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4 best Adobe Acrobat alternatives for Linux

Adobe Acrobat is the standard for PDF viewing on Mac OS, and Windows 10. Unfortunately, this program is unavailable for Linux, as Adobe does not support the platform. If you’ve recently switched to Linux and need Adobe Acrobat, you must find an alternative. Here’s a list of the 4 best Adobe Acrobat alternatives for Linux.

1. Atril

Atril is a basic document viewer for Linux. It can display PDF files like Acrobat. Additionally, like all Linux document viewers, it supports other document formats, such as EPS, DJVU, DVI, and XPS.

Although Atril is described as “basic” by its developers, Adobe Acrobat users will feel right at home as it supports some seriously powerful features such as document searching, hypertext navigation, and basic annotation/editing support.

Notable features

  • Atril supports multiple file-formats aside from PDF files.
  • Much like Adobe Acrobat, Atril allows users to annotate, edit, search and interact with documents, rather than just “reading” or “viewing” them.
  • Support for hyper-text navigation features like in Adobe Acrobat.

Download – Atril

The Atril PDF application is a fork of Evince for Linux. It was forked for use on the Mate Linux desktop environment. As a result, if you want to install it on your system, you’ll want to make sure that the Mate desktop is available as well. If it’s not, you likely will not be able to install Atril.

To get the Atril PDF app on your Linux PC, head over to Pkgs.org. Once there, look through the list of Linux distributions, and find the one you’re currently using. They have instructions on how to install Atril on everything from Arch Linux, to CentOS 7, and everything in-between!

2. Evince

Evince ” is Gnome’s answer to Adobe Acrobat. It supports PDF files, and also other document types, like Tiff, DVI, CBR, CBZ, and much more. The primary goal of Evince is to provide an all-in-one place to view various document files on Linux.

It is well-known that Adobe Acrobat isn’t just about displaying PDF files. The app also allows for editing and annotating these PDFs. As far as PDF editing goes on Linux, there are a lot of great tools. Still, Evince provides an incredibly easy editing experience, which users of Adobe Acrobat will find attractive.

Notable features

  • Supports a wide variety of file formats aside from the PDF file format.
  • Evince has basic PDF editing, searching and annotating features that Adobe Acrobat users are sure to love.
  • Evince is very easy to install, as it comes with Gnome Shell and many other desktop environments.

Download – Evince

Getting the Evince application is quite easy, as it comes as the default document viewer on the Gnome desktop environment, as well as Gnome-based ones, such as Cinnamon, Budgie, etc.

To install the Evince PDF tool on your Linux PC, go to the Evince Pkgs.org page. Once you’re there, look through and find the Linux OS you use. You’ll be able to find installation instructions on how to get it working. Be sure to also check it’s web-page, as there are source code downloads.

3. Okular

Okular is a universal document viewer for the KDE Plasma desktop environment. It can handle PDF files, like Adobe Acrobat. However, that’s not the only type of document files it supports. In addition to PDFs, Okular also supports Postscript, DjVu, CHM, XPS, ePub ebooks, and more. The Okular application is an excellent alternative to Adobe Acrobat if you mainly need something to view PDF files.

Notable features

  • Okular supports a vast amount of document files, aside from PDFs — even digital comic books and ePub ebook formats.
  • Okular is very easy to use with an elegant, simple user interface.

Download – Okular

Okular is the go-to PDF app for the KDE desktop environment, as well as desktops that use QT (like LXQt). If you’re using the KDE Plasma 5 desktop, this program may already be installed. If it’s not, check if KDE is available on your OS, and Okular will be too.

To install the Okular app on Linux, the best route is to head over to Pkgs.org, the Linux package search engine. Once there, take a look at the different operating systems available and click on the one you use. You should then see installation instructions on how to install Okular. Alternatively, check the Okular website for source code info.

4. MuPDF

MuPDF is a lightweight PDF viewer for Linux, Mac, and Windows. It’s a very slim program that is primarily focused on rendering PDF, XPS, and E-book files in high quality, anti-aliased graphics.

The MuPDF viewer doesn’t have a lot of features. It can’t annotate or edit document files. However, If you’re new to Linux and are accustomed to using Adobe Acrobat to view PDF files, but want something a little lighter, MuPDF is one to check out.

Notable features

  • The dead-simple user interface makes it perfect for those just looking to view various document file types, like PDF, XPS, E-books, etc.
  • Anti-aliasing features in MuPDF mean your documents are displayed in crisp, legible graphics.

Download – MuPDF

MuPDF is a lesser-known app compared to a lot of the other programs on this list. Despite this, many of the modern Linux operating systems on the market today have a MuPDF package in their software repositories.

If you want to install the MuPDF app on your Linux PC, check out its page on Pkgs.org, and look through the list of distributions available. There you will be able to find instructions on how to install it on the OS you choose. Alternatively, go to the MuPDF website, and download the latest generic Linux release.


Adobe Acrobat is an excellent program and has dozens of useful features that make it one of the most used programs on Windows and Mac. That’s why it’s such a shame that Adobe refuses to port this software to Linux. Thankfully, the alternatives on this list more than make up for it!


  1. I disagree with the final line in this,

    “Adobe Acrobat is an excellent program and has dozens of useful features that make it one of the most used programs on Windows and Mac. That’s why it’s such a shame that Adobe refuses to port this software to Linux. Thankfully, the alternatives on this list more than make up for it!”

    Most of these are just viewers, and the rest of them have very limited functionality – in terms of assembling a BIG 1000 page PDF from a myriad of other documents.

    Sometimes the very basic free stuff is just fine, for converting a single document into a PDF – but most programs carry the “Save As” function anyway….

    Well these programs are not bad, but they for the most part lack pure muscle. And free – it’s not bad, and I am grateful – but they cannot do the hard lifting of “PDF assembly.

    You know – copy paste – into etc.

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