Enable Thumbnails for EPub / MOBI Files in Ubuntu 22.04 | 20.04 & Other Linux

Last updated: August 23, 2022 — Leave a comment

Got some ePub and/or MOBI books in your PC? Debian / Ubuntu has recently includes a package in their repository for generating thumbnails for these files.

As you may know, Linux Mint 21 was released recently with a thumbnail generators for AppImage, ePub, MP3 and RAW files. Debian/Ubuntu now has similar tool called gnome-epub-thumbnailer, though it’s only for ePub and MOBI books.

With the package installed, the default file manager will no longer display the universal “e” image with green background for all ePub files. Instead, it shows thumbnail book covers.

Don’t know if Ubuntu 22.10 will come with it out-of-the-box, since it’s not released yet. But, user may manually install the package by running the apt command below in terminal.

Open terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and run command to install gnome-epub-thumbnailer in Ubuntu 22.10 or Debian Unstable:

sudo apt update && sudo apt install gnome-epub-thumbnailer

NOTE: the package is only for the default GNOME Desktop! Install the Foliate eBook reader from system repository will also install it as recommend dependency package.

Enable EPub / MOBI Thumbnails in Ubuntu 22.04 | 20.04

The package is not available in the current LTS releases. Ubuntu 22.04 user can however download the .deb package directly from the build page:

Click the little triangle for Ubuntu 22.10 (Kinetic Kudu) build to expand, and select download the amd64.deb for modern PC/laptop, arm64/armhf for ARM, or other format depends on your devices.

Finally, double click to open the .deb package via “Software Install” (Ubuntu Software) and install it.

For Ubuntu 20.04 user, I’ve upload the package into this unofficial PPA for 64-bit (amd64) computers support.

To add the PPA and install the package, press Ctrl + Alt +T on keyboard to open terminal and run 3 commands one by one:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntuhandbook1/apps
sudo apt update
sudo apt install gnome-epub-thumbnailer

NOTE: The first command will asks for password authentication, though there’s no asterisk feedback. Just type in mind and hit Enter to continue.

Enable EPub / MOBI Thumbnails in Fedora, Arch, SUSE Linux

Most other recent Linux systems have also added the package into their official repositories. If you want to get it, open terminal and run command:

  • For Fedora, use command:
    sudo dnf install gnome-epub-thumbnailer
  • Arch and Manjaro Linux can install it via:
    sudo pacman -S gnome-epub-thumbnailer
  • And, openSUSE user may run command:
    sudo zypper install gnome-epub-thumbnailer

Uninstall the Thumbnails

Thumbnails generate automatically once you installed the package. If somehow you want to get rid of them, open terminal and run command:

sudo apt remove gnome-epub-thumbnailer

Replace apt depends your system. For Arch, use sudo pacman -R gnome-epub-thumbnailer.

Removing the package won’t clear existing thumbnail images, until you removed the content under “~/.cache/thumbnails” either from file manager or by running command:

rm -R ~/.cache/thumbnails/*


I'm a freelance blogger who started using Ubuntu in 2007 and wishes to share my experiences and some useful tips with Ubuntu beginners and lovers. Please comment to let me know if the tutorial is outdated! And, notify me if you find any typo/grammar/language mistakes. English is not my native language. Contact me via [email protected] Buy me a coffee: https://ko-fi.com/ubuntuhandbook1

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