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What is GnoCHM?

GnoCHM is a CHM file viewer. It is designed to integrate nicely with Gnome.

It uses PyCHM, a Python package that exports the CHMLIB API. Features are:

  • Support for external ms-its links
  • Full text search support
  • Bookmarks
  • 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


GnoCHM 0.9.11 release - Sep 2007

Updated Czech translation (Zbynek Mrkvicka), Bug Fixes (Cheuksan Edward Wang).

Gnochm now using Subversion (CVS repository disabled).

GnoCHM 0.9.10 release - May 2007

Added Swedish (Daniel Nylander), Belarusian (Ihar Hrachyshka), Hungarian (Gabor Garami) and Vietnamese translations (Huttic), setting application mime type in desktop file (Ed Catmur), fixed bug in contents tree generation (Ed Catmur), improved handling of pages without charset.

GnoCHM 0.9.9 release - November 2006

Filenames with spaces can be dragged from Nautilus (Paolo Borelli), F9 to toggle sidebar visibility (Jiri Pejchal), Updated russian translation (Basil Shubin), new Greek translation (Antonis Papaderos), new French translation (David Mascle), updated German translation (Daniel Schindler). Fixed a bug that prevented small images from being shown.

#chm channel on Freenode - July 2006

Pabs (from chmdeco and the Unofficial CHM Specification fame) has started a #chm channel on

Any discussion about CHM, CHM-related topics and projects or other Microsoft help formats is welcome. There is also a mailing list for the CHM specification at

Have fun!

GnoCHM 0.9.8 release - May 2006

We added a Spanish translation (Antonio Garcia Marin) and cleaned the warnings when running gnochm from the command line. Get it in the download section.

GnoCHM 0.9.7 release - January 2006

Go here for download locations. We added new icons by Kostia, contents tree now show icons (Ralgh Young), it is possible to copy text selection from the HTML window to the clipboard (Rubens) and a Japanese translation by Tadashi Jokagi.

GnoCHM 0.9.6 is released - September 2005

Check below for links and more information. This release adds two more translations - pl and zh_TW. This version is also using the python SGML parser instead of the html parser to read content trees. Let me know if this is not working appropriately. If you don't want to use the new translations or are happy with the way the contents tree is working for you , THERE IS NO NEED TO UPGRADE.

GnoCHM 0.9.5 is released - April 2005

Check below for links and more information.

GnoCHM 0.9.4 is released - February 2005

Check below for links and more information.

GnoCHM 0.9.3 is released - November 2004

Check below for links and more information.

TypeError: color_parse() argument 1 ... - June 2004

This problem appears to have been fixed in bug report #145041 - see Gnome Bugzilla. So you may want to give it a try wth the latest gconf version.

If you are experiencing this problem and do not want to reinstall gconf, read on, we may have a workaround for it! (Note that mistakes in performing the following operations can destroy your installation and kill your cat - so I give NO guarantees here)

The symptoms of this problem are that after installation, root can run GnoCHM, but other users get something similar to the above error. This is a problem with gconf that happens when the root user has a certain umask. You can verify if this is the case by checking the permissions on /etc/gconf/gconf.xml.defaults/apps/gnochm The directory should have permissions to read/execute for all users.

Follow this process to solve this issue:

  • Uninstall gnochm.
  • Make sure the file /etc/gconf/schemas/gnochm.schema does not exist. Delete it if necessary.
  • Make sure the directory /etc/gconf/gconf.xml.defaults/apps/gnochm does not exist. Delete it if necessary.
  • Logged as root, update your umask, doing umask 0022.
  • Do not log out yet. Reinstall gnochm.

Things should work after this.

Crashes when following links? - June 2004

This is actually a bug in gtkhtml2 (libtgkhtml2 to be more precise), and is present since around 2.4.0 (2.0.1 is known to work), and it has been fixed! I tested this fix using gtkhtml 2.4.0 (redhat), gtkhtml 2.5.6 and gtkhtml 2.6.0 (both Fedora Core 1).

For more details, check bug #135489 in So you can either try the Subversion code, use the patch attached to the bug report, or grab libgtkhtml version 2.6.1 (or higher).

Gtkhtml2 sources are available at the Gnome ftp site.

Latest Release

GnoCHM 0.9.11 release - Sep 2007

  • Updated Czech translation (Zbynek Mrkvicka)
  • Bug Fixes (thanks to Cheuksan Edward Wang)

GnoCHM 0.9.10 release - May 2007

  • Improved support for pages without charset (gnochm will use utf-8)
  • New Vietnamese translation (Huttic)
  • New Hungarian translation (Gabor Garami) (#1711025)
  • New Swedish translation (Daniel Nylander)
  • New Belarusian translation (Ihar Hrachyshka)
  • Fixed bug #1635828: Now setting MimeType in .desktop file (Ed Catmur)
  • Fixed bug #1635837: Preventing crashes when generating contents tree (Ed Catmur)

GnoCHM 0.9.9 release - November 2006

  • Filenames with spaces can be dragged from Nautilus (Paolo Borelli)
  • F9 to toggle sidebar visibility (Jiri Pejchal)
  • Updated russian translation (Basil Shubin)
  • New Greek translation (Antonis Papaderos)
  • New French translation (David Mascle)
  • Updated German translation (Daniel Schindler)
  • Fixed a bug that prevented small images from being shown.

Version 0.9.8 (May 2006):

  • Added Spanish translation (Antonio Garcia Marin)
  • Cleaning up deprecation warnings when running from command line

Version 0.9.7 (January 2006):

  • Showing icons in contents tree (Ralgh Young)
  • New Japanese translation (Tadashi Jokagi)
  • New icons by Kostia
  • Right click menu to copy HTML selection to clipboard

Version 0.9.6 (September 2005):

  • Using SGMLParser for index instead of HTMLParser (Ralgh Young)
  • New Polish translation (Michal Kastelik)
  • New zh_TW translation (Wei-Lun Chao)
  • Updated Turkish translation (Sertac O. YILDIZ)

Version 0.9.5 (April 2005):

  • HTML page synchronisation with selection in the contents tab.(Alessandro Gatti). Fixes bug report #1050480
  • New Czech translation (Zbynek Mrkvicka)
  • Added --disable-desktop-update, --disable-mime-update to configure
  • Using new file chooser dialog if pygtk >= 2.4.0
  • Added support for standard gnome command line parameters (popt)
  • Gnome session support
  • Updates to pt_BR translation (Raphael Higino, Alan Kelon)
  • Now installing man pages to $(DESTDIR)$(mandir) (Scott Tsai) #1175562

Version 0.9.4 (February 2005):

  • Page source view
  • History keeps track of scroll bar positions
  • New man page in italian (Alessandro Gatti)
  • New Russian translation (Alexandre Prokoudine)
  • Gnochm now requires pychm >= 0.8.2
  • Bug fixes

Version 0.9.3 (November 2004):

  • New turkish translation (Sertac O. YILDIZ)
  • New chinese translation (Carlos Liu)
  • Now initial help index is "index" to avoid error when running yelp
  • Improvements in handling non-latin encoded archives
  • Improvements in contents tree handling
  • Gnochm now requires pychm >= 0.8.1
  • Bug fixes


The current version of GnoCHM is 0.9.11, released in Sep 2007. It requires:

  • PyCHM >= 0.8.4
  • pygtk2
  • pygtk2-libglade
  • gnome-python2
  • gnome-python2-gtkhtml2
  • gnome-python2-gconf
  • gnome-python2-bonobo
  • gnome-python2-canvas


My stuff

Sources, binaries and my Fedora Core packages can be downloaded at Sourceforge.


The following links are for packages that I did not build myself, so I don't know if they work or not. If they don't, there is nothing I can do, but let me know so I can remove the links from this page.

The Fedora Extras repository now includes gnochm.

Various builds for Redhat and Fedora in the Dag Apt Repository.

Debian packages are here.

For the SourceMage distro, check here.

FreeBSD port is here.