Andrew Channels Dexter Pinion

Wherein I write some stuff that you may like to read. Or not, its up to you really.

August 31, 2004

Linux Desktop Woes

Another day, another frustration with the state of the Linux desktop. Today's issue-ette is the display of PDF files.

I downloaded a couple today, and I couldn't get either to display properly under KDE. As far as I can tell, the problem is with the version of gv I'm running. Although according to Debian it is up to date. It had decided that the landscape document I've got is actually in portrait format, so I lose the right third of each page.

I can't find a way to rotate the display of pages by ninety degrees. There is a View menu where I can choose between portrait or landscape but it always rotates the page just the wrong way. Switching a landscape document to landscape view causes the page to display at ninety degrees to the correct orientation with the left edge displayed at the top and the top edge displayed on the right. Switching to portrait mode causes the aforementioned loss of the right side of the page.

Contrast this with my iBook where Preview displays both files without a problem.

Update. Courtesy of ludoo in the comments I'm now a happy PDF viewer thanks to XPDF.

Posted by Andy Todd at August 31, 2004 09:22 PM


Use xpdf, best (and fastest) pdf viewer on Linux

Posted by: ludoo on August 31, 2004 11:02 PM

Like you, I find that OS that I pay for saves me time from having to fix the problems in open source desktop software myself.

Posted by: Chui on September 1, 2004 07:06 AM

Reminds me of when I was running Linux on my now-defunct circa 1999 ThinkPad. I found that Gentoo allowed me to easily install Acrobat Reader which was better than xpdf or gv.

I agree, Linux has a long way to go before providing a relatively painless desktop experience.

Posted by: Keith Pitty on September 1, 2004 07:56 AM

I had an issue with Kghostview and a pdf as well. Gnome PDF viewer worked ok.

Posted by: Darryl on September 2, 2004 09:05 PM