There are several free PDF document viewers available on Linux, such as Okular, Evince, etc. When it comes to opening and viewing typical PDF documents, these tools are reasonably good: lightweight and fast.
Adobe maintains a Linux version of Adobe Reader, distributed as acroread executable. Compare to open-source alternatives, however, acroread is a bloatware which is extremely slow to load. Given the reasonably good open-source alternatives, why then would you install and use Adobe Reader on Linux?
For me, the only case I use acroread is when I need to open and view Adobe-certified PDF documents. Back in 2005, Adobe started to offer so-called the Certified Document Services (CDS) program, where Adobe offers to certify PDF documents for their authenticity. You must use Adobe Reader to open such secured PDF documents.
If you attempt to open a secured PDF document with free PDF viewers like Okular or Evince, you will see the following error, and fail to view it. This is because those third-party PDF viewers do not have Adobe Root certificate embedded in them.
Install Adobe Reader on Linux
In the following, I will describe how to install acroread on Linux.
To install acroread on Ubuntu, do the following.
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install acroread
Note: The above commands may not work on Ubuntu 13.10 because Canonical Partners" repository is not up-to-date with 13.10. Use an alternative method if you are using Ubuntu 13.10.
To install acroread on any other Linux distribution, download a package file from http://get.adobe.com/reader/otherversions/, and install it manually. From Adobe site, you can download .deb and .rpm packages for 32-bit architecture.
To install acroread on Debian:
To install acroread on CentOS, Fedora or RHEL:
According to Adobe, the system requirements for installing these .deb/.rpm packages are as follows.
- 32-bit Intel Pentium processor or equivalent
- RedHat Linux WS 5, SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop (SLED) 10 with Service Pack 2, or Ubuntu 7.10; GNOME or KDE Desktop Environment
- 512MB of RAM (1GB recommended)
- 150MB of available hard-disk space (additional 75MB required for all supported font packs)
- GTK+ (GIMP Toolkit) user interface library, version 2.6 or later
- Firefox 2.x or 3.0
- OpenLDAP and CUPS libraries
Once Adobe Reader is installed, you can open and view Adobe-certified PDF documents as follows.
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