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Developer(s)Glyph & Cog
Initial releaseDecember 12, 1995; 28 years ago (1995-12-12)
Stable release
4.05[1] Edit this on Wikidata / 8 February 2024
Operating systemLinux, Windows, macOS, FreeBSD, OpenVMS
TypePDF viewer
LicenseGPL-2.0-only[2] or GPL-3.0-only[3] or proprietary[4][5]

Xpdf is a free and open-source PDF viewer and toolkit based on the Qt framework.[4] Versions prior to 4.00 were written for the X Window System and Motif.[6]



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,[7] which can prevent copying, printing, or converting some PDF files.[4] There are patches that make Xpdf ignore these DRM restrictions,[8]; the Debian distribution for example has these patches in place by default.[9]

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.[4]

Xpdf is also used as a back-end for other PDF readers frontends such as KPDF and GPDF,[6] and its engine, without the X11 display components, is used for PDF viewers including BePDF on BeOS, '!PDF' on RISC OS, on PalmPDF[10] on Palm OS[4] and on Windows Mobile.[11]

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.



A vulnerability in the Xpdf implementation of the JBIG2 file format, re-used in Apple's iOS phone operating software, was used by the Pegasus spyware to implement a zero-click attack on iPhones by constructing an emulated computer architecture inside a JBIG2 stream. Apple fixed this "FORCEDENTRY" vulnerability in iOS 14.8 in September 2021.[12]

See also


Notes and references

  1. ^ "Xpdf 4.05 release". 8 February 2024. Retrieved 2 May 2024.
  2. ^ 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. "
  3. ^ xpdf xpdf 3.03 "The license was changed from GPLv2 to dual v2/v3 licensing."
  4. ^ a b c d e Xpdf website
  5. ^ Glyph & Cog, LLC: Xpdf
  6. ^ a b Polzer, Leslie (2006-11-28). "A survey of Linux PDF viewers". SourceForge, Inc. Retrieved 2007-08-30.
  7. ^ Xpdf - Cracking
  8. ^ Generic Xpdf Patch Instructions
  9. ^ Okular, Debian, and copy restrictions
  10. ^ PalmPDF
  11. ^ PocketXpdf
  12. ^ Beer, Ian; Groß, Samuel (2021-12-15). "Project Zero: A deep dive into an NSO zero-click iMessage exploit: Remote Code Execution". Google Project Zero. Retrieved 2021-12-16.