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How to Install Acroread into 64 bit Debian

I like Evince because it works very well in most of the cases and it's very lightweight, but there are some cases where I still need a pdf reader from Adobe, for example when I have to check a pdf with annotations.

Although Adobe does not provide Acroread (a.k.a. Acrobat Reader) for Linux anymore, it somehow still hosts .deb files of old versions and you can install them into modern distributions as well.

Download an old version

$ wget

Allow 32 bit debs to be installed

In the default configurations, a 64 bit version of Debian does not accept 32 bit deb files. Enable multiarch support to install 32 bit debs.

$ sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get upgrade

Install Acroread deb and dependencies

Install the .deb file downloaded from the adobe website. Execute apt-get install -f after that to automatically install dependencies.

$ sudo dpkg -i AdbeRdr9.5.5-1_i386linux_enu.deb
$ sudo apt-get install -f

You can now run it with the acroread command. In some case, it may yield an error due to lack of some libraries. You should install the 32 bit version of the required library by adding :i386 suffix to the package name.

$ acroread
# an error may happen requiring libxml2 (or whatever other libraries)
$ sudo apt-get install libxml2:i386     # don't forget to add ':i386'!
$ acroread
# should work