Zed Lopez

PDF Viewer

I don’t use a desktop environment; I use an antidesktop environment featuring the ultra-minimalist ratpoison window manager and the ultra-maximalist Emacs.

It makes me grumpy when applications depend on installing huge portions of Gnome or KDE. So I was never thrilled with the PDF viewer choices.

ghostview and xpdf are good tools, but ugly, and they don’t natively talk to CUPS print servers. evince and kpdf want to install huge portions of Gnome and KDE, respectively. I haven’t tried acroread, but I scramble for alternative’s to Adobe’s bloated reader in Windows, so I thought I’d spare myself.

So I was happy to find epdfview, which shares some of evince’s dependencies on graphics libraries without the gratuitous dependencies.

But there was a catch: Ubuntu 8.04’s binary package doesn’t include CUPS support, for no apparent reason (there’s already a bug filed.) The good news is that you can build it yourself.

So I’m now a happy viewer and printer of PDFs while still avoiding having dbus, gamin, bonobo, etc., installed.