Grab and de-DRM Kobo ebooks with kobodl

Used with the Obok DeDRM plugin, Calibre can easily strip DRM from ebooks bought from the Kobo store. The combo works fine, but it has two downsides: you need to have access to the machine running Calibre, and you must connect your Kobo reader to the machine. While these are not deal-breakers, Kobodl provides a more elegant solution for downloading Kobo ebooks and liberating them from the DRM shackles.

kobodl is a command-line written in Python, and installing it on a mainstream Linux distribution is a matter of running the pip3 install kobodl command (make sure that Python 3 is actually installed on your system). This installs kobodl in the ~/.local/bin/kobodl directory, and it's a good idea to add ~/.local/bin to the PATH environment variable. To do this, run the echo "export PATH=$HOME/.local/bin:$PATH" >>$HOME/.bashrc command, and restart the terminal. If Docker is your jam, you'll be pleased to learn that there is also a Docker container image you can use.

While you can use kobodl from the command line, the tool also features a web UI that provides a more convenient way of managing ebooks. Run the kobodl serve command and point the browser to Connecting a kobodl account requires a bit of trickery, but the process is relatively straightforward, and it's clearly explained on the landing page.

According to the project's README file, kobodl's developer switched to using a Calibre and two plugins combo. This means that kobodl is no longer actively maintained. They promise to keep it in working order for as long as they can, which is good enough for me.