How to Use AniDB tools in Linux

If you are an otaku like myself, you probably know of the biggest anime database out there that is AniDB and likely use it a lot.

AniDB not only contains a lot of information about your favourite anime series, movies and OVAs, but also helps you to manage your fansub collection. But, as using the web interface is not always the easiest or the most comfortable option, there are also a couple of tools to make the management of your collection a little bit less stressful.

Still, these tools are pretty easy to use in Windows, but, what if you are a Linux user, like me?

I have good news. While the process of the setup is a bit more complicated, you can use those tools in your favourite Linux distribution. And I will explain how below.


The first tool that I personally use heavily is AniAdd, which is a Java applet that allows you to scan the files and add them to your AniDB list.


You can get this tool here.

As it is a Java applet, you will need Java installed in your system in order to execute it. If you are sure that you already have it installed, you can skip to the next step. In other case, the easiest way to solve this problem is to install the package default-jre. If you are using a Debian-based distribution, you can do it via Synaptic or by typing the following command in the terminal:

sudo apt-get install default-jre

Now you just have to execute the AniAdd.jar file from your file manager, enter your AniDB username and password and… use it!


You can add folders and/or files to the list by using the corresponding buttons, choose whether to mark the file as watched or no, optionally rename the files according to the chosen pattern etc. Then you just press Start and wait for the scanning process to end.

If you want to have a shortcut to use the tool from your desktop or from the dock, you will have to create a .desktop file and place it in /home/username/.local/share/applications folder, where username is your username.

In order to create the file you can use any text editor of your choice. I prefer to use GEdit. Just type:

[Desktop Entry]
Exec=java -jar '/home/nost/AniAdd.jar'

changing the paths to the ones that you use, and save the file as AniAdd.desktop (or give it any other name you like).

As we use Java to execute the applet, the Exec field has to contain the full java command, including the path to AniAdd.jar file.

The Icon field lets you use some image to provide an icon for your shortcut.

When your .desktop file is ready, you can put it wherever you want and use it to easily execute the AniAdd tool.


The second tool is called AVDump, and it is used to dump the files in order to add them to the database.


There is a command line version and a GUI version of this tool. I will explain how to install and use the latter.

The problem of AVDump is that it is a Windows-only software, but we can make it work in Linux by using Wine. Just be ready to spend some time in setting it up.

First, download a setup file or a portable version. I prefer the latter, but it is a matter of choice.

I don’t mind playing around with the terminal, but, if you want to use a program on pretty much a daily basis, it is always better to have an easy access. In case of software that is run by Wine one of the best solutions I’ve found is PlayOnLinux, which is basically a front end for Wine that lets you install and organize your programs quite easily.  Therefore I will be explaining the process of the installation of AVDump with the help of PlayOnLinux below.

First you need to create a clean drive by pressing Configure, then New. Use a 32 bits Windows installation, you system Wine version (I think that it should work with any Wine version, but I currently use 3.0) and name it AVDump (or whatever you like).

Now you need to select your newly created drive, go to the Install components tab and install (in this exact order): msxml3, dotnet20, dotnet20sp1, dotnet20sp2, dotnet30, dotnet30sp1, dotnet35, dotnet35sp1, dotnet40, dotnet45. I discovered by trial and error that you need to have .NET Framework 4.5 installed to have AVDump working, but this sequence helps you ensure that everything installs well.

When you have all the necessary components installed, you need to install the program (if you downloaded the setup file) or extract and copy it to your virtual drive (if you downloaded the portable version).

In the first case press the Install button, choose Install a non-listed program, Edit or update an existing application, choose your drive, press Browse and select the setup file. Follow the simple installation instructions and, when the installation is over, create a shortcut for avdump2gui.exe file.

If you prefer the portable version, extract the contents of the file in some folder (e.g. avdump) and copy the folder to /home/username/.PlayOnLinux/wineprefix/yourdrive/drive_c, where username is your user name and yourdrive is the name of the virtual drive you created. Choose your drive in PlayOnLinux configuration window, press Make a new shortcut from this virtual drive and create a shortcut for avdump2gui.exe file.

Now you execute AVDump by using the shortcut. Put your AniDB username in the Username field and your AniDB API key in the Api-key field. In order to set an API key, go into your profile settings, input the key you want to use in the UDP API Key field and press Apply Current Tab.

Now just add files/folders you want to dump and wait for the hashing to finish.


The resulting text you see in the ed2export field can be used to add new files to AniDB.

Those were the two AniDB tools I use a lot. I hope that this little tutorial was useful and people will be able to use Linux to interact with AniDB without restrictions.

EDIT 06/01/2019:

After the latest update avdump2gui stopped working in PlayOnLinux. Luckily I managed to find a solution.

If you have access to a Windows PC, you can download the program and run it. AVDump will update itself and ask you to restart it. Now the program should be ready so copy the contents of AVDump folder to your corresponding PlayOnLinux folder (e.g. home/username/.PlayOnLinux/wineprefix/yourdrive/drive_c/avdump), but make sure to delete EVERYTHING in that folder beforehand.

Now you can execute the program, and it should work.

Maybe you will see an error message saying that the program couldn’t be update on the start, but just ignore it.

For those of you who don’t have access to a Windows PC (or prefer not to use one), I prepared an archive containing all the necessary files.

Just download it and put all of its contents into your PlayOnLinux AVDump folder.

That’s it. Hopefully it works for you as well as it did for me.


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