By lightweight I mean NOT Calibre. Please. I do not need a cataloging/library management software- which would not only consume unnecessary disk space but also ignore my current cataloging which I have maintained for years.

I just need a quick and dirty batch convert to epub or mobi without having to deal with the myriad issues of using calibre.

Are there any simple PDF<--> epub and PDF<-->mobi conversion tools for Ubuntu?

There seems to be several for Windows based machines but strictly only calibre for Ubuntu.

  • calibre contains a command-line utility called ebook-convert which can be used independently of the calibre GUI. ebook-convert input_file output_file [options]. Alternatively, you could use pdftotext, save it to text, edit it into shape as well formatted markdown, and then use pandoc to convert it to epub.....i've done that several times - after a lot of practice (and some handy vim key mappings), it takes me about a day or so to convert a book with a few hundred pages. – cas Jan 4 '18 at 7:21
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    This would be better asked at softwarerecs.stackexchange.com – garethTheRed Jan 4 '18 at 7:21
  • Have you looked at pandoc? – garethTheRed Jan 4 '18 at 7:22
  • The main problem here is that PDF is a page oriented format (it describes where to put glyphs on the page), while epub and mobi are both text-oriented formats (they leave it to the device to do the layout). So basically, you need to extract the text from the PDF, intelligently recognize the formatting, express this formatting in HTML, and then convert it to epub/mobi. By definition, this can't be "lightweight". And even "heavyweight" applications might give you bad results, without manual correction. – dirkt Jan 4 '18 at 8:34

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