How to install Adobe Acrobat Reader in Ubuntu and Linux Mint

Adobe Acrobat Reader for Linux is not available to download on the Adobe website. Here is how to install the official version of Adobe Reader on Ubuntu and Linux Mint.

Adobe Acrobat Reader is the most widely used cross-platform PDF reader, or well at least until they decided to not support Linux anymore. Although it is not the lightest on the system resources, it is reliable, and the free version is enough for most of the daily needs. It lets you sign PDFs and also fill forms before taking a print out on paper.

Adobe has stopped supporting Linux. The last official Adobe Reader is version 9.5.5 released in 2013.

I use LibreOffice Draw for my PDF needs, but now and then I see formatting issues when I open PDF via LibreOffice Draw. That’s when I use Adobe Acrobat Reader, and it works flawlessly. There is no magic in it. It’s just that the most commonly used PDF creator used worldwide is again from Adobe. So it’s their PDF ecosystem they have created.

Install Adobe Acrobat Reader in Ubuntu and Linux Mint

Since Adobe no longer supports Linux, you won’t be able to install the latest Adobe Reader on Linux. The last available build for Linux is version 9.5.5. I will show you how to install it. The installation is tested in Ubuntu 16.04 but should work on versions above too.

STEP 1: Launch ‘Terminal.’

STEP 2: We need to install certain 32-bit libraries for the Adobe Reader to work flawlessly. Enter the following command.

sudo apt install libxml2:i386 libcanberra-gtk-module:i386 gtk2-engines-murrine:i386 libatk-adaptor:i386

STEP 3: Enter the following command to install gdebi package installer.

sudo apt-get install gdebi-core

Enter the root password to complete the gdebi installation. If it doesn’t prompt for one, nothing to worry. Wait for the installation complete notification in the Terminal.

STEP 4: We shall install Adobe Reader now. Copy and Paste the following command in the Terminal. Use the right-click context menu to paste. Ctrl +V won’t work in Terminal. This command will download the pdf installer Debian binary from Adobe’s official servers.

wget ftp://ftp.adobe.com/pub/adobe/reader/unix/9.x/9.5.5/enu/AdbeRdr9.5.5-1_i386linux_enu.deb

STEP 5: Use the gdebi command to install the downloaded .deb binary package.

sudo gdebi Adbe*.deb

STEP 6: Enter the root password when prompted.

Conclusion

That’s it! You should have the Abobe Reader ready to launch from the Application menu.

Tip: If you are looking for an Adobe PDF reader alternative, I recommend qpdfview. It is available from Ubuntu Software. It is light-weight and has a tabbed user interface. For PDF editor, I suggest using Libre Office Draw, which works excellently for editing PDF. It is also available for free download from Ubuntu Software.

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54 COMMENTS

  1. Dear Khan,
    Thanks for your article on INSTALL ADOBE ACROBAT READER IN UBUNTU AND LINUX MINT. I followed it and successfully installed “AdbeRdr9.5.5-1_i386linux_enu.deb” on my machine which runs Ubuntu 17.10 but discovered to my disappointment it does not work. So I wish to remove it immediately. Please kindly let me know how to do this neatly and clean up my system.

    • My name is Kiran!
      Regarding your question, simply launch terminal and enter the following command to uninstall Adobe Reader package.
      sudo apt-get purge adobereader-enu sudo apt-get autoremove.

      • I’m having an issue viewing a document from firefox browser. Got Adobe to work with the extra line there for the 64-bit system but can’t open from browser. So I tried to uninstal it but that failed as well. Said it was unable to locate apt-get or autoremove. Any fix for that or is it ok to leave it on my computer even if I don’t ever use it? From time to time I download things and it either doesn’t work or I don’t need it and I leave all that on the computer. Is that bad? Like, will it slow my pc down?

      • Nevermind, I see now that it is two separate commands “sudo apt-get purge adobereader-enu” and “sudo apt-get autoremove”. Sad I didn’t know that. Still learning

      • Hi, I followed directions but didn’t ask me for root password after step 4, but terminal didn’t ask for root password then. Might it still be complete? Thanks for this and any additional help. Nick

    • The problem lies in that the adobe package is a i386 version, no x64 version available.

      So I did the following

      sudo apt-get install libxml2:i386 libstdc++6:i386

  2. If you are on a 64-bit system you need to install some 32-libraries to make this work. You can do this by running: sudo apt-get install libxml2:i386

    After that it works fine on latest ubuntu. Thanks a bunch!

    • I was able to install Adobe Reader on Mint 18.3 64-bit using steps 1-4. Works perfectly and installed without any errors or issues. I was never prompted for any password which was weird — *nix should always require a root-type user password when installing software.

  3. Thanks Kiran!

    I installed adobe reader following your instruction on Linux Mint 18.3 64-bit. Yet, I could not make it run due to the following error:

    error while loading shared libraries: libxml2.so.2: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory.

    Then the following installation helped:

    sudo apt-get install libxml2:i386 libstdc++6:i386

    Acrobat reader runs now, but I get the following message:

    (acroread:24538): Gtk-WARNING **: Unable to locate theme engine in module_path: “pixmap”

    Any idea what to do with it?

  4. Thank you, this worked as expected in Mint Linux 19. I’m glad saw the post below about adding
    sudo apt-get install libxml2:i386 libstdc++6:i386

    • sudo apt-get install libxml2:i386 libstdc++6:i386 it didn’t work in my ubuntu 20.04!
      Could someone fix this warning in ubuntu?

  5. Dear Kiran Kumar, FOSSLINUX is fast becoming my goto when I need help. Unfortunately the internet does not distinguish very well between blind alleys where people make helpful suggestions that turn out not to solve the problem, and knowledgeable people who are genuinely helpful in solving problems. YOU my friend, are the latter. God bless your brain.
    FYI your instructions worked fine on Ubuntu 16.04 gnome edition. I have 64 bit but the software worked fine without the sudo apt-get install libxml2:i386 libstdc++6:i386

  6. I tried those commands on ubuntu 18.04, my internet connection is working perfectly fine, but it says connection timed out. why?

  7. Thanks, for the great article. I do not really see the need to install Acrobat Reader since there are many open-source alternatives available for Linux. Okular is great, it’s actually more capable than Reader. It would be nice if Adobe’s Acrobat were made available for Linux. While options are available for editing PDF files, Acrobat is still the best.

    • The only reason would be that a few bodies (such as the British tax office) have produced interactive documents in such a way that they can only be completed using Adobe Acrobat – not any of the better PDF programmes. They shouldn’t have done it like that, but they presumably knew no better! So a few people will need to install Adobe simply for that purpose alone.

  8. Thank you very much Kiran
    I followed the instructions and the installation process was flawless.
    Adobe Reader is working perfectly, so I finally have the option of opening multiple documents on different tabs as opposed to different windows (as happens with other software).
    By the way, I am using a very old laptop: 32 bits, less than 1Gb RAM, Linux Mint 19, and it does not crash.

  9. A slightly newer version of Acrobat Reader can be installed using snap: https://snapcraft.io/install/acrordrdc/ubuntu
    After the snap install is complete, you will have to run acrordrdc from the command line to get the actual installation going.

    It’s not the current version either, but at least it’s from 2018 instead of 2014 as the one you are instructed to install here.

  10. Worked fine up to the install adobe step – no such directory ‘pub/adobe/reader/unix/9.x/9/55/enu’
    What do I do now? Must use adobe to fill in a form .

  11. Thanks so much! Couldn’t manage to get the more recent Windows Acrobat Reader working with wine, but your method of downloading the no-longer-supported official Linux version worked just fine!

  12. 3rd line: :~$ sudo wget ftp://ftp.adobe.com/pub/adobe/reader/unix/9.x/9.5.5/enu/AdbeRdr9.5.5-1_i386linux_enu.deb
    –2020-07-19 14:14:17– ftp://ftp.adobe.com/pub/adobe/reader/unix/9.x/9.5.5/enu/AdbeRdr9.5.5-1_i386linux_enu.deb
    => ‘AdbeRdr9.5.5-1_i386linux_enu.deb’
    Resolving http://ftp.adobe.com (ftp.adobe.com)… 193.104.215.67
    Connecting to http://ftp.adobe.com (ftp.adobe.com)|193.104.215.67|:21… connected.
    Logging in as anonymous … Logged in!
    ==> SYST … done. ==> PWD … done.
    ==> TYPE I … done. ==> CWD (1) /pub/adobe/reader/unix/9.x/9.5.5/enu …
    No such directory ‘pub/adobe/reader/unix/9.x/9.5.5/enu’.

    how to fix???

  13. It’s showing installed but when I click on the Adobe application to open, nothing happens. When I click on a PDF file to open, nothing happens either. Please help and advise. thanks

  14. I cannot seem to install this as well. Here is the message I get:

    Do you want to install the software package? [y/N]:y
    (Reading database … 216410 files and directories currently installed.)
    Preparing to unpack AdbeRdr9.5.5-1_i386linux_enu.deb …
    Unpacking adobereader-enu (9.5.5) …
    dpkg: error processing archive AdbeRdr9.5.5-1_i386linux_enu.deb (–install):
    trying to overwrite ‘/etc/bash_completion.d/acroread.sh’, which is also in package acroread-bin 9.5.5-1precise1
    dpkg-deb: error: subprocess paste was killed by signal (Broken pipe)
    Errors were encountered while processing:
    AdbeRdr9.5.5-1_i386linux_enu.deb

  15. Very astonishing, your procedure works! I am no pro at all and usually the procedures I find on the internet don’t work. This one does, thanks a lot!!!

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