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Create Your Own Cloud of Ebooks with Calibre + Calibre OPDS...

This post has been updated as of October 16, 2011.  


Apple appears to have pushed Google out of the ebookstore.  Kobo released an updated app with no buy link.  Google is randomly deleting Google Plus accounts.  Yet another ebook format has been announced.  I’m getting pretty fed up with the powers that be who run the ebook world.  The biggest weapon that readers have in their arsenal is the ability to decouple.  This means taking your books out of the cloud (the servers of Amazon, Apple, Google, BN, or Kobo) and putting them into your own cloud.  You can set up your cloud for free using open source programs and a free account at dropbox.  (alternatively you can create your own syncing system by using alternative systems discussed on Lifehacker or this great device which I am going to check out called PogoPlug).

This cloud set up allows you to have access, either by webbrowser (the Kindle 3’s browser works too) or by iPhone/iTouch, to your entire ebook catalog from anywhere you can get internet connection, whether by wifi or cellular access.   The catalog generated is incredibly feature rich.   You can browse your catalog by series, tags, author, title, and most recent additions. You can look up a book on Goodreads or check out the wikipage for an author. Take a look at these iPhone screenshots (click for bigger images):

Book viewAuthor ListBookView

More dataRecentTags

In order to create your own cloud of books, you’ll need three pieces of free software:  Calibre, Calibre OPDS & some kind of syncing software.  For this explanation, I use dropbox.

Step 1: You need a cloud.

Dropbox logo

The cloud is essentially a computer harddrive space that you can access anywhere in the world so long as you can log onto the internet. Dropbox provides a 2 GB cloud for free and works on Windows, MAC, Linux, and the iPhone. Dropbox is particularly suited for this cloudy goodness because of its automatic synching abilities. Every time your files change on your harddrive, Dropbox notes that and uploads the changed file.

So step 1 is signing up for a dropbox account. Sign up and install the software program. The software program will require you to designate a Dropbox folder on your computer. Within that Dropbox folder is where you will put your ebooks.

Step 2: Set up your ebook cloud location.

Ebook Cloud Location

In this step you are going to create a folder within the public folder of the dropbox folder. This public folder will allow you to access your ebook cloud anywhere. While the name of the folder is “public”, it is only public if you share the link (which is why mine is fake in this example) so don’t share the link. Also, you may want to use a random character generator to create a folder name to create a link that is even more secure.   Just don’t make the name too long. 8-10 letters is good.

Step 3. Download Calibre

Calibre is the best ebook software out there. The Best. Even if you don’t use Calibre to create a cloud of goodness, it is still a great management tool. I highly, highly recommend it for every ebook reader out there.

When you install Calibre, just use the standard install rather than advanced.

Step 4. Set Your Calibre Library to be in the Cloud.

Open Calibre. Click on the bookshelf button in the toolbar and then change the location of the ebooks to the “My Dropbox\Public\SECRET FOLDER” that you created in Step 2.  Note that under the newer versions of Calibre, you can maintain multiple libraries. I maintain three: one for books I’ve purchased, one for ARCs and one that contains no ebook files but generates the Dear Author coming soon catalogs.

library icon

If you already have Calibre, you will simply change your existing files to this new location.   If your database is big, go take a big break.   Calibre will copy over every file to this new location and that can take some time.

move library to new location calibre

Step 5. Download Calibre OPDS

This is an open source program written by David Pierron. It runs without adding new software to your computer or changing drivers or anything crazy like that. This is the site for Calibre OPDS.

It is based on the Open Publication Distribution System cataloguing system.

Step 6:    Download the Calibre OPDS installer

David is working to update this program all the time. The latest development are installers for both Windows and Mac.  Simply download the program and follow the ordinary installation steps.   A Calibre OPDS icon will be available.  If you are on a MAC, you may simply get a bunch of icons:

Calibre OPDS folder

OpdsOutput-2.4-SNAPSHOT.jar is the icon to click on that will open the Calibre program for you.

Double click on it and the program will open, showing a window like this (click for a larger image).   The Database Folder is where the “metadata.db” file resides which should be the folder you created in Step 2. If you have separate calibre libraries, you’ll have to change the location of the library for each catalog you want to create.     Catalog folder is where you want the catalogs to be generated.   Name it whatever you want.  The default is “_catalog” and this will make it show up at the top of the folder.
Calibre OPDS screen

There are lots of different options you can choose which will affect the way in which your catalog will look but the most important customization is “Compatibility Level”.

Compatibility level on calibre opds

  • OPDS is for general catalogs (i.e., if you are only going to access your catalogs via a web browser).
  • TROOK is for rooted nook classic devices.
  • STANZA is for Stanza App on iThing  Stanza has been killed for iOS 5.  Use OPDS if you have an iThing with IOS 5 or above.
  • Aldiko is for Android App Aldiko
If you don’t use the right compatibility level, your catalog will not work with your application.  THIS IS IMPORTANT.

STEP 7. Create the catalogs:

Once you have customized your setup, click “Generate catalogs”.  A new window should popup to show the progress:

Calibre OPDS progress screen

If you have mobi or PDF files in your catalogs, remember to go to Advanced customization features and type in your additional formats:

Calibre OPDS included formats option

Make sure that “include only one ebook file” is not checked.

Another way to double check this is to go to your SECRETFOLDER and look for a folder called _catalog.  Look for the file titled “index.html” and double click. Your browser should launch and your catalog should look something like this:


index.html for Calibre OPDS catalog


Done yet? Yes, if all you want is web access.  

This next part is adding the catalog to your iPhone.  Check out Stanza alternatives.

Step 1. Open up your favorite app on your iPhone.

Step 2.   Add a new catalog.

Enter your catalog name. It can be whatever you like.   The URL is the path to your dropbox public folder.   You can get this path by doing the following:

Go to your SECRET FOLDER and click on the “_catalog” folder created above in Step 8.   Look for the file named “index.xml“.   There will be a index.html but you want index.xml. Highlight that file.   Right click, scroll to Dropbox, and in the fly out is “copy public link“.

Once you have the public link, paste it somewhere (like in a word document or a notepad file, etc). It should look something like this:

This entire path must be typed into the URL of the iphone.


In the future, anytime you make a change to your Calibre database, you will want to update your catalogs.

As an aside, I no longer use Stanza but on the iOS platform, you can download an epub or mobi file from Safari and be presented with the “Open In” option allowing you to read the epub or mobi file in most apps (all apps except the BN app).

Another great thing is if you have Bluefire authorized with your Adobe Digital Editions account, you don’t need to strip the DRM from the epubs although if you want to, there are plugins for Calibre that help you do that. (Note that stripping DRM may be illegal in your jurisdiction or country).

Have questions? Leave them in the comments.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Angela James
    Feb 14, 2010 @ 06:46:38

    I would love to do this, but I have a Mac so I’d love to hear from someone who replicated the steps for Mac users.

    ETA: I found instructions for Mac users here but am unable to try them, because I get an error message when I try to extract the opds files (I tried twice, have no idea what I’m doing wrong to get an error message unzipping a file, for pete’s sake!) Maybe someone will have better luck and can report back for Mac users!

  2. Dana
    Feb 14, 2010 @ 07:25:09

    I’m having the same problem as Angela James. I’m also getting an error when I try to unzip the opds file on Mac Os X 10.5.8.

    But thank you so much for writing out the instructions, I’ve been wanting to try this, but had no idea where to start.

  3. Courtney Milan
    Feb 14, 2010 @ 09:34:31

    Angie and Dana,

    There’s something screwed up about the most recent version; you can manually unpack it but even plain text files are screwed up. Use this version instead:

  4. Courtney Milan
    Feb 14, 2010 @ 09:44:39

    Also, Jane, this is awesome. If you do this, I am fairly certain that you should be able to use the Kindle’s experimental web browser to download the books via Whispernet (for free) with only minor modification, so long as you navigate to the right address and have the right format in your database.

    I don’t have a Kindle any more so can’t experiment.

  5. Joan/SarahF
    Feb 14, 2010 @ 09:45:57

    Um, I haven’t read the post because it looks…confusing. Well, no, It looks brilliantly step-by-step and NOT confusing. But it looks…long. And because I’ve had a LOT of luck with GoodReader on my iPhone. Most of my ebooks are in PDF which does NOT flow well when converted into ePub and I’ve found I can’t deal well with the lack of or change in paragraph breaks. But saving the PDFs to DropBox and then pointing my iPhone to them from the GoodReader app ($0.99, I think) is working AMAZINGLY well. GoodReader is feature rich too and downloading the books to my iPhone is super-easy, even for tech-challenged me. So, if you’re PDF-heavy, just another option.

  6. KJ
    Feb 14, 2010 @ 09:51:42

    Thanks, Jane. For some reason I can’t find where to select Apple – Iphone + Stanza on my calibre. I already had Calibre installed so I thought maybe I needed to uninstall and do it through wizard. But the Wizard never came up on my Macbook… it just went directly to the calibre interface. Any suggestions? Thanks!

  7. Angela James
    Feb 14, 2010 @ 09:51:59

    Thanks, Courtney, I was really feeling silly and abnormally technologically inept when I couldn’t even unzip the file!

  8. Jane
    Feb 14, 2010 @ 10:04:54

    @Courtney Milan: Interesting. I’ve never tried that but it would be a great experiment.

    Sorry about the MAC errors guys. I guess I need to buy a MAC so I can write up good explanations for the MAC readers. Wonder if I can sell that to the husband.

  9. Jane
    Feb 14, 2010 @ 10:05:42

    @KJ: What step are you stuck on? If you have Calibre installed, you should be able to go to “Preferences” in Calibre and change the location of the calibre library.

  10. KJ
    Feb 14, 2010 @ 10:10:02

    @Jane: @Jane: I was able to change my Calibre location, but in the instructions for Mac that Angela posted it said you had to:

    Next, make sure you select Apple and iPhone/iTouch + Stanza for the optimisation. This will ensure the correct file format for imported books.

    I tried doing it without the above step and my IPhone won’t recognize my dropbox/calibre contents… It might just be a Mac thing. Anyone with a Mac find this not to be the case? Thanks!

  11. Jane
    Feb 14, 2010 @ 10:12:08

    If you are running a MAC, it looks like an AppleScript can be used to automate tasks (which is just what a BAT file does).

  12. Jane
    Feb 14, 2010 @ 10:15:49

    @KJ: I see what you are talking about now.

    This is the output format for your books when you convert. You access this by “Preferences” and then “Conversion” and then “Page Setup”. But honestly, I think the default ePub is fine.

    Were you able to generate a _catalog folder?

  13. Angela James
    Feb 14, 2010 @ 10:18:41

    Jane, is the problem with unzipping the files a Mac-specific error? It looks like this might not have always been a problem since it wasn’t mentioned in the Mac instructions I found (and the developer uses a Mac, doesn’t he?) It’s almost like it’s a glitch in the newest version, though.

  14. KJ
    Feb 14, 2010 @ 10:24:49

    @Jane: Yep, I have a catalog folder and was able to get a link from the catalog.xml. However after I’ve saved the http: link in Stanza and clicked on it it says Catalog Error: Error reading Catalog data. Also when I put my catalog.html link in Safari it changes from http:/ to an RSS feed… not sure if that’s normal or not. Since I followed all your well set up steps I figured the only thing that I wasn’t doing (selecting Apple as the device) is what is hindering the reading…

  15. KJ
    Feb 14, 2010 @ 10:29:31

    Oh, I figured it out! I was typing in html in the url instead of xml. My goof. Thanks so much, Jane! It works great.

  16. Beau
    Feb 14, 2010 @ 10:30:30

    Jane you are the most awesome of the of the awesome. (insert fan girl squee) :)

    I’m going to try this again with my sugarsync account. (my calibre file is bigger then 2GB)

    Thanks for Laying it out so clearly!

  17. Angela James
    Feb 14, 2010 @ 10:34:40

    @KJ did you figure out how to automate the BAT file step for Mac users?

  18. KJ
    Feb 14, 2010 @ 10:51:51

    @Angela James: Not yet, but I’m working on it! lol If I figure it out I’ll post how I did it.

  19. Angela James
    Feb 14, 2010 @ 11:09:29

    I can’t create the catalog, I keep getting an error when I do this step, something having to do with Java, according to the list of errors I get back in the command terminal window. Bleh.

  20. KJ
    Feb 14, 2010 @ 11:13:14

    @Angela James: Have you updated Java recently? I just did a system update a couple of weeks ago and Java was one of things needing to be updated… maybe that would help?

  21. KJ
    Feb 14, 2010 @ 11:18:18

    @Angela James: Angela, when I just moved my calibre2opds file from the original bin location it gave me that Java error. But if I left it where it was when I first unzipped it, the catalog file came up.

  22. becca
    Feb 14, 2010 @ 11:26:21

    I’m probably a neo-luddite on this, but I don’t trust the cloud. I want my books stored on my own computer, backed up on my own backup device. Control of my files is more important to me than cross-device portability.

  23. Elyssa Papa
    Feb 14, 2010 @ 11:30:41

    This all looks so familiar to me. ;) Since this has been set up, it’s made everything so much easier.

  24. David
    Feb 14, 2010 @ 11:34:29

    Hello everyone,
    I’m the author of calibre2opds, and first I’d like to thank Jane for this awesome tutorial ; if you’re ok with this, I’d like to link to it from the FAQ section on the Launchpad project’s page…
    The bad archive problem should be solved now, if you were not able to extract the 1.0.9 installation archive, please try again. If you’ve still got problems, please ask and I’ll do my best to help.
    About the automatization of the parameters (BAT file) on a Mac, I’d recommend creating a shell script (which is exactly the same as a batch file) with the text that Jane has provided (use UNIX paths, of course, with /’s and not \’s). Simply create a text file that you’ll name whatever you want (usually ends with .sh but it’s your call), add the commands and save. Then, issue the command “chmod u+x MYFILENAMEHERE” to make it executable and you’re all set…
    In the next version, I’ll include a GUI tool that will allow the user to set all his(her) preferred options, and write a configuration file. Then a simple command will be used to run the tool – exactly like the bat file or shell script, without all the geeky frosting ;)
    Well, that’s all ; happy sharing of your library, and please do ask questions if you want me to help, I’ll be delighted…
    Oh, and you can reach me online on Skype : davidpierron is my name there…
    Good evening,

  25. Angela James
    Feb 14, 2010 @ 11:44:09

    Thanks for fixing the archive so quickly, David! I’m going to try doing the autoscript per your instructions, though it still reads a little like Greek to me.

    @KJ Yes, you’re exactly right. Mac users: you must move the zip file BEFORE you unpack it. So move the zip file to whatever folder you want it in (in my case, I put it in the Public folder) and then unpack it. If you unpack it and then move it, you’ll get the Java errors that I got.

  26. Angela James
    Feb 14, 2010 @ 12:03:14

    Yay! It worked. It’s so pretty, though I haven’t updated my Calibre library in awhile and it’s a bit of a mess. But it’s very cool to have it all there on my phone. Thanks, Jane and David. Now I just need to figure out the autoscript and I’ll be set. Very useful tool.

    David, is there somewhere we can donate to you for your time in developing this? I’ve already donated for Calibre and I’d like to be able to donate to you as well.

  27. David
    Feb 14, 2010 @ 12:12:45

    I’m happy that you could install and use calibre2opds.
    Concerning donations, let’s say that I’ve developped this tool primarily for my personal use, for the fun, and for warm feeling of being useful and loved :p
    If you want to make me even happier, please fill the survey at, and tell me how I can make this tool better…
    This being said, I’m always opened to beer money : I’ve got a Paypal account linked to my email address (dpierron at gmail dot com), feel free to chip in if you want – but please try to stay under the million dollars ceiling, I don’t want to have problems with the IRS ;)

    All best,

  28. Jane
    Feb 14, 2010 @ 13:07:20

    @David: Feel free to use it however you want. Thank you so much for making this program available to us readers

  29. Angela James
    Feb 14, 2010 @ 13:14:03

    David: you have beer money! Thank you.

    For random information to Mac users: I’m very close to having an executable script. When I double click on it in Finder, it shows that it’s executed, and goes through the process, but it appears to not actually update the catalog. I haven’t figured it out, and perhaps someone will before I do, but I’ll keep trying.

  30. David
    Feb 14, 2010 @ 13:21:53

    Jane: thanks, I’ll do the link ASAP… Your tutorial will be very useful to every calibre2opds user in need of help !

    Angela: thanks for the beer, cheers !

    Everyone: if you want to stay informed of all the evolutions of calibre2opds, please either visit the project’s Launchpad page regularily, or subscribe to the annoucements feed (

  31. Keishon
    Feb 14, 2010 @ 14:21:33

    FML I generated the catalog but the catalog url is missing….

  32. David
    Feb 14, 2010 @ 14:24:00

    @Keishon: what do you mean ? that you don’t have a “copy public link” menu option ? or that the catalog.xml file was not generated ?

  33. Keishon
    Feb 14, 2010 @ 14:31:51

    @David: That the catalog.xml wasn’t generated. I am rerunning the batch file now to see what happens. I see it generating but what am I doing wrong?

    Here is my script:

    cd C:UsersKeishonDocumentsMy DropboxPublicsecretfolderbin
    calibre2opds.bat C:UsersKeishonDocumentsMy DropboxPublicsecret folder

  34. Angela James
    Feb 14, 2010 @ 14:35:39

    I did it! *dances around the room* I created an executable, clickable command file in Finder and it looks like it works. Wheee!

    Here’s how I did it, with the provision that I pieced this together from David’s instructions and some info I found using Google, so if it doesn’t work for you, I’m unlikely to be able to help work it out but it LOOKS like it works. Turns out I’d turned one / around and had it as a \ and that was keeping it from working. Duh.

    1. Open TextEdit
    2. Go to Format–Make Plain Text
    3. Type in the following commands, subbing your own file path, of course, I’m just showing you mine so you get the idea of how it looks:

    chmod 777 /Users/babybookworm/Desktop/Dropbox/Public/

    /Users/babybookworm/Desktop/Dropbox/Public/calibre2opds-1.0.9/bin/calibre2opds /Users/babybookworm/Desktop/Dropbox/Public/MYSECRETFOLDER

    4. Save as FILENAME.command (filename being whatever the heck you want it to be) and put it wherever is easiest for you to access and click it in Finder.

    5. Now, double click it in Finder. A terminal window should open and the script should run. Should.

    If anyone has any corrections to my process, I’d love to hear them, but I thought I’d give Mac users like me a little assist!

  35. David
    Feb 14, 2010 @ 14:39:43

    @Keishon: The most common source of problem is that the tool does not find the Calibre folder ; by default, it expect it to be the current directory (i.e. the directory in which the tool is executed, the one you have specified in your CD command at the first line of the recommended batch file).
    Another possibility is that you have no books in ePub format, which is by default the only books that the tool is listing.
    Can you send me a copy of the tool’s output ? I’ll try to help…

    @Angela: you did it wrong I’m afraid… The first line you suggest (chmod …) is setting the “executable” attribute on a calibre2opds file in the…/bin folder, whereas the second line executes the one on calibre2opds-1.0.9/…/bin ; this first line should be modified to point at the right file, and it is not necessary to include it in the script : running it once is enough…
    But hey: it works, and that’s what’s important : congratulations !

  36. Angela James
    Feb 14, 2010 @ 14:42:42

    David: there’s a translate button at the bottom of each comment. I almost hit it on yours to see if it would help, lolol! I’m totally muddling through this, so I’m glad you’re here. The script worked as written (I’ve tested it a few times) but I’d love to understand how to correct it, so people following me can have it correctly as well.

  37. David
    Feb 14, 2010 @ 14:56:12

    All right, I’ll try :

    According to the FAQ (available on the project’s Launchpad page), if you’re running an Unix system, you’ll need to set execute permissions on the InstallFolder/bin/calibre2opds script. This means, for Mac users (a BSD Unix system), that when installing a new version of calibre2opds they’ll have to extract the files from the archive, and then go into the extracted “bin” directory using a Terminal window and issue the “chmod u+x calibre2opds” command.

    Then, if you want, it’s possible to write a shell script which will run the tool with all the options set to the values they prefer ; here is my shell script :

    cd ~/Applications/calibre2opds
    ./bin/calibre2opds –maxbeforepaginate 20 –maxbeforesplit 20 –booksinrecent 99999 –splittagson : /Users/david/Dropbox/Public/calibre_library

    The tool is installed in “~/Applications/calibre2opds”, and my Calibre library is located in “/Users/david/Dropbox/Public/calibre_library” ; these are obviously two things you’ll want to replace with adequate values.

    Name this script ANYTHING.command, and Mac OS will pick this extension and know that it must run the command in a Terminal window.

    Before running it, you’ll have to make it executable in the same way you did with calibre2opds (use the chmod u+x command).

    Btw, I just created a new FAQ about this :

  38. Angela James
    Feb 14, 2010 @ 15:02:18

    I think I understand. I think my folder name is partially misleading. The zip file is actually the unpacked files, I just didn’t change the name and left it what the Mac called it when it unpacked it (which is the same as the zipped file), but now I see the problem with that will be that I’ll have to change my script when I install a new version, since the folder name would change.

    So the tool part and the Calibre library part I got right, I just have more information then I actually need in there and could refine the language.

    Oh, now I see that my explanation also looks like the script is pointing to two different files, but the actual script is pointing to .9 in both lines, so I see what you were saying about that. Thanks for pointing it out!

    Thanks for taking the time to explain!

  39. MariaESchneider
    Feb 14, 2010 @ 15:15:32

    Wow. Just wow!

  40. Keishon
    Feb 14, 2010 @ 15:25:56

    The most common source of problem is that the tool does not find the Calibre folder ; by default, it expect it to be the current directory (i.e. the directory in which the tool is executed, the one you have specified in your CD command at the first line of the recommended batch file).

    Okay here’s what it is doing: spits out 258 items when I execute the file with 0 kb for the catalog.xml.

    How I did this: My ebooks transferred over to my new dropbox folder (in ePub). My metadata folder is there as well. Second time I execute this file, it spits out 1758 items. I see tags, thumbnails of my ebooks but no catalog.xml or html urls are generating.

    David, How do I get you a copy of the output file? Sorry, am not techno savvy here. I did get Calibre2Web to work for me so I can’t understand what I am doing incorrectly. Will take a brief break and start over.

  41. KJ
    Feb 14, 2010 @ 18:16:35

    Thanks so much Angela and David for the instructions! I tried doing it myself but kept getting errors.

  42. Angela James
    Feb 14, 2010 @ 18:19:33

    If you want to email me, KJ, I’ll send you my file and you can play with putting in your own settings to see if you can get it to work. angelajameseditor at gmail dot com

  43. Keishon
    Feb 14, 2010 @ 20:15:40

    Well, I got it up and running with the assist of Jane and it looks just gorgeous. I don’t know what it was that was keeping it from generating but I ended up dumping the ebooks I had in that folder and used another set and the codes worked beautifully. Now am in the process in propagating it back to where it was. Good night all. Thanks Jane and David.

  44. teebee
    Feb 14, 2010 @ 23:50:04

    So I think I did it right. I have a catalog with all my books in it. But the catalog takes me to a page with these options:

    Alphabetical index of the 351 tags

    Alphabetical index of the 194 authors

    Recent additions
    100 most recent books

    All books
    Alphabetical index of the 354 books

    When I click All Books you have to link to all the books that start with A, all the books that start with B, and so on. Is that right? Is there anyway for me to just get my full list of books all on one page?


  45. Jane
    Feb 15, 2010 @ 00:10:01

    @teebee I know that there are ways to customize the catalog output, but I’m not very familiar with them. If David is still following along, he might be able to point you in the right direction.

  46. teebee
    Feb 15, 2010 @ 00:22:29

    Thanks Jane. It sure isn’t the end of the world if I can’t change it. But yeah I would love that.

  47. David
    Feb 15, 2010 @ 03:26:33

    @teebee: There’s an option you can use to disable the “split by letter” behavior ; it’s “–maxbeforesplit”, which takes a parameter : the maximum number of elements a catalog can hold before it is split by letter.
    If you use a large value (e.g. –maxbeforesplit 999999), it will never split (or shouldn’t, anyway).

    It’s good to know that you can get a description of all the options along with their default values by using the –help option (i.e. calibre2opds –help).

  48. Lisa Hendrix
    Feb 15, 2010 @ 07:44:15

    Calibre looks fabulous, David, congratulatons. And huge thank yous to Jane, Courtney, and everyone else who’s provided tips and answers in the comment thread.

    However, before I download and get busy, I have one question. I notice that you specify your device in the initial set-up. I don’t have a dedicated reader yet (am using Stanza and Adobe Digital on my Mac for now). Will I be able to switch devices later? Or if I end up with two different devices (an iPad and an Asus Eee Reader, for instance), will I be able to switch back and forth so I can move books to both? I assume I can, but I’ve poked around the Manual and help FAQs, but can’t seem to find any specific info.

    Thanks in advance.

  49. David
    Feb 15, 2010 @ 07:48:39

    @Lisa: First, I want to clarify something : I’m not the author of Calibre, Kovid Goyal is, and it’s true that his software looks fabulous ! I only developped the conversion tool calibre2opds, that Jane described in her tutorial here.
    To answer your question, the choice of device you make at startup is not permanent : it is only there to help Calibre set default options values for different things like conversions, formats, drivers and so on. You’ll be able to change it later, no fear ;)

  50. teebee
    Feb 15, 2010 @ 14:15:52

    David, I am very much a newbie to this. Would my batch file look like this?

    cd C:UsersteebeeDesktopMy DropboxPublicfoldercalibre2opds-1.0.9bin
    calibre2opds.bat -maxbeforesplit 999999 C:UsersteebeeDesktopMy DropboxPublicfolder

    Thanks so much

  51. David
    Feb 15, 2010 @ 14:50:04

    EDIT : this site messes with backslashes, so I replaced them with £ …

    Er, no, there are a lot of backslashes (£) missing… Is it when you pasted to this site ?
    It probably should read :
    cd “C:£Users£teebee£Desktop£My Dropbox£Public folder£calibre2opds-1.0.9”
    bin£calibre2opds.bat -maxbeforesplit 999999 “C:£Users£teebee£Desktop£My Dropbox£Public folder”

    Use french quotes because of the space in the path ; also, it’s not necessary to store calibre2opds in the Dropbox folder… It’s only a program…

  52. teebee
    Feb 15, 2010 @ 14:59:01

    Ah! Cool. That I understand. I think I can do that and that I get it. I will let you know how it goes. And thank you so so much

  53. teebee
    Feb 15, 2010 @ 15:04:05

    It worked. You’re the best! I now have a good incentive to clean up my metadata! Thanks!

  54. David
    Feb 15, 2010 @ 15:06:44

    You’re welcome, enjoy ;)

  55. Brian
    Feb 15, 2010 @ 22:41:12

    For anyone wondering, this will not work with the Kindle’s experimental browser. Apparently something in the download links in the catalog or something Dropbox does cause it to fail and produce a 404 error.

    The K’s browser is pretty basic. I’ve done something similar to this using my own web space and an htaccess password protected folder and some freeware that generates an html list of the files in the folder and that works fine with the K, I guess the html generated by this method is too complex for the K’s wimpy browser (although the links look pretty standard and you can browse the catalog just fine) or Dropbox does something when initiating the download.

  56. David
    Feb 16, 2010 @ 03:35:08

    Hi Brian,
    I’m not sure this is due to the K’s browser ; of course, if the browser is basic, it’s gonna miss some of the eye candy generated using CSS and Javascript, and maybe the links will not even work.
    But a 404 problem comes from the server, it’s his way of saying “no sir, sorry but the file you’re asking for does not exist…”.
    I’ve seen this often with Dropbox, and it has to do with the fact that sometimes, the Dropbox server thinks that you’re using too much bandwidth and simply kills your public URLs.
    Try with a regular, desktop browser and you’ll see if, at the same moment, both it and the K’s wimpy browser have the same problem.

  57. Brian
    Feb 16, 2010 @ 10:27:33

    Hi David,
    Yeah, I did try it from a regular browser and everything works fine. I’m thinking it’s something with the K.

    I’m going to mess with getting it to work with my HTC Hero and Aldiko.

  58. Create Your Own Cloud of Ebooks with Calibre + Calibre OPDS + Dropbox | Dear Author: Romance Novel Reviews, Industry News, and Commentary at Электронные книги
    Feb 16, 2010 @ 14:39:01

    […] without comments Calibre via […]

  59. Jonathan Harford
    Feb 17, 2010 @ 10:47:20

    I was already using DropBox to keep my books on two computers so I was already halfway there!

    The thing is, my DropBox directory is different for each computer, so your batch file doesn’t work for me. Instead, I just have the following batch file in my calibre2opds-1.0.9 directory (which is itself in my Calibre Library directory):

    cd .\bin
    calibre2opds.bat ..\..

    Works well! Can you see a downside?

  60. David
    Feb 17, 2010 @ 11:03:17

    Nope, you’re doing it well…

    Note : don’t take too much time playing with custom scripts, I’m finishing a new release with a graphical user interface and a configuration file… Should be ready soon, I’m struggling with installers…

  61. Jane
    Feb 17, 2010 @ 11:04:02

    @Jonathan Harford: You can store the Calibre OPDS folder anywhere. I believe David stores his in the Calibre program folder. You can set up two different batch scripts to run: one for Computer A path and one for Computer B path and they won’t conflict.

  62. Sayuri
    Feb 17, 2010 @ 14:25:34

    Arghh! It has generated a .xml file but not a .html for the catalogue. Any ideas??

  63. David
    Feb 17, 2010 @ 14:29:12

    You should simply not use the –nogeneratehtml option…

    Again, for a list of the available options, use the –help command.

  64. Sayuri
    Feb 17, 2010 @ 18:24:30

    @David – Thanks for that but unfortunatley it means nothing to me. I am a complete moron if it doesn’t have detailed instructions.

    I’ll just wait on the version with the GUI. I’ll figure that out. I have my Library synced to Dropbox, that was my main goal.

  65. Stumbling Over Chaos :: Today’s forecast is for sunshine and linkity
    Feb 18, 2010 @ 02:03:02

    […] Author has an interesting post about using Calibre and Dropbox to put your ebooks “in the cloud&#8221… so you can access them wherever you […]

  66. David
    Feb 18, 2010 @ 16:49:36

    As promised, here is the new version 2 !
    It has a graphical user interface, you’ll be able to generate your catalogs much more easily. The configuration you set up will be saved to a file, and the next time calibre2opds is run from the command line it will use these settings.
    There is a Windows installer, and a specific Mac Os X version (bundled as a real Mac application).

  67. Планета е-книг » Blog Archive » “Облачные” е-книги? Означает ли это конец цифровой дистрибуции контента?
    Feb 22, 2010 @ 10:58:25

    […] Интересное это дело “витать в облаках”… ______________________________________ Особенно, когда есть возможность создать своё собственное “облако” .  См. DearAuthor (Create your own cloud of ebooks with Calibre, Сalibre-OPDS, Dropbox) […]

  68. ruth
    Feb 24, 2010 @ 21:08:56

    oddly enough everything works nicely except for the stanza part. I just get Catalog Error. Any thoughts?

  69. David
    Feb 25, 2010 @ 03:33:10

    That’s weird ; can you access the HTML catalog on the URL you’re trying to access in Stanza ?
    What I mean is, use Safari on your iPhone to try and access the same URL, replacing the .xml at the end with .html
    If it does not work, you got the URL wrong somehow. If it does, then there is a true problem with the OPDS catalog, in which case I may be able to help you if you’re willing to share it with me (privately, by email, of course).
    I sometimes have problems with Stanza not recognizing the catalog, but it’s sporadic, and always solved by trying again.

    All best,

  70. Ruth
    Feb 25, 2010 @ 06:02:23

    Thanks. I had HTML eater than xml. So it works now.

  71. Installing Python on Mac and PC, Manga Recs and More
    Feb 27, 2010 @ 11:50:53

    […] off because I have a feel­ing that it will be an all day event. I had issues with cre­at­ing my own cloud of ebooks but even­tu­ally got that one going. To truly own, I mean _own_ your ebooks with­out […]

  72. David
    Mar 08, 2010 @ 14:45:09

    New release : 2.0.1
    Lots of bug corrections, and some interesting new features (all asked for by users!)
    Get it here while it’s hot :

    Also, I’ve been told that Aldiko is now capable of importing calibre2opds catalogs !

  73. David Pierron
    Mar 09, 2010 @ 14:15:11

    There was a bug in this release, and a re-released it with a correction patch.
    Simply redownload the new version (it has the same release number) and try again.
    Tell me if it doesn’t work !

  74. David Pierron
    Mar 11, 2010 @ 04:48:24

    Here is the new release :

    It fixes the cover bug, and another bug with the tags catalog in large libraries – like Jane’s :p

  75. Add your own catalogs to Ibis Reader : Threepress Consulting blog
    Apr 13, 2010 @ 08:51:20

    […] in OPDS format, just use the form at the bottom to add it by file upload or point it at a URL (your Calibre library in the cloud, […]

  76. Alexandra
    May 11, 2010 @ 16:57:13

    What do I do if my Library is too large?

  77. Jane
    May 11, 2010 @ 18:30:22

    @Alexandra How large is too large? I have over 3000+ ebooks.

  78. Alexandra
    May 11, 2010 @ 23:02:27

    @Jane: Pretty big, the Calibre library by itself is 4.4GB, I really wish there was a good way to clean it up… and that’s not even all the books either, and a lot of those are .rar so they could theoretically get bigger if I unpack them. Should I go through and unpack stuff manually and only save EPUB/LIT formats and delete all the rest?

  79. David Pierron
    May 12, 2010 @ 02:18:59

    Hi Alexandra,

    There are several ways of restricting the data that you want published. The first two only concern the catalog, and then the whole library will be published anyway. The third is probably what you’ll want to do, but it will need to be combined with the first or the second one (or both).

    1/ restrict the catalog to make it publish only certain tags, or skip certain tags altogether
    Using the “List of tags that will generate a catalog” and/or “List of tags that will be excluded from the catalog” options, you can choose which of your tags are published. This directly translates into publishing a smaller part of your library.

    2/ restrict the catalog to make it publish only certain file types
    Using the “Included formats” option, you can choose which eBook file will be referenced in the catalog. Books with no files of this type will not get published at all.

    3/ use the “Publication mode” feature
    This new feature has just been introduced in the new 2.2 version. By selecting “Publication mode” in the list of device-specific modes, you’ll make a specific subset of your Calibre library, including only the books referenced in the catalog.
    This means that, by not choosing to put the whole Calibre library under Dropbox control (keep the folder out of the “My Dropbox” directory), and then setting up calibre2opds to use “Publication Mode” and tell it to create the catalog in the “My Dropbox/Public/some folder name that I like” directory, you’ll only publish the part of the catalog you want.
    Remember that ALL the books referenced in your catalog will be published. This means that you have to use one of the other methods (or both) to actually restrict what gets in your catalog…

    Hope this helps,

  80. David Pierron
    May 12, 2010 @ 02:54:20

    For the record, I added this answer to the documentation wiki

  81. Alexandra
    May 12, 2010 @ 16:44:16

    @David Pierron:

    The tag option unfortunately won’t work for me since I downloaded the social metadata with tags for the books. I’m going to try do with only making a catalog of those published as EPUB, since that is the most friendly format for Stanza on my iphone. I’m about to attempt. Wish me luck!

    (10 minutes later) I got it working! It’s wonderful! thank you so much. Now I just gotta go through and weed out the books I do/don’t want to read!

  82. David Pierron
    May 13, 2010 @ 00:50:04

    Hi Alexandra,

    I’m happy to hear that you succeeded !

    Again, for the record, I want to add that you can ADD a specific tag to the books that you want to publish (or to those you DON’T want to publish), without removing the other tags that you already have (as you said, downloaded metadata).

    All best,

  83. teebee
    Jun 15, 2010 @ 20:35:33

    David, if you are still here. I am using one of the earliest versions of calibre2opds and haven’t updated because what I have is working just fine. But will the newer versions put my topaz files in the catalog too?

  84. David
    Jun 16, 2010 @ 02:12:33

    Hi teebee,

    I’m not sure what the Topaz format is, and which device you intent to use it with – is it the Kindle, accessing the HTML catalog generated by calibre2opds ?

    Supporting a format is just a matter of adding it to the list of known formats, and giving it a coherent mimetype (for example, EPUB has “application/epub+zip”, and RTF has “text/rtf”)

    As of the latest version, calibre2opds recognizes these formats : EPUB,TXT,ZIP,PRC,PDB,MOBI,LRF,LRX,FB2,RAR,PDF,RTF,LIT,DOC

    If you give me the file extensions that TOPAZ uses, I can add it to the list for the next version…

    All best,

  85. teebee
    Jun 16, 2010 @ 20:12:42

    @David: It uses .tpz and .azw1. And yes it would be for a kindle through the html catalog. I downloaded the new version and looked at it a little. Is there any way on there to customize the catalog.html page by adding code/text? I found a way with the old one which is part of the reason I don’t want to upgrade. Thanks so much.

  86. Thursday Tips & Tricks ~ Backing Up Your Books « Kindle Love «
    Jun 17, 2010 @ 17:03:21

    […] and create a viewable web catalog of your books that you can can browse on your phone, check out Dear Author’s post on creating a cloud. I admit I have done it, but being a Kindle owner it would require me to keep […]

  87. Frank Lowney
    Jul 01, 2010 @ 09:05:36

    This is a great solution for those who don’t have a static IP address or who don’t want to leave their computer on 24/7. However, if you do have a computer with a persistent Internet connection and static IP that can be left on all the time, Calibre has a built-in server that generates both an ODPS catalog and an HTML listing.

  88. convert dpg to video
    Jul 08, 2010 @ 08:12:31

    In my opinion, it is error.

  89. Mary
    Jul 27, 2010 @ 12:20:56

    I could cry, I really could. I followed this tutorial, and everything is installed. I can see my books in my catalog on the website and on my iPad with Stanza, but how on earth do I read the books on Stanza? I can get the book information, I can get the front cover, but what I don’t have is a download button so I can actually read the damn book.

  90. Jane
    Jul 27, 2010 @ 12:27:09

    @Mary – with the new CalibreOPDS, you have the option of choosing what kind of catalog to create. The default is OPDS but you need to choose Stanza. Try doing that.

  91. Mary
    Jul 27, 2010 @ 12:43:29

    @Jane – Wow, I think I love you just a little now. In a non-creepy way. It works! Thank you so much. You have just neutralised half an hour of aneurysm-inducing frustration.

  92. Jane
    Jul 27, 2010 @ 15:04:21

    @Mary I had the same problem so I am glad that the solution worked for you.

  93. links for 2010-07-28 « WildBill’s Blogdom
    Jul 28, 2010 @ 18:02:00

    […] Create Your Own Cloud of Ebooks with Calibre + Calibre OPDS + Dropbox | Dear Author Whoa. This is seriously neat. (tags: ebooks calibre nook iphone) Posted by bill Mblog Subscribe to RSS feed […]

  94. RachelT
    Jul 29, 2010 @ 08:25:48

    Thanks Jane and Dave for all your help – I have worn my screen out going through all your tips, but I’ve finally got my catalogue on my Iphone with the facility to download (the last couple of posts were helpful there). Along the way I managed to duplicate my library into my catalogue and blew my Dropbox 2 gb limit, so had to delete and start again.

    I have a couple of questions:
    Dave, you were discussing above dividing the book catalogue by letter, but at the time people were using the pre-gui versions. To make the catalogue more manageable on my iphone, I would like to be able to look at the titles by letter ie all those starting with A, then B etc. But I’m not clear what boxes to check on the gui to achieve this.

    My second question is about automatically updating the catalogue when new books are added. I noticed on MobileRead that Kovid mentioned that a plugin could do this. Do you know if anybody has written one? If not is it difficult, and how do I do it? (Nothing like running before I can walk).

    Thank you once again for all your help.


  95. Jade
    Aug 02, 2010 @ 11:46:07

    If someone out there could help me I’d be eternally grateful. I created the cloud and calibre is pulling up on both computers. YAY! But now I can’t add any books. This is the error message I’m getting from calibre
    ERROR: ERROR: Unhandled exception
    DatabaseException:no such function: uuid4
    RemoteTraceback (most recent call last):
    File “calibre\library\sqlite.pyo”, line 135, in run
    OperationalError: no such function: uuid4
    OK Hide Details…
    I have tried putting files directly into calibre and also into dropbox (they went into dropbox but don’t show up in calibre and can’t be uploaded from dropbox into calibre)both attempts resulted in the error message. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks

  96. Jane
    Aug 02, 2010 @ 12:31:27

    @Jade I would go to MobileRead and ask there. Kovid, the creator of Calibre is there and is super helpful.

  97. Jade
    Aug 02, 2010 @ 14:58:47

    @Jane: Thanks!

  98. Ian Dunross
    Aug 14, 2010 @ 16:07:29

    Thanks for the directions. i am able to see the catalog from my iPhone, but am unable to download the actual book to my iphone. I can only look at the ebook cover. There is no dowload book option. Could you please help?

  99. Jane
    Aug 14, 2010 @ 16:19:22

    @Ian the new OPDS required you to generate Stanza catalog. Look at the bottom center of the OPDS window for a dropdown selection of catalog type.

  100. Matt
    Aug 23, 2010 @ 14:58:06

    Followed this excellent guide.
    Books from calibre to dropbox worked fine.
    calibre2opds generated catolog.xml fine
    Stanza sees catolog but has no download button?

    Any ideas why?

  101. Matt
    Aug 23, 2010 @ 15:00:04


    oops just seen previous post sorry!

  102. Andre N
    Aug 27, 2010 @ 18:11:53

    One easy way for people who jailbroke their idevice, just access the /private/var/mobile/Applications/xxxxx-xxxxx through ssh, where the folder has a folder named Then put files in /document.

  103. Sérgio Mafra
    Aug 31, 2010 @ 07:48:23

    Got a Nook? This are the steps to browse and download book from the cloud:

    Calibre2opds side
    1. Use the Default mode
    2. Chose TROOK in the compatibility level
    3. Press button Generate the catalogs
    4. Exit Calibre2opds

    Nook Side
    1. use Trook
    2. Go to My Feeds
    3. Open using url from catalog.xml´s dropbox.
    4. Bookmark it
    5. Refresh… and voilá
    You got a cloud e-book library on your Nook

  104. Sérgio Mafra
    Aug 31, 2010 @ 08:59:30

    This the other way to have an e-books on the cloud.

  105. Monty Lee
    Sep 11, 2010 @ 17:20:45

    Just found out that China (at least mainland China) blocks Dropbox (and other sites). No way to access my files in China (and you can’t log on to their site).

  106. Sérgio Mafra
    Sep 12, 2010 @ 08:28:37

    @Monty Lee: @Monty Lee: You can use a free VPN service. Try this one:
    YOu´ll be redirect to France where thing should be less restrictive.

  107. Icy
    Oct 30, 2010 @ 22:55:06

    Wonderful!! I’ve just used these instructions to get books onto my Windows Phone 7 using Freda as the eReader.


  108. KB Alan
    Nov 06, 2010 @ 01:28:54

    Wow. I was using Calibre and Dropbox together, but this just takes it to a whole new level of awesome. Thanks so much!

  109. David P
    Dec 18, 2010 @ 21:06:23

    Ok, if I’m getting to where I can see the catalogue folders on my Windows Mobile device, but I can not actually connect to the ebooks, what might be going on?

  110. Sayuri
    Jan 10, 2011 @ 19:53:41

    Hey all,

    i have been using and loving Calibre and Calibre opds since Jane posted this and it makes all my inside Librarian voices happy.

    I have recently upgraded to Windows 7 though and I can’t get Calibreopds to install. I have been to the webpage and checked the FAQ’a and tried everything but the main issue is they talk in really technical terms, telling me to run this script and run that script and I do not know how to do that. I literally need a blow by blow account of every keystroke needed to get this baby installed.

    Anyone game? Help? Please?

  111. RachelT
    Jan 11, 2011 @ 04:09:21

    @Sayuri: Have you tried the forums on Mobilereads? That is where the Calibre questions get asked. They are really helpful if there isn’t already an answer there. I have found some of their answers a bit techie at times, but everybody is very patient about trying to explain until you understand.

  112. BoredSysAdmin
    Jan 16, 2011 @ 17:08:38

    Using all latest versions:
    Calibre, Calibre2ODPS and Fbreader on Android.
    After some time I was able to get browsing the library to work fine, but any book i choose, I do get the info and the cover art, but I don’t get download button :(

  113. Jane
    Jan 16, 2011 @ 17:11:44

    @BoredSysAdmin: You have to choose Android as the catalog when you generate (there is OPDS, Stanza and Aldiko, I think. Aldiko is compatible with Android).

  114. BoredSysAdmin
    Jan 16, 2011 @ 18:44:55

    Well, I choose android for calibre device.
    as for calibre2opds – my choices are:
    OPDS, Stanza, Trook and Aldiko.
    So far I manage to make Aldiko catalog work for Aldiko app, but it only works for Epub files…
    I still highly prefer FBReader – much faster and customizable.

  115. BoredSysAdmin
    Jan 16, 2011 @ 19:01:25

    Never mind – epub format + stanza output on calibre2opds works for Fbreader/opds !!

  116. Michael
    Jan 28, 2011 @ 06:57:02

    If you run your own server with PHP/MySQL, you could also use Lucicat

    And then there is a dead simple way to get your own cloud library: use Ibis Reader, a HTML5 epub reader that runs in your browser on every capable device (PC, smartphone, tablet, etc.). It stores your books automatically in the cloud and you don’t even need to download the books to your device(s). It’s possible, though.

  117. allie
    Feb 03, 2011 @ 13:02:47

    This looks cool. One question though: what about syncing bookmarks across devices? That is, if i’m reading a book on my iphone, is there any way to sync with calibre, and then with my sony reader, such that my sony reader knows where i left off with my iphone? I suspect this is asking too much at this point, and that i’ll just have to manually flip to the right page.

  118. Jane
    Feb 03, 2011 @ 13:13:37

    @allie No, I am sorry there is no way that I know of to sync bookmarks across devices. With the nook and kindle books (purchased through those sites) you can sync notes/bookmarks/last place read, but not through Calibre.

  119. allie
    Feb 03, 2011 @ 13:56:26

    @jane – ah, alas. i just spent 5 minutes on my ipod touch trying to find my place in a book i had been reading on my sony ereader. perhaps this would be a cool thing for future development. I just don’t know where such bookmarks are stored though – if it’s not in the catalog file, then we might be out of luck on that front.

  120. ander
    Feb 07, 2011 @ 17:16:55

    Let me get this straight: You install an app that continually monitors your PC for changed files—in this case, book files—then uploads any changed files to the Net? Wow… Unless we’re talking about a PC you use for that and nothing else, no thanks!

  121. David
    Feb 08, 2011 @ 05:34:56

    Hi folks,
    @allie About syncing your bookmarks, there is always IbisReader (which is OPDS-compatible now).
    @ander what is so awful in the act of syncing your ebook folder to dropbox ? I’m sorry but I don’t get it…

  122. Allie
    Feb 08, 2011 @ 06:53:46

    @David – So, ODPS-compatible implies that bookmarks are stored in the catalog files? If so, very cool. That would take care of syncing between calibre and iphone. Then it would be a matter of syncing that to the sony reader as well. There is a custom firmware for some sony readers called PRS+. It’d be cool to hack it such that it would operate with ODPS bookmarks.

  123. David
    Feb 08, 2011 @ 07:27:38

    @Allie: I’ve not been very clear; let me reformulate…
    IbisReader works on many platforms (everywhere HTML5 runs, in fact) and the bookmarks are shared between these platforms (and between several instances of IbisReader on multiple platforms). And now, IbisReader is OPDS-compatible, which means that you can add your catalogs to it and read your books with it. That is all… Sorry about the false joy !

  124. allie
    Feb 08, 2011 @ 08:14:31

    @David – hmm, HTML5. So, does that mean that IBIS reader is a web-browser plugin or something?

    And the syncing of bookmarks across instances of ibis reader are sync’d with an ibis reader server i assume?

    If I’ve gotten that right, then that means that ibis reader understands OPDS, but can’t actually write to those catalogs. Rather, it reads them, and keeps bookmarks of those books sync’d on a separate server somewhere (not in the ODPS catalog itself).

  125. Le Blog de Jef » Lire des Ebooks
    Feb 20, 2011 @ 06:47:11

    […] Et pour faire votre catalogue en ligne vous pouvez utiliser Calibre et Dropbox, un tutoriel se trouve ici en anglais PDRTJS_settings_2087992 = { "id" : "2087992", "unique_id" : "default", "title" : "", "permalink" […]

  126. Joy
    Feb 20, 2011 @ 18:20:08

    Wow, such a fantastic blog. Thanks so much for this- I was able to do this all very easily. such a cool idea. Finally using all the ebooks I’ve amassed on my android phone and actually reading them…will be great for train rides etc.

  127. Deathoffleas
    Feb 20, 2011 @ 18:26:00

    I had this all working perfectly then I had to reformat my drive and re install windows and everything else. I run the opds GUI which is set up as before _catolog file is created but no .HTML or.XML file in it. Everything else is there. Stanza cannot find the catolog. Please help.

  128. ZuneHD eReader importing - Zune Boards
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 16:55:53

    […] heres how Create Your Own Cloud of Ebooks with Calibre + Calibre OPDS + Dropbox | Dear Author too much work i think […]

  129. AnaMardoll
    Feb 26, 2011 @ 10:20:27

    Thanks for this… I just finished rooting my color nook and I’m really tempted to set all this up so that I don’t have to keep sideloading books…

    I do have a question, though. The color nook doesn’t have 3G, only Wifi. I get that you need iNet access to access your cloud, but can you download the books FROM the cloud?

    I’m seeing a situation where I might be at home (with Wifi) and want to download a book from the cloud to my Nook Color, but then I might want to leave the house (no Wifi!!) but not have to lose my place or stop reading.

    Does this make sense? o.O Thanks!!

  130. Jane
    Feb 26, 2011 @ 10:30:24

    @AnaMardoll: If you have wifi, you can download books any time you have connection. I recommend using dropbox in connection with Calibre. You don’t have to do the Calibre OPDS step unless you want to make it easier to browse the dropbox folder, but if you are on the same network as your dropbox, you can just use the dropbox server feature. Does this make sense to you? I can be more specific if necessary.

  131. DarthMaul
    Mar 26, 2011 @ 20:21:26

    You need to follow the directions on the Calibre FAQ page.

    or ..

    upload the books to dropbox as well. !?!

  132. DarthMaul
    Mar 26, 2011 @ 20:31:15

  133. Shreela
    May 17, 2011 @ 09:48:39

    Step # 4 confused me; I’m guessing Calibre has updated how their preferences work. With the most recent available Calibre, I finally found where to set my “secret folder” by clicking on PREFERENCES – RUN WELCOME WIZARD (either the 2nd option under the preferences icon, OR if the preferences dialog opens, there’s a button on the bottom right for RUN WELCOME WIZARD).

    NOTE: Because I had setup my Dropbox folder (in Public) earlier, Dropbox placed a small file in it, which prevented me from choosing that folder when doing RUN WELCOME WIZARD – I had to make another new folder in Dropbox/Public, then point Calibre to it right away (before Dropbox had a chance to sync their file into it).


    Step # 5 also confused me: I installed Calibre OPDS, opened it, and changed the Database Folder to my Dropbox/Public/SecretFolder, then clicked Calibre OPDS’s SAVE button. This did not generate a _catalog folder in my Dropbox/Public/SecretFolder.

    Next I clicked Calibre OPDS’s GENERATE CATALOGS button, and there’s still no _catalog folder in my Dropbox/Public/SecretFolder – perhaps because there’s no books in my my Dropbox/Public/SecretFolder yet.

    So I entered a book into Calibre, then redid the GENERATE CATALOGS button in Calibre OPDS, and now I do have a _catalog folder in my Dropbox/Public/SecretFolder.

    Perhaps Step # 5 might be less confusing if it instructed the following, instead of the deprecated cross-out instructions:
    1. Import at least one book into Calibre reader
    2. Install then open Calibre OPDS
    3. Set Database Folder to where your Dropbox/Public/SecretFolder location is and click SAVE button
    4. Click on the GENERATE CATALOG button, once completed, check your Dropbox/Public/SecretFolder to ensure a _catalog folder was installed properly by Calibre OPDS


    Step # 8 – I do not have a file called catalog.html, nor do I have a file called catalog.xml – I do however have:

    So for kicks and grins, I chose index.html to right-click for the dropbox flyout. I believe it worked, for once I pasted the url/address into my browser, it pulled up a Calibre Library, which has catalogued one book, with the following:
    Calibre2Opds Documention
    Recent additions
    All books

    If the paragraph above is correct, perhaps Step # 8 should have us look for index.html instead of catalog.html

    Thank you!
    Win7 if that matters ^_^

  134. Jane
    May 17, 2011 @ 21:09:38

    @Shreela: You are right. These instructions need to be updated with the new release of the OPDS.

  135. Michael
    Jun 08, 2011 @ 02:10:52

    Will these instructions be updated? I’m using the latest version of Calibre and can’t wait to try out a Dropboc cloud catalog.

  136. Jane
    Jun 08, 2011 @ 06:35:48

    @Michael – yes I will. Basically, it is the same instructions but the catalog names have changed to index.html and index.xml

  137. Ana Mardoll
    Jun 08, 2011 @ 06:56:17

    I have updated instructions here:

    Jane, you’re welcome to pillage my screenshots if you like. I owe everything I know on this subject to you. :)

  138. Jane
    Jun 08, 2011 @ 07:07:34

    Thanks @Ana. I will update the post to refer to your link until such time as the post can be rewritten.

  139. |
    Jun 09, 2011 @ 07:21:03

    […] hele guiden: Create Your Own Cloud of Ebooks with Calibre + Calibre OPDS + Dropbox // aldiko, Android, […]

  140. Evangeline Holland
    Jul 24, 2011 @ 06:06:41

    Hmm…I understand the instructions, but isn’t this necessary and/or applicable only for iPad, Nook, and Kindle users?

  141. jayhjay
    Jul 24, 2011 @ 11:06:06

    Jane, thanks to your previous post on this I set up a drop box account and moved Calibre there. Just a couple of tips:

    1) I heard from Kovid (calibre founder) that you have to be careful when it is saved in the cloud. Avoid opening up both the calibre software on your computer and also opening the file folders with your books in it at the same time or things can get wonky.

    2) I got sort of hung up at step 5 and couldn’t get a handle on the whole catalogs thing. I ended up just stopping after setting up calibre on my dropbox account. I can still see all my books listed in my folder organized by author. so I don’t get all the calibre features, but it is enough that when i want to find a book I can. Then i installed Bluefire and can read right on my phone. So a more simplistic approach still works as an alternative.

  142. jayhjay
    Jul 24, 2011 @ 11:07:42

    @Evangeline Holland: I think it is helpful if you have your books stored someplace on someone else’s site (ie B&N). But I think in addition to having more control over your library, it is also nice to be able to access your books all in one place from a remote location. This setup gives you that ability.

  143. Jane
    Jul 24, 2011 @ 11:33:07

    @jayhjay: The benefit to the catalogs, for me, is that I can sort by date added. Dropbox on mobile devices do not offer this feature, unfortunately.

    @Evangeline Holland: If you have a Sony device, then yes, the cloud doesn’t mean much because there is no web access. And Kobo doesn’t allow you to add books over the air. But for the android, nook color, iThing, Kindle owners, this can allow them easy access to their entire catalog.

    Moreover, having an automatic backup of one’s library is incredibly important.

  144. KB Alan
    Jul 24, 2011 @ 12:20:18

    I set this up from your original post and love it. The only thing I haven’t figured out (and I suspect I’m missing something obvious) is that each time I update, I hit that “Generate catalogs” button, it seems redo the whole thing. Which is fine, but it can take a little time. Since there is a “recent additions” sort, and my recent additions are always my entire library, I’m sure there must be a way to update without regenerating the whole catalog. Help?

  145. MarieC
    Jul 24, 2011 @ 14:06:13

    Jane & David, you are amazing! Thanks for sharing!

  146. JessP
    Jul 24, 2011 @ 19:24:58

    Dear Jane – I can’t tell you how depressed all of this makes me. My Kindle2 may well be full, and I haven’t backed anything up. I did download Calibre, and did … something … in trying to catalog the Kindle books, but whatever I’d dowloaded from my Kindle to my home computer didn’t allow the book itself to be read. I don’t know where I stand on any of this. I rely on my Kindle, and now that I have a Xoom, I’m relying on that as my traveling computer since I can’t use my work laptop for accessing the Internet any longer. Is this the latest in a series of explanations that I can access to try to make sense of what to do to download and back up my Kindle books, and to use Calibre? I’m not asking you to set them all out for me, but is there a search term(s) that will get me the list of your articles on these topics so that I can sit down (when next I’m home) and try to make sense of what I need to know to accomplish all of this? I just feel like I’ve completely lost the bubble, where I used to have a certain limited competence before. Reading through the comments, above, made me want to bang my head against the wall, but I’m in a motel right now, and that’s just rude.

    I do thank you for all the obvious effort you go to in explaining these things. I do very much enjoy your blog.

  147. Jane
    Jul 24, 2011 @ 19:31:31

    @JessP: Send me an email jane at and let’s see if we can’t work through your problem.

    Step 1: Check and see how much memory you have left on your Kindle. When you press “Menu” on your Kindle, it should show how much memory you have free in the upper left corner.

    Step 2: If you are full, delete older books that you purchased through Amazon. You can always redownload those. Basically you are removing them from your Kindle device but they will still be available to you.

    Step 3: If you have a Xoom and the Kindle app, you need to authorize it with the same password and username that is attached to your Kindle device. Some people have more than one email address that they use with Amazon, but the Kindle is tied to only one account. (My BFF had this problem). This may be what is affecting your computer’s access to your books.

    Step 4: This setup can help your xoom but you don’t have to use it. Like jayhjay says, you can simply use dropbox as a backup and you should be able to access your ebook files via the Android dropbox app.

    But in any event, email me and let us see if we can’t work through some issues.

  148. SonomaLass
    Jul 24, 2011 @ 21:22:39

    I <3 you.

  149. Dusk Peterson
    Jul 29, 2011 @ 04:51:16

    I use the Dropbox app for iPhone, which allows me to access my Dropbox account and open my e-book files in any e-reader app on my iPod Touch. I know that’s not as nifty an organizational solution as using Calibre, but I already have my e-books organized into folders, and this solution requires no extra set-up time.

  150. Ms P
    Aug 03, 2011 @ 13:00:54

    Success! This all started with the download of Quickreader and then not being able to easily add books to the application. The app wouldn’t be recognized as an option to open the file when using Safari or saving the epub file from an email. Where I’m located my Wi-fi and desk top computer are on different networks so calibre content server was not an option.

    I was thoroughly confused trying to setup and use Dropbox and calibre2opds but this article saved me. Only thing that really threw me here is when you suggested we copy the URL of the xml file, I did not immediately make the connection that I needed to go online to where these files were now residing on dropbox to actually copy the URL and also one thing I did to make life a little easier is I copied the long link over to to shorten it, to make it easier to add to the Quickreader program.

    So again.. thank you!

  151. Thursday Thing: Dropbox, by jayhjay | Coffee and Porn in the Morning
    Aug 04, 2011 @ 10:02:03

    […] So how does this work? I use Calibre (another awesome free program) as my ebook library. Following her instructions, I moved my book library to Dropbox.  Now using the Dropbox app for my iphone, I can read all my […]

  152. Shea
    Aug 22, 2011 @ 11:17:50

    I’m new to the Calibre/touchpad/reader app game as I’m old school and have been using my computer (I know!) to read ebooks. This is stupendously awesome! Thank you. I’ve promptly made a donation to Calibre for the awesomest of awesome program. I’m confident I should be able to get it onto my touchpad, but I needed to thank you right away.

  153. Greg
    Oct 14, 2011 @ 20:36:17

    I love the way Stanza let me browse my Calibre library in the app. Now I’ve upgraded to iOS5 on my phone Stanza is dead :( I know I can browse my Calibre library on the web and Safari will let me ‘Open in “Bluefire”‘ but is there a Stanza alternative that can directly browse the XML catalog?

  154. Jane
    Oct 14, 2011 @ 21:07:56

    Greg, I am looking into this. I think an app called ebook search will.

  155. Jane
    Oct 14, 2011 @ 21:18:03

    Ebook search works but you will need to redo your catalogs as opds and not Stanza

  156. Greg
    Oct 14, 2011 @ 21:44:12

    You rock Jane. It was you that helped me, way back in May 2010, to find a way to browse my Calibre library from anywhere on my iPhone. Now you’ve helped me keep it going the way I like it. It’s faster than Stanza too. Thanks!:)

  157. Greg
    Oct 14, 2011 @ 21:50:16

    It looks like ebook search is for getting the books only and not for reading them. Is that right? I guess that makes sense given the name.

  158. Jane
    Oct 14, 2011 @ 21:52:26

    @Greg: Yes, you can pay $1.99 for MegaReader which looks to be by the same company and read inside the MegaReader app or use Bluefire, iBooks, or Kobo to read the epubs. It apparently also works with mobi if your catalog notes both formats.

  159. Paul Hunkin
    Oct 16, 2011 @ 00:59:56

    Using CodexCloud may be easier than doing all this – it lets you upload your (epub, pdf, whatever) ebooks to the cloud then sync them anywhere with OPDS like this article shows :)

  160. Catalog Support for IOS5 for the iPhone, iTouch, and iPad - Dear Author
    Oct 16, 2011 @ 04:01:30

    […] can also add catalogs that you generated via the Calibre OPDS program.  Please see this post about creating your own catalog and library of ebooks in the cloud. Don’t forget that you […]

  161. Links and links (weekly) | Leonieke.Net
    Oct 16, 2011 @ 05:32:39

    […] Personal cloud of ebooks with free opensource programs like Calibre […]

  162. Greg
    Oct 17, 2011 @ 04:21:02

    @Paul Hunkin – thanks!:)

  163. Greg
    Oct 17, 2011 @ 04:22:08

    @Paul Hunkin: Are you the person behind CodexCloud?

  164. Paul Hunkin
    Oct 17, 2011 @ 04:59:37

    @Greg: Yeah, I was doing some shameless advertising as I just went open beta :)

  165. Jacki S
    Oct 26, 2011 @ 15:43:09

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. I have been trying to configure these programs to work on my iPod Touch, thought I was software savvy but I was stumped. You made this so easy, I really appreciate it.

  166. Jane
    Oct 26, 2011 @ 15:45:39

    @Jacki S Glad that it works for you!

  167. Louise
    Oct 27, 2011 @ 15:14:34

    Would sure love this to work for me but I have a problem. When I click on Generate Catalogs I get the error message: The Calibre database (a file namedmetadata.db) cannot be found at C:\Program Files\ (X86)\Calibre2Opds\
    I looked in the folder I moved my calibre library and the last file in there is called Metadata, so why isn’t it creating the catalogs.

    Also now when I look at my books using Calibre I see I have lost

  168. Louise
    Oct 27, 2011 @ 15:18:53

    Sorry message got posted before I finished it.

    Using Calibre now I find I have lost all my cover art and need to download it again. I still have the metadata but not the covers anymore.

    Your help would be much appreciated.

  169. Louise
    Oct 27, 2011 @ 16:29:48

    Problem solved. I found my metadata file in my dropbox folder and manually copied it. Catalogs created and everything works just great. Thank you so much. :)

  170. Pablo
    Oct 31, 2011 @ 07:56:50

    @Beau: Did you get it? I can’t see the index.xml in any of ipad apps for reading.


  171. Mary
    Dec 07, 2011 @ 16:20:22

    Same Mary from July 2010 – I just wanted to say thank you again. I got a brand new PC just before OS5 came out, so I had to restore my iPad to get it to sync, and then OS5 broke everything, and then it was fixed again… and it was all very stressful. Once I took a deep breath and got on with it, once again your tutorial got me through it all and I can download my ebooks wherever I am (which is great, because I will be spending all day travelling tomorrow).

  172. Carin
    Dec 30, 2011 @ 20:16:34

    I’m working through this tutorial and I’m stuck on step 5. The link to the Calibre OPDS download isn’t working. Has it moved?

  173. Jane
    Dec 30, 2011 @ 20:28:29

    @Carin I’m sorry. It has moved here.

  174. Carin
    Dec 31, 2011 @ 09:27:17

    @Jane – Thanks! I’m attempting to finish the install today.

  175. Stefano
    Jan 02, 2012 @ 18:19:10

    Hi everybody,

    just followed the tutorial… and it’s great!
    Thanks to the team who developed the calibre2opds and to the tutorial-maker!

    I made the app work on my samsung android + FBReader (the catalog was not read by both Aldiko and Moon Reader)

    I’ve just a trivial question: do I need to re-generate the catalog (step 6) every time I add a book to the calibre catalog, correct?

    Sorry for the silly question!



  176. Jane
    Jan 02, 2012 @ 18:43:02

    @Stefano: Yes, unfortunately you do.

  177. My OPDS library |
    Feb 13, 2012 @ 15:12:42

    […] A personal server with an HTTP server, such as Apache. You can use a real server or a virtual machine as long as it has a public IP address you can access. Or you could use your desktop PC, accessible only within your private LAN when you’re at home. If you don’t want to run your own server, you could even use Dropbox. […]

  178. Steve
    Feb 22, 2012 @ 09:24:27

    I’ve got Calibre 0.8.39 and the latest version of Stanza on iOS 5 working fine, out of the box via a built-in OPDS server. Running OS X 10.7.2

    Of course, Amazon says this is the last update of Stanza…

  179. Jaime
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 11:04:10

    I’m on a Mac, trying to get this to work, I’m stuck on number 5? I keep getting this error- calibre, version 0.8.43
    ERROR: No existing library found: There is no existing calibre library at /Users/myusername/Dropbox/Public/secret

    Any ideas?

  180. Jane
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 22:12:23

    @Jaime No. 5 is the downloading of the Calibre ODPS program. My guess from your error statement is that you don’t have the Calibre metadata.db in your secret folder. Is it in My Documents/Calibre or somewhere else?

  181. Jaime
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 23:12:13

    Sorry, step 6. I see the metadata db but don’t know where to put it? It’s supposed to go in database? Or do you do the same user/ dropbox/ public path again?

  182. Jane
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 08:15:52

    @Jaime: In what folder does your metadata.db file reside? Look at steps 2 and 3 again. I think you must have your Calibre Library folder somewhere other than in the Secret folder. It needs to be moved.

  183. Jaime
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 09:54:41

    It’s in the secret folder. The way you showed of creating library didn’t work, so I did the run wizard again and that worked perfectly. But in your images the database box is empty, so I don’t know what to put there, and if it’s the db file, it doesn’t show up in the secret folder when I push the …. Button to see the file hierarchy.

  184. Jane
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 09:57:40

    @Jaime: Do you have an existing Calibre installation? If so, open Calibre up. Go to Library Management. Move the library to the Secret Dropbox folder. What this does is tells your computer to move all the files and folders from the first Calibre position on your computer to inside the Secret Dropbox folder.

    It won’t have anything in there except the metadata.db file until you start adding books to Calibre.

  185. Jaime
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 10:06:58

    Ok lets see. I already have calibre and lots of books. I tried the library management and kept getting that error above, so then I followed the directions posted higher for Mac, which said to run wizard and move it that way, which it did, so now everything is in secret in dropbox. There is also a metadata db file in that folder. But the following steps in the MAC directions talk about Stanza and I didn’t think we had to use Stanza anymore because calibre makes the metadata file? I just don’t know what to do at this point?

  186. Jane
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 10:08:26

    @Jaime: What are you trying to do? Create the catalog? Access the files via dropbox on your iPhone? Use the catalog feature in Stanza?

  187. Jaime
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 10:29:22

    Hah um. I have an ipad, and want to be able to pull books from the internet. I just realized I could do this without calibreopds…

    I just tried to create a catalog with the dropbox/public/secret in the database, and it seemed to work. At least it made a _catalog file. But there isn’t a index html or xml anywhere?

  188. Jane
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 10:34:39

    @Jaime: You can pull books from your cloud onto your iPad without calibreopds but Dropbox doesn’t have a date sensitive sorting feature on the iPad.

    You should select OPDS in the compatibility level. I have a screenshot of that in step 6. Additionally, you may want to look at your advanced features in CalibreOPDs to ensure that you are generating an html and opds catalog.

  189. Jaime
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 10:52:12

    It doesn’t have an OPDS compatible option like yours does?

    In the second tab though, it says Do Not Generate OPDS and Do Not Generate HTML- Oh! HTML was marked, so I’ll regenerate and see if its there :D

  190. Jane
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 10:57:25

    @Jaime: Your destination folder is set to Applications/ which means your catalog files are going there. Delete the Applications folder and regenerate the catalogs.

    I mean to say delete the contents of the destination folder so that it is blank.

  191. Jaime
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 11:07:19

    OK I did that, I got an “error target not set”

  192. Jaime
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 11:12:30

    can you take out that other link and put this one in? Didn’t notice my name on there-

  193. Jane
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 11:15:26

    @Jaime: Copy the location of the database folder into the destination folder line.

  194. Jaime
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 11:24:51

    It started but once it got to the Generating All catalog I got this error “unexpected fatal error during catalog generation” >.<

  195. Jaime
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 11:29:40

    nm I was somehow in Nook Mode… Generating Now.

  196. Jaime
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 22:17:46

    Alright I got it!! Thank you so much, I think the issue was my dropbox was full so I had to split my catalog. Now I just use the ebook search app and download it to iBooks :)

  197. Jeffrey Bill
    Mar 23, 2012 @ 18:32:53

    Thanks very much for your “How to create Ebooks on the cloud”. I had been trying for ages to achieve this.

  198. Eduardo
    Apr 11, 2012 @ 07:12:28

    Two question.
    First, my status.

    I have been using for a while calibre. I moved, usig your tutorial, my database to a specific folder under my Dropbox/ public folder.

    Now, all my books are there including the metadata.db file
    1. I have the Destination Folder on grey so I can´t used it.
    2. On last Calibre2Opds release appears a BASE URL tab. Don´t know what goes there.

    Any clue.


  199. PageLab » Testando seus ePUBs: Calibre Content Server
    May 01, 2012 @ 18:31:52

    […] de ePUB do Android (e em alguns eReaders também);Pode ser usado também para criar a sua biblioteca pessoal na nuvem.DesvantagensNão é uma solução criada especificamente para produtores de eBooks, como o Book […]

  200. MD
    May 24, 2012 @ 19:38:57

    Be careful: Dropbox started sending DMCA takedown notices and disabling calibre odps accounts:

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