Calibre2OPDS step-by-step

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Step by step guide to set up Calibre, Calibre2OPDS and the cloud

As the previous version of this guide is slightly outdated here comes another one.


[edit] Installing and setting up Calibre

[edit] Download Calibre

You can download Calibre here.

[edit] Creating your library

Install and launch Calibre. The setup wizard will lead you through the single steps.

[edit] Choose your library location

Calibre works like iTunes. It has it's own file system and as long as you don't touch it you'll be fine. If you ever move or rename files by any other means than through the program, you won't be able to access them with Calibre anymore. The wizard will create a new, empty folder for your library. It will copy and store the files by itself. I name my folder "tRa7uzub", because it will be publicly visible, which means that search engine bots can scan it, and I don't want everyone who's googling "ebooks online" to stumble in my library.

[edit] Choose your book device

Calibre optimizes how your ebooks are displayed, so choose the device you'll be reading on from the list. At first I skipped this step and was presented with Iphone-sized letters on my tablet.

  1. Add books to your library

There are several ways how you can add books to Calibre:

  • Drag&Drop

Just grab the file or folder and throw it in there. Will work fine as long as there aren't any nested structures, in that case use the "add books"-menu.

  • Add books

You can add files from a folder to your calibre library

  • Add books from directories, including sub-directories (One book per directory, assumes every book file is the same book in a different format)

For cases like this: Severalbooks1.png

  • Add books from directories, including sub-directories (Multiple books per directory, assuming every ebook file is a different book)

For cases like this: Severalbooks2.png

Congratulations. You now have a Calibre library.

[edit] Generating your catalog

Grab the latest release of Calibre2OPDS, install and launch it. You will now face the main options:


  • Database folder: Pick the folder where your Calibre library is set up (the root folder that you chose in Step1). If you aren't sure anymore which folder that is look for the file "metadata.db".
  • Destination folder: If you don't want your catalog to be in your calibre root folder (it won't show up in your library, Calibre won't even know it's there), set that place here and set the first checkbox accordingly. I name mine tRa7uzub (read on to find out why).
  • Catalog folder: By default the folder's name will be _catalog (the _ at the beginning of the file name making sure that it's always on top of the list). You can rename it here.
  • Catalog title: The catalog's name on your device's catalog list

Don't generate the catalog yet, go to the Advanced Options first.

Advanced settings.png Make sure that the highlighted boxes are checked. For more detail look here.

Detailed informations about the settings can be found here

Congratulations. Your catalog is now ready to go. You can check it out and browse around a little by going to Your_Calibre_Library/_catalog/index.html, which will open a local website in your browser.

[edit] Uploading everything into the cloud

Find a cloud service that is not Google Drive. Google Drive destroys Calibre's folder structure by renaming files, so this won't work. Check out Copy or Dropbox or google "Cloud Storage".

Copy no longer exists and Dropbox no longer has Public folders. No Public Folders

IMPORTANT: If you chose to go with Dropbox, make sure to put everything into your Public folder as otherwise the catalog will not work when accessed from the internet.

Please be aware that files in the cloud are out of your direct control. Should the cloud provider of your choosing delete your account or close down you will lose your entire Calibre library if you host it primarily in the cloud. Consider a Symlink if you are on Linux or MacOS or a Shortcut if you are on windows.

[edit] Getting the catalog file

This is important. Should you encounter any trouble with the library on your device check this section to make sure you followed everything carefully!

[edit] Finding the download URL

To add the catalog to the reader app of your choice you have to find the direct download URL to the file named "index.xml" first. Don't confuse it with "index.html", that one is for humans. It's important that you put the download-link into your mobile reader app, not the sharing-link. You can easily check if you have the right link by entering it into your browser's address bar. If the browser immediately pops up a download box, you're right, if you see a bunch of code, you're wrong.

  • Dropbox

If you chose to go with Dropbox, make sure you put the whole Calibre directory into your Public folder. If you don't have one, troubleshoot until you have one.

Dropbox xml.png

Click the button and copy the URL that pops up. If it isn't there you either haven't put your Calibre library into your public folder or you haven't highlighted the file (or Dropbox has completely changed their GUI design, in which case you are welcome to refresh this Wiki).

  • Copy

Copy xml.png

Make sure that your library folder (the topmost folder with the _catalog inside) is publicly available by going to the settings and then share it publicly. After that, copy the URL from the little box and enter it into your browser's address bar. You can now browse through your folder online. Open _catalog and find the index.xml. To find the download link you can hover your mouse over the "download"-button and your browser will show you a preview of the link that you can type of, or you just click the button, open your browser's download menu and select "copy download url" from the file's context menu.

[edit] Adding the URL to the reader of your choice

Open your reader app on your phone. You should now see a menu entry that says "catalogs" or "libraries" or something like that. Click on this link and find the "add library" entry. You can now paste the URL from the previous step, give your catalog a name and voila - you are done!

[edit] Moon+ Reader

From the root menu choose "Net Library", then "Add new catalog". Enter (optionally) a label and the URL from the previous step. Press OK and enjoy your catalog.


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