I have many pdf books, and I want to get them managed like a book shelf, but I can not find a good software on linux for such pdf management.

Maybe a firefox like "bookmarks" management will be enough, but acroread does not provide this.


Zotero is a firefox plugin that manages citations and references sort of like endnote, except that it can also store snapshots of webpages and actual pdf files.

It also has built in bibliography export functions that can output bibtex files, interface with endnote, and openoffice.

The front page of their website has a short demo-video showing how it is web-site aware and can pull bibliography information directly from amazon, googlebooks, jstor, and other websites. Pretty good research tool.

I use it with bibtex/latex myself.

  • I love Zotero for library management.
    – shawnr
    Dec 4 '09 at 4:25
  • Seems to be a good choice.
    – Sam Liao
    Dec 4 '09 at 5:16
  • Looks good. Does anyone have any experience with how fast it is at finding things? It appears to use pdftotext to do full text searches, bot does it do indexing, or is this conversion done every time?? Couldn't find that out. Dec 4 '09 at 6:22

Calibre claims to be the one-stop solution for all your eBook needs.

Calibre is freeware (available for Windows, Linux, Mac).

and a bit off topic: as for "managed like a book shelf", there is Bookshelf, one of the countless Russian eBook readers that does exactly that, unfortunately it's Windows only and only supports TXT.

Support of virtual library is done in a very original manner. All books are sorted to shelves, to choose the book you just need to click on its back. Drawn bookshelves look very attractive, they are done quite stylish and navigation is very handy.

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speaking of Russian eBook readers (some of them are quite excellent!), here are 2 representatives that work for Linux (neither one supports PDF though)

FBreader supports TXT, HTML, Palmdoc, RTF, MS Word, CHM, zTxt, OEB, FB2, OpenReader

CoolReader 3 supports FB2, TXT, RTF, TCR, HTML, EPUB

all programs are freeware.

  • Thanks, it seems all my google leads to calibre which I found hard to install on my gentoo linux. Anyway, if there no other tool, I have to try more to get calibre work.
    – Sam Liao
    Dec 4 '09 at 3:34
  • Molly - Calibre looks very cool! FYI - your link to Bookshelf appears to be a known attack site. Dec 4 '09 at 6:05
  • downloaded and tested Bookshelf, it's certainly virus free.
    – Molly7244
    Dec 4 '09 at 13:45
  • @ arsane: here's a link for a Gentoo package: packages.gentoo.org/package/app-text/calibre
    – Molly7244
    Dec 4 '09 at 13:48

Check out eKitaab for eBook management:

eKitaab is an eBook Catalog Manager software to manage large collections of ebooks. eKitaab allows you to read books in their native readers on the desktop, or on mobile devices, though it is not a ebook reader.

eKitaab displays a list of all books you have, with their titles, authors, description and a photo of the book covers. It also allows you to easily categorize the books by creating Reading Lists, and adding Tags. eKitaab downloads all information from the Internet, based on the ISBN of the book, or by searching by author or title.

eKitaab is designed to be extremely safe for the eBooks... the eBooks themselves are never changed. eKitaab stores basic information about the book by changing the filename to include the title, author and ISBN. The other information is downloaded from the Internet and not stored locally (but caching is implemented, to reduce repeated downloads).

eKitaab is free and open source software, it runs on Linux, Windows, and Mac.

Another option is Alexandria:

Alexandria is a GNOME application to help you manage your book collection.

Alexandria is also free and open source.

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  • Thanks. I tried Alexandria, it is just a book collection program, not for E-book. eKitabb seems works, but it is written in java and not maintained since 2007. ekitabb is one option.
    – Sam Liao
    Dec 4 '09 at 5:06

Not strictly speaking an 'ebook manager', but I find tracker very useful for managing & finding all kinds of stuff. It's lightweight and very fast. It supports full content searches and allows you to tag documents.

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The nice thing about this is you might find it useful beyond an ebook manager.

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