Sunday, 17 February 2008

Installing Adobe Reader

Being proprietary software, Adobe Reader isn't available from the Ubuntu repositories. However, it's now very easy to install as Adobe have made a .deb package available. If you want to install it, head for this link and you'll be taken to the download page for Adobe Reader.
It should have detected your operating system - the first pull-down menu should say Linux (if not select it from the options available). The next option is Select an Installer - you should choose this and select Linux - x86 (.deb) - unfortunately I don't think there's a 64-bit version available yet.
Finally choose your language (Adobe are one of the rare companies to offer a separate UK English) and click Continue.
Then click on the Download link to download it to your home directory. If it doesn't wind up there (if, say, it downloads to the desktop, you may want to open your file manager and move it to your home directory). It's quite a big download (about 47MB) so will probably take a minute or two.
Once it's finished, installing is just like any other .deb package - open a terminal and enter the following:
sudo dpkg -i adobereader_enu-8.1.2-1.i386.deb

By the time you come to use this there may be a different version, so don't just copy and paste this command from here - get the name by right-clicking on the package in your file manager, selecting Rename and copying the name so you can paste it into the terminal. As usual, dpkg will efficiently install Adobe Reader. You shouldn't need to install any additional dependencies.
I've always found that Adobe Reader sets up a shortcut on the desktop. If, like me, you'd rather not have this, you can easily get rid of this by right-clicking on it and selecting Delete.
Your system should now have Adobe Reader installed, including the browser plugin. However, it won't necessarily be the default application for opening pdf files, so you may have to right-click on documents to open them with it, or you can change the default applications for different file types (which we won't cover now as it differs between desktops).

2 comments:

Buzz said...

I have 64-bit ubuntu, and installed it using --force-architecture as such:

sudo dpkg --force-architecture -i AdobeReader_enu-8.1.2-1.i386.deb

No problem running the application, and viewed several pdf files with no problems.

- Buzz

MattBD said...

Thanks for yuur comments, Buzz. That's a very useful tip. I'd be interested to know what successes people have had using dpkg --force-architecture for other packages that aren't yet available in 64-bit versions, like the Flash player plugin.