By Tim Miller
Last updated on

Question: How do I install Adobe Acrobat Reader on Ubuntu? Do I need to install it?

Answer Option 1: Installing Adobe Acrobat Reader is not necessary on Ubuntu. You can use the included free software called Evince to read PDF files.

Answer Option 2: I have come across instances where I cannot open the PDF file using Evince. On other instances, the file opens but it is blank because Evince cannot render it for some reason. In these cases, opening the file using Adobe Acrobat Reader makes sense.

Which option did you choose? If you choose Option 2, you can go ahead with the steps below to install Adobe Acrobat Reader (acroread) on Ubuntu (e.g., Ubuntu 10). To install Adobe Acrobat Reader on Ubuntu, you will need to include Medibuntu in your repository.

By default, this repository is no longer included in the Ubuntu distribution for legal reasons (copyright, license, patens, etc). If you don”t add this repository, you will ge the following error message when you run sudo apt-get install acroread:

Reading package lists… Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information… Done
Package acroread is not available, but is referred to by another package.
This may mean that the package is missing, has been obsoleted, or
is only available from another source
E: Package acroread has no installation candidate

Therefore, you need to add the Medibuntu repository before running the apt-get. Follow the steps shown in this page.

For example, if you are running Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron, run

sudo w get –output-document=/ etc/apt/sources.list.d/medibuntu.list

Then, add the GPG Key:

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install medibuntu-keyring && sudo apt-get update

You can now install Adobe Reader:

sudo apt-get install acroread

That’s it! Now you can double-click on a PDF file and have Adobe Acrobat Reader automatically start up and load your PDF file.

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