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Xpdf logo.svg
Xpdf 4.0 screenshot.png
The Xpdf viewer
Developer(s)Glyph & Cog
Initial releaseDecember 12, 1995; 25 years ago (1995-12-12)
Stable release
4.03 / January 28, 2021; 7 months ago (2021-01-28)
Operating systemLinux, Windows, macOS, OpenVMS
TypePDF viewer
LicenseGNU GPLv2 only,[1] GPLv3 only[2] or proprietary[3][4]

Xpdf is a free and open-source PDF viewer for operating systems supported by the Qt toolkit.[3] Versions prior to 4.00 were written for the X Window System and Motif.[5]

Xpdf runs on nearly any Unix-like operating system. Binaries are also available for Windows. Xpdf can decode LZW and read encrypted PDFs. The official version obeys the DRM restrictions of PDF files,[6] which can prevent copying, printing, or converting some PDF files.[3] There are patches that make Xpdf ignore these DRM restrictions,[7] and these restrictions are patched out by the Debian distribution.[8]

Xpdf includes several programs that don't need an X Window System, including some that extract images from PDF files or convert PDF to PostScript or text. These programs run on DOS, Windows, Linux and Unix.[3]

Xpdf is also used as a back-end for other PDF readers frontends such as KPDF and GPDF,[5] and its engine, without the X11 display components, is used for PDF viewers including BePDF on BeOS, '!PDF' on RISC OS, on PalmPDF[9] on Palm OS[3] and on Windows Mobile.[10]

Two versions exist for AmigaOS. Xpdf needs a limited version of an X11 engine called Cygnix on the host system. AmigaOS 4 included AmiPDF, a PDF viewer based on 3.01 version of the Xpdf. However both Apdf and AmiPDF are native and need no X11.


The associated package "xpdf-utils" or "poppler-utils" contains tools such as pdftotext and pdfimages.

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ about on foolabs.com "Xpdf is licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL), version 2. In my opinion, the GPL is a convoluted, confusing, ambiguous mess. But it's also pervasive, and I'm sick of arguing. And even if it is confusing, the basic idea is good. "
  2. ^ xpdf xpdf 3.03 "The license was changed from GPLv2 to dual v2/v3 licensing."
  3. ^ a b c d e Xpdf website
  4. ^ Glyph & Cog, LLC: Xpdf
  5. ^ a b Polzer, Leslie (2006-11-28). "A survey of Linux PDF viewers". SourceForge, Inc. Retrieved 2007-08-30.
  6. ^ Xpdf - Cracking
  7. ^ Generic Xpdf Patch Instructions
  8. ^ Okular, Debian, and copy restrictions
  9. ^ PalmPDF
  10. ^ PocketXpdf


External links[edit]