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Version 0.0.1, March 2017

What is this?

ebookinfo is a very simple utility for Linux, for extracting meta-data (author, title, etc) from certain e-book files. At present, the utility supports EPUB, MOBI, and RTF, and extracts author, title, year, genre/subject, and comment information.

ebookinfo is implemented as a library, that can be used by other applications that manage e-books. The utility really serves as a demonstration how to use the library.

Usage examples

# Display information, including description, formatted by text2html
ebookinfo -ch /path/to/my/book.epub


ebookinfo uses the PCRE library (yum install pcre-devel).

Some e-book authors format meta-data as HTML. ebookinfo can pipe its output through html2text, if it is installed.


The usual:
$ make
$ sudo make install
ebookinfo may build and run on systems other than Linux, but this has not been tested.


There is no standard for the kind of meta-data that different document formats support, or how it should be interpreted. This utility displays the five basic entries that most formats handle — author, title, year, genre/subject, comment. EPUB and MOBI formats allow multiple genre/subject tags, these are displayed as a comma-separated list. The 'year' attribute is the year of the last document revision, in formats that distinguish different dates. Neither the library nor the utility make any attempt to modify the character encoding of the stored meta-data. With MOBI and EPUB this is usually UTF-8; for RTF there are no guarantees.

Legal, etc

ebookinfo is maintained by Kevin Boone, and distributed under the terms of the GNU Public Licence, version 3.0. Essentially, you may do whatever you like with it, provided the original author is acknowledged, and you accept the risks involved in doing so. ebookinfo contains contributions from a number of other authors, whose details may be found in the source code.


The most up-to-date source will always be found by checking out the github repository. Alternatively, download the source code bundle.
Copyright © 1994-2015 Kevin Boone. Updated Mar 24 2017