Jay Taylor's notes

back to listing index


[web search]
Original source (github.com)
Tags: ebooks nodejs oreilly safaribooks epub github.com
Clipped on: 2019-02-25

Skip to content
a SafariBooksOnline downloader that generates respective .epub books for offline and kindle reading
Branch: master
New pull request
Clone or download
Image (Asset 3/3) alt= 1
Latest commit b2b7d7b on Jan 16


SafariBooks Downloader & ePub Generator

SafariBooks-Downloader is a project created and maintained by Nico Haenggi.

The project is currently setup in two branches.

  • master also known as stable - The ePub generator 'should' be stable on this branch, and is generally well tested
  • dev also known as unstable - The ePub generator is being developed on this branch, and is not always well tested and stable


If you discover a bug in the generator, please search the issue tracker first. If it hasn't been reported, please create a new issue.

Feature Requests

If you have a great idea to improve the generator, please search the feature tracker first to ensure someone else hasn't already come up with the same great idea. If it hasn't been requested, please create a new request. While you're there vote on other feature requests to let the me know what is most important to you.

Pull Requests

If you'd like to make your own changes ensure your Pull Request is made against the dev branch.

Installation Guide

How To Install

Install Node.js. We recommend the LTS release. The SafariBooks-Downloader has been tested on most node versions between v4.4.5 and v.6.9.5 and should therefore cause no problems running on one of these versions. For more information about how to install it on your environment, see Installing Node.js via package manager. To verify your installation, run:

node -v

If a version is returned, you did successfully install Node.js. Next up, make sure npm is properly installed. To verify, run:

npm -v

If the command returns a version number, you're all set. Next, we'll clone the repository.

git clone https://github.com/nicohaenggi/SafariBooks-Downloader.git
cd SafariBooks-Downloader

Install all the dependencies with npm.

npm install

Congratulations! You've successfully installed SafariBooks-Downloader. If you desire to do so, you can install the tool globally on your machine. To do so, run:

npm install -g

To verify the installation, please run:

safaribooks-downloader --version

If the command returns a version number, you have successfully installed the tool globally. The current release is v1.0.0.

How To Update

  1. Stop the downloader if it's running. (use control + c to stop it)
  2. Run git pull
    This will update the generator to the latest master branch
  3. Reinstall dependencies with npm install or npm install -g
    using npm install -g will install the generator globally
  4. Run safaribooks-downloader --version
    After you are done following it this will print out the current version of the generator.

How To Run

The tool provides the following six options. The options --bookid, --username, --password and --output are required. However, if the username and password options are provided once, they will be cached and are no longer required to run the CLI.


  • -h, --help
    • displays usage information
  • -V, --version
    • displays version number
  • -b, --bookid
    • the book id of the SafariBooksOnline ePub to be generated you can find the book id by having a look at the URL while reading the book e.g. https://www.safaribooksonline.com/library/view/building-apis-with/9781484224427/A435096_1_En_7_Chapter.html whereas the id will be 9781484224427
  • -u, --username
    • username of the SafariBooksOnline user - must have a paid/trial membership, otherwise will not be able to access the books
  • -p, --password
    • password of the SafariBooksOnline user
  • -o, --output
    • output path the epub file should be saved to. On some systems, the path may require to contains no whitespaces.
  • -d, --debug
    • enable debug mode for request package.


An example showing how a SafariBooksOnline with id 9781484224427 is downloaded and converted into a ePub file testbook.epub.

safaribooks-downloader -b 9781484224427 -u nicohaenggi -p MySuperSecurePassword -o /Users/nicohanggi/Desktop/testbook.epub

An example showing how a SafariBooksOnline with id 9892595335538 is downloaded and converted into a ePub file testdebugbook.epub.

safaribooks-downloader -d -b 9781484224427 -u nicohaenggi -p MySuperSecurePassword -o /Users/nicohanggi/Desktop/testbook.epub


  • generating ePub with cover image, authors and publisher
  • custom stylesheets will be imported (only one currently)
  • support for several different stylesheets in one book
  • directly generating .mobi files


  • Nico Haenggi: conception & development
  • cyrilis: a big thanks to cyrillis for his epub-gen package which I relied upon heavily while integrating my own epub generator

Copyright & License

Copyright (c) 2017 Nico Haenggi - Released under the MIT License

Press h to open a hovercard with more details.