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Ubuntu has a PDF reader which is suitable for almost all PDFs (i.e. any of them that are printable).

However, occasionally it fails to properly handle interactive or extremely complex PDFs. For that case you'll need Adobe's Acrobat PDF Reader, which can be installed from the Ubuntu Software Center.

This will teach you how to install it 3 ways, but the 2nd (using the Terminal) is fastest and easiest.

Check out the article So I installed Ubuntu... Now what? for a one-shot command that will install Adobe Reader as well as perform several other common (and important) tasks for a freshly installed Ubuntu.

From the Ubuntu Software Center

See if Adobe Reader is already available

  1. Open Dash (the top icon on the left Launcher panel)
  2. Type Ubuntu Software Center
  3. Hit the <enter> key to open Ubuntu Software Center (or click on the icon)
  4. Type Adobe Reader in the search bar
  5. If Adobe Reader is available, install it (skip below)
  • (unless you actually want the Dutch, French, or Japanese version)

If not, you'll need to add Canonical Partners to Ubuntu Software Center

  1. Open the Edit menu by moving your mouse to the top of the screen (all the way)
  2. Select Software Sources from the Edit menu
  3. Under the tab Other Software check the first box with Canonical Partners
  4. Enter your password if asked
  5. Close Software Sources

Now install Adobe Reader

  1. Assuming you already typed Adobe Reader into the Software Center search bar
  2. Click on Adobe Reader
  • If that doesn't show up, make close Ubuntu Software Center and try again.
  1. Click Install
  2. Wait for the install to complete
  3. You can now open Adobe Reader from Dash

From the Terminal

This will both add the Canonical Partners repository to the Ubuntu Software Center and install Adobe Reader from it.

Open a Terminal run each of these commands by pasting a whole line into the Terminal at a time and then pressing the <enter> key.

sudo add-apt-repository "deb http://archive.canonical.com/ $(lsb_release -sc) partner"
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install -y acroread

If you are asked for you password, put it in. It won't show that you're typing anything, but that's okay.

Now you can open Adobe Reader from Dash.

From Adobe's website

If at some point in the future Adobe Reader releases a new version that doesn't become available in Ubuntu's partner repositories, you can manually download and install it.

Visit http://get.adobe.com/reader/ and click Download. You should let it download to your Downloads folder.

You probably downloaded to your Downloads folder. If you know you downloaded to your Desktop (or somewhere else) on purpose, change Downloads to Desktop (or whatever) in the script below.

pushd ~/Downloads
chmod a+x ./Adbe*.bin
./Adbe*.bin
popd

Now search for Adobe Reader from Dash to see if it installed correctly. If not, just try copying and pasting the whole block of commands again.

Note (for advanced users): If you were interested in downloading from the commandline, you could have copied and pasted the link to the download and used wget like so

pushd /tmp
wget -c http://ardownload.adobe.com/pub/adobe/reader/unix/9.x/9.5.3/enu/AdbeRdr9.5.3-1_i486linux_enu.bin
# then run the commands from above (minus the pushd)
popd

By AJ ONeal

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Published

2013-2-4

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