Adobe Acrobat Reader for Linux

Occasionally I find myself on the rougher side of situations while sticking to my guns regarding not using Microsoft products. Anyone who has had to interract with offices running only Redmondware are all too painfully reminded that Outlook users love sending PDF and Word and Excel attachments, frequently as the entire message, with the Word doc containing something like “Busy for lunch?”
Many of the issues facing “LINUX OR DIE” users like myself have been addressed by the fantastic work going on with OpenOffice, which lets a user open and view and manipulate Microsoft-based documents pretty handily. Couple that with a good GUI mail client like Evolution, and you’ve pretty much got what any Redmondware user has.
One thing has been missing, though… a decent PDF viewer. There are several opensource viewers that use various incarnations of GhostView to render the documents, but these tools are prone to twitches in the format that cause failed renderings, or just won’t run at all.
I recently received a PDF that KPDF and GPDF simply would not open. It was generated by an architect, and contained a diagram I absolutely had to view. Ready to post a scathing commentary to the blog about how Adobe was not supporting Linux, I went to their site, and tried to download Acrobat 7.0 PDF viewer for Linux.
And succeeded.
It was right there on the download page. A single RPM or .tar.gz file, that installed via an simple shell script. I was able to specify a subdir in my home dir (no root requirement), and it is now running happily on my desktop.
This is not a skimmed down ‘bone’ thrown to the Linux community. This is the full fledged Adobe Acrobat 7 reader, complete with tweaks specific to the Linux environment (like a configuration screen that asks what mailer do you want to use – and lists various well-known Linux clients, including Evolution).
The tool allowed me to navigate, browse, zoom in and out, and fiddle with the PDF I needed to view without any problems. I was somewhat amused to note that the viewer was running some sort of ad display engine in the upper right corner of the window, but it was easy to ignore.
The reader was not specific to any particular Linux version. I’m personally running Debian Sarge, which is generally not supported by the ‘big business’ folks, but as I said it installed and ran perfectly.
Glad to see some companies are getting the hint.


A wandering geek. Toys, shiny things, pursuits and distractions.

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