If you’re planning to create a new eBook on the Linux platform, you’ll need a solid editor. On Linux, there are a few choices, but one that consistently gets tons of use is the Sigil eBook editor.
SPOILER ALERT: Scroll down and watch the video tutorial at the end of this article.
Building Sigil on Linux is possible, though before attempting to do it, you’ll need to install the necessary libraries and various dependency files. Open up a terminal and follow the instructions below. Keep in mind that dependencies are going to differ on each version of Linux, so it’s best to refer to the official documentation for building software on your Linux distribution.
Note: some Linux distributions have Sigil in their software sources. However, building the software from source gives you a more up to date version.
sudo apt install git python3-tk python3-pyqt5 python3-html5lib python3-regex python3-pillow python3-cssselect python3-cssutils python3-chardet python3-dev python3-pip python3-lxml python3-six build-essential libhunspell-dev libpcre3-dev libminizip-dev git cmake qtbase5-dev qttools5-dev qttools5-dev-tools libqt5webkit5-dev libqt5svg5-dev libqt5xmlpatterns5-dev
sudo apt-get git python3-tk python3-pyqt5 python3-html5lib python3-regex python3-pillow python3-cssselect python3-cssutils python3-chardet install python3-dev python3-pip python3-lxml python3-six libhunspell-dev libpcre3-dev libminizip-dev build-essential git cmake qtbase5-dev qttools5-dev qttools5-dev-tools libqt5webkit5-dev libqt5svg5-dev libqt5xmlpatterns5-dev
For Arch Linux user there’s a convenient AUR package available that will automatically install all dependencies, and build Sigil. Point your favorite AUR helper at this package here. Alternatively, install the libraries manually:
sudo pacman -S base-devel git git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/sigil-git.git cd sigil-git makepkg -si
sudo dnf install git python3-tkinter cmake qt5-qtbase-devel qt5-qtwebkit-devel qt5-qtsvg-devel qt5-qttools-devel qt5-qtxmlpatterns-devel zlib-devel hunspell-devel pcre-devel minizip-devel pkgconfig python3-devel desktop-file-utils libappstream-glib python3-pillow python3-cssselect python3-cssutils python3-html5lib python3-lxml python3-qt5 python3-regex python3-chardet python3-six hicolor-icon-theme
sudo zypper install git boost-devel pkgconfig cmake dos2unix fdupes make hunspell-devel libqt5-qtbase-devel gcc-c++ libqt5-qtlocation-devel libstdc++-devel libxerces-c-devel libxml2-devel libxslt-devel make pcre-devel python3-devel unzip python3-html5lib python3-lxml python3-six python3-tk python3-Pillow python3-cssselect python3-cssutils
The Sigil Github page outlines in detail the dependencies a user needs to get the software built. Unfortunately, it only goes over what to install on Ubuntu and Debian. Thankfully, it’s possible to take the Ubuntu package names, input them into Pkgs.org and find equivalents on many different distributions.
The first step in building the Sigil eBook editor is to pull the latest version of the source code from it’s Github page. In a terminal, use the git clone command.
git clone https://github.com/Sigil-Ebook/Sigil.git
Next, use the mkdir command and create a new, separate build directory. Creating a build directory is important because it’s not a good idea to compile the code directly in the source code folder.
Move the terminal into the new Sigil build folder with CD.
Call cmake and set up the development environment.
cmake -G "Unix Makefiles" -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release ~/Sigil
The above command will generate all of the necessary tools to get Sigil working. If cmake finishes without errors, move on to the compiling process. In the terminal, run the make command.
If you have a high-end Linux PC with cores to spare, try this command instead.
Compiling programs from scratch takes a long time. When it comes to Sigil, there is no exception; you will be waiting a long time for the build to finish (especially if your Linux PC doesn’t have many cores). When the compiler is done building the code, you’ll be able to install Sigil on your computer with the following command:
sudo make install
Built Sigil, used it and realize you don’t want it on your Linux PC anymore? Sadly, since the program was built by hand, there’s no easy “uninstall” button to click.
No worries! Follow the steps below to learn how to clean it from the system.
First, open up a terminal and delete all the traces of the source code and built binaries.
sudo rm -rf ~/Sigil sudo rm -rf ~/sigil-build
Next, delete the application shortcut so that it no longer appears in menus.
sudo rm /usr/local/share/applications/sigil.desktop
Lastly, purge the rest of the files from your Linux PC:
sudo rm -rf /usr/local/lib/sigil/ sudo rm /usr/local/bin/sigil sudo rm /usr/local/share/pixmaps/sigil.png sudo rm -rf /usr/local/share/sigil/
Deleting all of these files should instantly make Sigil unavailable on your operating system. If the Sigil app icon remains accessible in the application menu on your desktop environment, reboot your Linux PC. Resetting your PC will refresh the desktop. After logging back in, the icon will be gone.