Introduction to Xpdf

Xpdf is a viewer for Adobe's free Portable Document Format (PDF) which is both fast and small and comes with some useful command-line utilities.

Package Information

Additional Downloads

Xpdf Dependencies




AFPL Ghostscript-8.53 or ESP Ghostscript-8.15.4 (just the fonts), t1lib, and libpaper

User Notes: http://wiki.linuxfromscratch.org/blfs/wiki/Xpdf

Installation of Xpdf

Install Xpdf by running the following commands:

patch -Np1 -i ../xpdf-3.02pl2.patch &&
./configure --prefix=/usr \
            --sysconfdir=/etc \
            --with-freetype2-includes=/usr/include/freetype2 \
            --enable-opi \
            --enable-multithreaded \
            --enable-wordlist &&

This package does not come with a test suite.

Now, as the root user:

make install

Command Explanations

--enable-a4-paper: This switch must be added to set DIN A4 as the standard paper format.

Configuring Xpdf

Config Files

/etc/xpdfrc and ~/.xpdfrc

Configuration Information

In the /etc directory you will find a sample xpdfrc that can be either copied to ~/.xpdfrc or taken as an example to write your own configuration file. Below you'll find a condensed version of the file you may wish to build from.

# Example .xpdfrc
displayFontT1 Times-Roman           /usr/share/ghostscript/fonts/n021003l.pfb
displayFontT1 Times-Italic          /usr/share/ghostscript/fonts/n021023l.pfb
displayFontT1 Times-Bold            /usr/share/ghostscript/fonts/n021004l.pfb
displayFontT1 Times-BoldItalic      /usr/share/ghostscript/fonts/n021024l.pfb
displayFontT1 Helvetica             /usr/share/ghostscript/fonts/n019003l.pfb
displayFontT1 Helvetica-Oblique     /usr/share/ghostscript/fonts/n019023l.pfb
displayFontT1 Helvetica-Bold        /usr/share/ghostscript/fonts/n019004l.pfb
displayFontT1 Helvetica-BoldOblique /usr/share/ghostscript/fonts/n019024l.pfb
displayFontT1 Courier               /usr/share/ghostscript/fonts/n022003l.pfb
displayFontT1 Courier-Oblique       /usr/share/ghostscript/fonts/n022023l.pfb
displayFontT1 Courier-Bold          /usr/share/ghostscript/fonts/n022004l.pfb
displayFontT1 Courier-BoldOblique   /usr/share/ghostscript/fonts/n022024l.pfb
displayFontT1 Symbol                /usr/share/ghostscript/fonts/s050000l.pfb
displayFontT1 ZapfDingbats          /usr/share/ghostscript/fonts/d050000l.pfb

fontDir                 /usr/share/fonts/X11-TTF

psFile                  "|lpr"
psPaperSize             letter
#psPaperSize             A4
textEOL                 unix

enableT1lib             yes
enableFreeType          yes
antialias               yes

urlCommand              "links -g %s"


Installed Programs: pdffonts, pdfimages, pdfinfo, pdftoppm, pdftops, pdftotext, and xpdf
Installed Libraries: None
Installed Directories: None

Short Descriptions


lists the fonts used in a PDF file along with various information for each font.


saves images from a PDF file as PPM, PBM, or JPEG files.


prints the contents of the 'Info' dictionary (plus some other useful information) from a PDF file.


converts PDF files to PBM, PGM and PPM formats.


converts PDF files to Postscript format.


parses ASCII text from PDF files.


displays files in PDF format.

Last updated on 2008-03-31 12:02:00 -0500