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Thread: Howto: offline / local dictionary the easy way

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Brooklyn, NY
    Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal

    Howto: offline / local dictionary the easy way

    I searched all over to find an offline dictionary solution to meet my needs, since I'm often in need of a dictionary and thesaurus I can use offline. Having not found an adequate solution in OpenDict (its dictionaries are only for foreign languages like Latvian and its website is inundated with spam), Stardict (it's bloated, written in bad English, and generally annoying to use) or other programs, and not always having access to the internet whenever I need a dictionary, I figured out how to set up a local DICT server and thereby use the Dictionary program that's already included with Ubuntu to access locally stored dictionaries. It's not all that difficult, it turns out.

    First, install DictD:

    sudo apt-get install dictd
    this installs a DICT server. now you can install whatever dictionaries you want. Dictionaries are in the repos, here's a list I found using a package search:

    so to install a thesaurus, for example, use
    sudo apt-get install dict-moby-thesaurus
    Now to configure Dictionary, open the Dictionary program (in <Hardy it's in Accessories, in Intrepid it's under Office), go into Edit -> Preferences, click on "Add" to add a source, then under "Description" give it a name like "Local Dictionaries," under "hostname" type "localhost" [EDIT: In Jaunty and later you might try putting "" (without the quotes) instead; see below] and leave the port number the same. Now click "add" and now whenever you're offline you can choose "Local Dictionaries" from "Dictionary Sources" and access your dictionaries offline!
    Last edited by jon.reeve; June 28th, 2009 at 07:25 PM. Reason: updated for jaunty
    MSI x350 / Ubuntu Natty 11.04 (64 bit)

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