Recently I need to install Adobe Acrobat Reader on couple of my Ubuntu boxes. The process is full of black magic that sometimes you can't find the documents anywhere. Hopefully this post will make the process less a pain.

Install Dependencies

This is probably a superset of all the dependencies. I used trial and error in the process and I'm not quite sure which packages are really necessary...

With these packages, if I run acroread from command line:

  • There is no GTK warnings or whatsoever.
  • Can open PDF with forms (like the ones for Canada VISA application).
  • The icons and menus looks "normal".

Note that since the Acrobat Reader is 32-bit application, so if you're on 64-bit system, remember to append a :i386 on whatever extra packages you want to install besides the ones in this list.

sudo apt-get install \
    libgtk2.0-0:i386 \
    libnss3-1d:i386 \
    libnspr4-0d:i386 \
    lib32nss-mdns \
    libxml2:i386 \
    libxslt1.1:i386 \
    libstdc++6:i386 \
    libcanberra-dev:i386 \
    libcanberra-gtk-dev:i386 \
    libcanberra-gtk-module:i386 \
    gtk2-engines:i386 \
    gtk2-engines-*:i386 \
    gnome-themes-standard:i386 \
    unity-gtk2-module:i386 \
    libpangoxft-1.0.0:i386 \
    libpangox-1.0.0:i386 \
    libidn11:i386 \

Download the Deb Package

cd ~/Downloads && wget -c

If the above link fails, try this one instead:

cd ~/Downloads && wget -c


sudo dpkg -i ~/Downloads/AdbeRdr9.5.5-1_i386linux_enu.deb

This should complete without any problems if you installed all the packages in the dependencies. But in case dpkg still complains, run this command after dpkt -i:

sudo apt-get -f install

This should fix any further missing dependencies.


If you want to use Acrobat Reader to open PDF files by default. Run this command and choose Acrobat Reader from the list:

mimeopen -d *.pdf
Please choose a default application for files of type application/pdf

    1) Document Viewer  (evince)
    2) Print Preview  (evince-previewer)
    3) GIMP Image Editor  (gimp)
    4) Adobe Reader 9  (AdobeReader)
    5) Other...

use application # 4