How to install Xpdf Reader in Ubuntu?

Xpdf is a free and open-source pdf reader which consists of a toolkit that includes a pdf to text converter, image converter, HTML converter, etc. This application is cross-platform and can be installed on Windows, Linux, macOS, etc.

It is used as the backend for various other pdf reader software such as Kpdf and Gpdf.

In this article, I will discuss how to install and use Xpdf Reader in Ubuntu Linux.

Features of Xpdf Reader

Some features of Xpdf are –

  • Free and opensource
  • Cross-platform software
  • Consist of various command-line tools  such as pdftotext, pdftpps, pdftohtml, etc
  • Inbuilt text searching tool
  • Includes tools to convert a pdf file in different image formats

How to install Xpdf in Ubuntu

Follow the steps below to install Xpdf on your system.

Installing dependencies

Before you install Xpdf on your system you need to install a few packages –

Go to the official download page of Xpdf and scroll down to download the Qt, FreeType, libpng, zlib, Little CMS.

install dependencies

Next, extract all the packages one by one by using the given command –

tar -xf package_name.tar.xz


tar -xf package_name.tar.gz

For example –

tar -xf zlib-1.2.11.tar.xz

Now move to the extracted directory –

cd dir_name

For example –

cd zlib-1.2.11/

Now run given commands one by one to compile and install packages on your system –

make install

Repeat the above process and install all other dependent packages on your system.

Installing Xpdf and Xpdf command-line tools

Go to the official download page of Xpdf and click on Linux 64-bit in the XpdfReader section and Linux 32/64-bit in the Xpdf command line tools section as you can see in the image below.

xpdf download page

Once the packages of Xpdf and Xpdf command-line tools are downloaded, move to the download location of the file and make XpdReader setup executable by using the given command –

sudo chmod a+x

Next, use the following command to run the Xpdf installer in your terminal –

sudo ./

Now this will display the end-user agreement license press space to scroll and read it once done type yes and then press enter.

Next, you will be asked to enter the installation directory for Xpdf, enter it, and press the return key to proceed.

Once again press the enter to complete the installation process.

xpdf installation

Usage of XpdfReader

Once the XpdfReader gets successfully installed also if you have Qt tools is installed on your system you can launch it from the Ubuntu activities dashboard.

Else you can use it from your terminal. The syntax of using Xpdf Reader is given below –

xpdf [options] file.pdf

For example –

xpdf -open emp_names.pdf

You can find the options, command, and control options list on the Xpdf man page.

Now you can see the user interface of XpdfReader in the given image –

xpdf user interface


I hope you have successfully set up XpdfReader on your Ubuntu system. Now if you have a query or feedback then write us in the comments below.

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