get bored and stop working on it, then I'll open source Ubooquity so that it can continue to evolve and improve.

In the meantime, I'll work toward making Ubooquity more modular and open to "external" modifications (I'm thinking themes and plugins).

When I see what some users already accomplished with themes (although the modifications Ubooquity currently allows are pretty limited), it encourages me to give them more tools to work with.


As far as I can see the moment of "bored" came :) WWould apreciate opensourcing. And even sharing your model of OPDS would help.

:-( too bad, for once that I was wiling to participate in the development of a project and had some knowledge of the langage



I know this thread is a bit old. I was just noticing that there haven't been any news updates or releases posted since October of 2018. Based on your original reply, you said that you would think about open sourcing Ubooquity if development pace slowed or you lost interest. Has this move been anything you've thought about more? So grateful for all that you do, and don't want to hound you on this - but just wanted to check in given no recent releases!

Thank you again for releasing a great project!

I haven't lost interest, and development is still in progress.

There have been few impediments to the developments these past few years though, mostly kids, and more recently a global pandemic. ;)

Hey Tom.
I've been using Ubooquity for about three years now, maybe a bit longer. I've never had any issues, so I've never had a reason to visit a forum.
Yikes. Sorry that this one was ran over by a bunch of people.
I was wondering if this is still something you're working on, because for the first time ever, I'm having a bit of an issue.
I'm running this on a windows machine, and I'm specifically talking about two different devices as clients here, 1 Samsung S10 and the other Samsung S20.
I've got Kuboo set up on both of them the exact same way.  I know Kuboo isn't your thing, but I am curious as to if it's possible that there's something I can do on the Ubooquity end to figure out what's up.
On my S10, I open things up, see the book, tap it, and I can start swiping away reading page by page.
On my S20, I open things up, the folders do not have images, when I tap an issue, I have to hit this play button deal, and then every time it hands for a few seconds before saying failed to fetch resources.

Regardless, I've been a huge fan of this since I first got my hands on it. I wish life afforded you the chance to dedicate more time to this, if you still had the interest.
If you can help me, great.
If not, then thank you for the great server work. I love it.

Hello Notarobot,

Unfortunately I don't know the internals of Kuboo, so I have no idea of what the problem is here (since it seems to be on client's side).

I still have interest in the project, and I spent to much time on the next version to not pusblish it someday. The issue is time, and energy, but I'll get there.


I managed to figure that problem out myself. I'm so glad to hear that you're still working on it. I love this server so much, I would hate it if it died. Tell you what, if you ever need a tester, just let me know. I'd be waaaaay more then happy to help out in any way... Without getting involved in coding it - which kind of just gives you more work to do, lol. Big fan, willing to help, and eager to see it finally happen! 


Hi Tom,

I still believe you should open source the project, I would insist tha tyou do: it seems many people are willing to participate, and it's frustrating not be able to, espacially in theis time of confinment where many have a lot of time on our hands. 

Besides, you're using open source projects for building ubooquity, and it's only natural to give back to the open source community the wonderfull work you've done with it. 

@Elouan I remember the hope I had when I saw your post 3 years ago.

I think you should have a look at Komga, different techno but open souce project with an open-minded creator. It's quite new but after a few monthes it already have most of the Ubooquity functionalities.

I still have both Komga and Ubooquity running side by side but I think I will unplug one soon when it would have totally replaced the other one.

Komga looks and works really! good, but unfortunately until it supports reading actual text epubs its of very limited use to me...

HI! I didn't know about Komga, thanks for pointing it to my knowledge. It looks promising, I will definitely have a look at it, although I would prefer keep ubooquity that has done a fine job, beeing stable, and reliable for all this time, it would really be a shame if it became abandonned because of slow developement 

Kavita supports reading text epubs (aka not making them images like Komga) if you want to give that a try and it also supports archives like Ubooquity (including zips/rars). Sorry for replying 2 years later (but Komga still doesn't support epubs as text)



Hi Tom,

So, you might be avoiding this thread at this point, and that's fine. I just stumbled onto the site/project after searching around for an alternative to Calibre.

In a way, (and this is just pedantry and not really directed to you) Ubooquity is already "open-source" in that all of the code is viewable with a simple `jar xf Ubooquity.jar` Not that I dug deeper beyond that to see if there was any sort of obfuscation further down the line. And I don't think that is really what folks are looking for or, after reading your comments above, what I believe you disagree with. Where I think the friction is, is in the licensing.

The first part, which I personally don't agree with, but completely respect your right to include in something that you crafted, is where it states:

Modification of the Ubooquity software is not allowed.

I don't think you would ever chase someone down if they decided to edit the code on their installation of Ubooquity, but technically it doesn't allow for them to do so legally. Again, pedantry/nit-picky, but it plays into the second part.

Which is, the part of the license that also says:

Redistribution of the Ubooquity software is not allowed without explicit authorization from its author (users must download it from the Ubooquity website: http://vaemendis.net/ubooquity).

What we have with these two sections in the license is the inability for someone else to take this code (again, legally and being nitpicky) and host it on someplace like Github to work collaboratively with others on it.

Now, I wholeheartedly agree with your reluctance to manage all that mess yourself. In my own personal projects, which admittedly have never gotten even a fraction, of a fraction of the interest that yours has, I explicitly state that if someone wants to fork it and work on it, they can, but I won't be monitoring PRs etc. Again, like you, I have enough of that in my own life.

However, what we have here are a (small) number of interested folks in helping contribute to the growth of this project even as your own ability to contribute slows as other, more important, parts of your life take away the time that might have been spent working on it.

Where I'm going with this is to offer up that maybe there's a solution here to amend the license to remove those two sections. The number of people asking for access to contribute is very, very, small. But with that change, they could be directed to creating their own fork to work on it on their own with others. There are other projects that do that and then sometimes cherry-pick commits from those other forked projects to pull back into their own.

You seem better versed in licensing based off of how well you cite the third-party libraries included in Ubooquity. So this isn't meant to be a push or a shove, just putting it out there in the slim chance that you haven't already considered it or are planning on it for some future date already. 

I hope you're doing well in these crazy times, thank you for this useful piece of software you've put out into the world, and if you've made it this far, for taking the time to read my thoughts.

"If at some point I get bored and stop working on it, then I'll open source Ubooquity so that it can continue to evolve and improve."

Is it possible that this is where we are now? Please consider open sourcing this project so you can see where this project goes.

Thanks for the consideration


Sadly, I think he is too proud to do it.


If you guys are looking for something that is Open Source and inspired from Ubooquity and Plex, you should check out Kavita. I'm the developer of it. I started with Ubooquity last year but since it was dead at the time and missing some features like metadata, I ended up building my own.

You can take a look at it here. It has everything and more that Ubooquity had. 

Tried it now.
Does it read ComicInfo.xml inside cbz? It didn't identify most series/title/description of my comics/manga.


It does, but it doesn't use it for grouping. It uses file names (with a fallback to folders) for grouping into series. The comicinfo right now is limited to populating description (although further data parsing is planned in the release after next)

It's pretty different to Ubooquity though since it uses filenames for parsing and does grouping based on filenames rather than folder.

I see.
I'll wait until more infos are parsed from ComicInfo.
My filenames are all over the place. And I would rather not change it now.



Yeah totally understandable. If your system is working, no need to change. Just putting it out there as the users that were from Ubooquity on our discord have said it's been much better for them since changing. 

At least if anyone stumbles here and is looking for something more open and in development, they can try it out.

"It has everything and more that Ubooquity had"

This may be a good option for Manga (I don't read manga so I don't know) but at present I found it unsuitable for use with comics.

It doesn't seem to have an individual issue view, or if it did, it certainly wasn't obvious or was not working for me. I installed and tested it, and it essentially treats an entire volumes as an issue, and individual issues as "chapters" within it. So... i suppose one must just skip through hundreds of "chapters" in a massive series like Superman to get to a specific issue. A lack of a way to scan through hundreds of covers of individual issues... it's a no-go for me.

Other than that, it looked good, though there wasn't enough feedback on some important things like... what was happening in a library scan. In a huge scan there was just a spinning circle, so I couldn't tell if it had crashed or was just slow in a big library scan. Also, though I was able to log in through OPDS I wasn't able to see any issues within the folders, so OPDS isn't an option for me either.

Also, personally, I disagree with the developer's choice to FIRST support grouping issues in a series based on their file names, rather than by folder structure. Grouping series by file names and disregarding folder structure means a lot of file name manipulation may be required for those of use that have been organizing things in folders for years. Its very ambitious for the initial release to use filenames and expect to get things close to correct, without a ton of file names needing to be manipulated. For use with 10s of issues it might be fine, but not for thousands.

Dead or not, Ubooquity is still a better option for comics. I wish you well in your development efforts though and will keep an eye on the project.

Thanks for checking it out and leaving some feedback.

"It doesn't seem to have an individual issue view, or if it did, it certainly wasn't obvious or was not working for me." There is one, but it really depends on your naming convention. If you have volume markers then it's going to group it together. If not, then it will just show individual issues.

For the scan, can you ellaborate on what more you need? The scan only does 1 thing, read the files and put them into the Database (or update them if they are already in there). Then there is metadata which generates the cover image and reads (at the time of writing) limited metadata from the comicInfo if it exists. 

OPDS is def not folder based like other systems because Kavita doesn't require you to have things in certain folders. Instead it just emulates the UI over the OPDS protocol. This lets us track progress during reading or provide the searching and grouping constructs over OPDS (collections, reading lists, etc).

Ubooquity def still serves a niece, not trying to say don't use it, but wanted to share some alternatives since the project is no longer updated and has some limitations into what is possible. Again, appreciate taking a stab at it. 


I myself am a HUGE fan of open source, not that i dislike Ubooquity and why Tom is not opensourcing it, but i look at the problems the open source community has had in the past when companies become owner of something...(Oracle after taking over Sun with java (OpenJDK), mysql (MariaDB), OpenOffice (LibreOffice), Later we saw OwnCloud (NextCloud), Nagios about 10 years ago (Icinga2), QT as of last year (making QT closed source) and not to forget the whole mess with CentOS (RockyLinux, AlmaLinux). If tomorrow Tom gets a big bag of golden nuggets for Ubooquity, well that means we will be migrating to an alternative. No hate towards Tom (your work has been much appreciated the last i believe 8 years when i started to use it), as its his project that he started and his choice to do whatever he wants with it, but i just do not trust companies whatsoever. The only assurance that i have is using open source software.

So thanks majora2007, for pointing towards an open source alternative.

Every file has the volume name in it, so that's the issue. Renaming the files isn't an option due to the large number of them (thousands)

With regard to the scan, a partial scan shows no books added. I suppose it scans everything before adding the items to the library. With large libraries this will be a problem for many users. In my case, I aborted the initial scan due to the amount of time it was taking, leaving me with nothing to show for it. In ubooquity's case, even a partial scan adds existing books because it's going folder by folder, rather than grouping at the end. During ubooquity's scan, it shows the progress... it shows the number of things being scanned going up, so at least I know it's working. Aborting the scan still leaves me with new things added. A basic  spinning circle doesn't give any real feedback. That circle could just be a gif spinning away... how would one know that anything is actually being accomplished? For testing purposes, I ran a scan on some small folders to confirm it was working. 

With regard to OPDS, once I logged in with Kuboo on a mobile phone, it showed 4 folders: on deck, libraries, collections... something else, I can't recall. Nothing was available in any of those views. 

Hmm I'm not sure which version you were using for the scan, because as of last saturday, the latest version changed it to be more like Ubooquity where it would scan in chunks and the spinner would also have a percentage.

Interesting that it didn't show anything under libraries for you since you created one. I think it's likely you were using v0.4.8 which had some OPDS issue, which was resolved in v0.4.9 (just released). 

I installed it last night. I confirmed today that it's version 4.9.0 (linux, arm). I haven't installed any prior releases. When I get some time, i'll try logging in with Chunky on IOS

The missing folder view makes it impossible to use for me too. My ebook collection has thousands of titles which are partly sorted by author, and partly by franchises (Trek, Warhammer, etc.). In Kavita its totally scrambled and not navigable at all.

Yeah can totally understand that. Until I have metadata support (coding it this release), it is much more difficult to use for the way you organize. I also know it's a huge shift in organization coming from Ubooquity which mirrors the folder structure. 

No problem, I'll admit it may be an edge case having to somehow manage such a large amount of books... I wonder if there might be a way to stramline automatic editing of the metadata. Somthing akin to Tag&Rename fpr mp3 metadata. As long as there is no good way to pull Author, Title and Series data from filenames and folders I see no viable way to reorder my collection except using folders...

So right now I'm working on pulling metadata internally from the ComicInfo and Epub files and exposing information such as Author, Title, Series, Volume, Number, Genres, etc. I'm also attempting to have a single API that can provide this information as well, but that is a larger task that has a very uncertain future (very little sources, inconsistent schemes between providers, etc). 

This way, if you have a well tagged library, which a lot of collectors do, everything should come together like you expect. I'm even looking at auto-creating collections and reading lists based on tags in the ComicInfo.

Have to agree. If a folder view was added it it would increase the chances of switching. 

I agree, For comics, having a publisher\series title simplifies navigation.

Folder view is not something in Kavita's future. A lot of people have asked for it (coming from Ubooquity), but it's not something I personally want to implement or support from within Kavita. I can def see how nice it is for US comics, where you basically need something like Publisher -> Series grouping. 

Sorry to hear that. Guess I have to stay with Ubooquity then. The curse of large book collections. I think I'll manage somehow...

Yeah, I just wanted to share for people that might want something different. :)

Thanks for making that clear! 

For now I get basic functionality for online reading and navigating via nextcloud & it's epub/cbr reader plugin. Not anywhere near a dedicated reading platform with metadata and covers but usable and quite fast. Versatility (like having audiobooks on the same platform) is a plus too. 

Best of luck with your project! 

you advocate your tool a lot in this forum and you see the users here need another way of how files are being indexed. almost all comics I have are made like this and are just the JPGs in a CBR or CBZ no metadata file comicinfo xml file whatever .. Even changing naming conventions which are not possible as the episodes of the comics do not use them or will not cover what has been inside. The foldername and/or filename is what defines what episode I have. Its the most easiest way to give the user what he wants. 

I have used the tool and a lot of comics where indexed in such a way an episode cannot be found again.

So I understand you want to share that there is an alternative, but the general reply is that most users of ubooquity have different needs than you can/will offer

Same here, I dislike the way people force me to put metadata in files where the metadata is the folder where it is in. it's the same with music tools: they force me to put id3tags in it, I dislike it. The name of the file says it all and it is in the folder what says it all. No need for artsist name, song name, genre etc.. 

I understand that it can be nice to have it, but for data hoarders like me: a simple folder scan and show whats inside, just what ubooquity does is what is needed and not only for US comics.

So other tools have potential but as long as metadata has to be put in every file, not standardized ..  it takes way too much time to do so.

Kavita doesn't actually require any metadata inside the files (ComicInfo). It supports it, but the primary mode is parsing filenames to group. That's how I personally use it. It's very different from Ubooquity. I'm just sharing a free tool for users to use, I don't get comments like your other " but the general reply is that most users of Ubooquity have different needs than you can/will offer". 

Is that meant to deter me not to share my tool with people who are in the space as an alternative? If users here don't like it, no problem, don't use it. Just putting out there that there are alternatives for people that want a tool that is continuing development.

I'd think it's meant to encourage you to consider implementing the requested functionality... 

Oh....I think I covered it above that it will never come. It's strange to me because the intent seems to imply like I need Ubooquity users to switch over, even though it's a free product. I'm just trying to show there are different solutions for users that might want more from their reader. There is no upside to me if Ubooquity users switch or not. Anyways, diatribe over. Thanks for clearing up the intent.

Indeed. if implemented (which will not I understand) it will not give me more from my reader .. ;) Still happy with Ubooquity 

For metadata and organization check with https://forum.mylarcomics.com/. For comic tagging use comictagger or equivalent.

EvilHero can help.