How to Make Foxit Reader Work in Ubuntu 12.04 & 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot?

Foxit reader is a pretty good alternative PDF reader, if you’re a bit dissatisfied with the default one that comes with Ubuntu called “Evince”. Now few months ago, I wrote a post about how to install it in Ubuntu.

However, back then I used Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal (as it was the “hot release” those days :D) but thanks to a comment by “Nidhi” in that post I just realized that it doesn’t seem to work in Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot. I don’t know why, but for some reason, when you double click on the “.deb” file of Foxit in Ubuntu 11.10, Ubuntu Software Center, although the progress bar shows a 100% completion yet it doesn’t seem to get installed properly at all.

Now by default, after successfully installing a package, the “Install” button in Ubuntu Software Center should change into “Reinstall”, indicating that the app has successfully installed. But even after installing the Foxit (again, after the progress bar showing a 100% completion), that button still says “Install”, which is an indication that the installation was performed partially (if not installed at all).

So, after the installation, if you search in the Unity’s Dash for “foxit”, it’ll even display the program’s icon … however, when you click on it, noting happens, because the main Foxit executable file (more below) is missing due to the partial installation.

Well, you can click the heck out of it, nothing would happen though :P

But the thing is, it can be easily fixed. So before going into further details, let’s do it.

Update (06/09/2012): These steps also works under Ubuntu 12.04 too.

1. First, download the official Foxit “.deb” file from this official download page (this issue is with the Foxit version “1.1.0”).

Update: This link doesn’t work anymore, but it’s still available to download. For that please visit this page and then under the ‘Foxit Reader’ sub-heading click on the drop-down menu and choose ‘Desktop Linux’. Then click ‘Free Download’ and from the next pop-up window, under ‘Package Type’ choose ‘Deb’.

2. Once the download finishes, double click on the file. It should open Ubuntu Software Center and then click on the “Install” button to install it.

As said before, just don’t worry about the “Install” button not changing into “Reinstall”. After the installation, close the Ubuntu Software Center (but make sure to click on the “Install” button at least once and the progress bar shows a 100% completion, so it has installed it, even if it’s partial).

3. Now go to the downloaded Foxit “.deb” file’s location and right click on it.

From the menu choose, “Open with Archive Manager”, as shown below.

This should open-up the file in the Archive manager and should display the actual content of the file as shown below (this is because a “.deb” file is sort of a file archive format).

4. Now double click on the folder called “usr” which should open the content of that folder.

Then from the next window (shown below), again double click on the file called “bin”.

Once inside that “bin” folder, you’ll see a file called “FoxitReader”. This is the main execution file of Foxit reader itself, and is also the one that doesn’t get copied/installed into HDD for some reason. What we’re going to do is quite simple. We’re gonna manually copy this file to the default location (“/usr/bin”) in your HDD which should solve our problem.

5. Now, select that file, and right click on it. From the menu choose “Extract”.

You can extract this to anywhere, but to keep things simple, please extract the file into your “Home” folder.

6. Once that’s done, open your Terminal window and simply issue the below command.

sudo cp FoxitReader /usr/bin

After that’s done, simply search for “foxit” in Unity’s Dash (or in Nautilus context menu after selecting a PDF file), and click on its icon, and voila!, now it should open the Foxit reader as it’s supposed to :D (shown below). That’s it!.

A little proof to show you that Foxit is running under Ubuntu 11.10 ;-)

If you have extracted the “FoxitReader” file to somewhere else other than your “Home” folder, then please use the proper file path in the above command (“/your-folder-path/FoxitReader”).

*Update (05/11/2012), only for the Ubuntu 64-bit users:

If you use the 64-bit version of Ubuntu (12.04, 11.10 etc), then even after doing all this, “Foxit” still won’t work. That’s simply because, Foxit only has a 32-bit version and for an any application that’s created to run under 32-bit processor instructions should undergo few changes in order to support the 64-bit instructions.

But you can install a special software library that “fakes” (emulates) a 32-bit processor using your actual 64-bit CPU and the program should run without issues. In Ubuntu (plus, GNU/Linux in general), we need a library called “ia32-libs” for that.

It could be because this library has a shi* load of dependencies ;-) (needs a lot of individual packages, about 70-80MB to download), Ubuntu does not come with it pre-installed.

So, for all ya 64-bit users, after following all the above steps, there’s this one last step that you gotta do before you can enjoy our naughty little “Foxit”, and that is installing this software library. For that, open your Terminal window and enter the below command.

sudo apt-get install ia32-libs

That’s it, now it should work. A big thanks goes to “robert” (in the comment section), couldn’t have done it without you mate!, thank you :D.

But as this needs a lot of libraries (somewhat an “unnecessary burden”, if you won’t really be running 32-bit apps in 64-bit Ubuntu that is), unless you really can’t live without “Foxit”, I humbly suggest that you try something else, “qpdfview” for instance?. *

Update (07/12/2013): According to ‘Joe’ (comments) Ubuntu 13.10 users also have to install two additional packages. You can install them by entering the below command (Note: I did not test to see if they’re actually necessary or not).

sudo apt-get install libgtk2.0-0:i386 libstdc++6:i386

Oy Gyan!, BTW, why did the default Foxit “.deb” installation fail?

I honestly don’t know. But then again, that “.deb” file was last released more than two years ago!, so perhaps it’s some sort of an incompatibility issue.

Anyhow, if you’ve been having troubles properly installing or running Foxit PDF reader in Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot or 12.04 Precise Pangolin then that’s one way to fix it (hopefully ;-)). Enjoy!.

120 thoughts on “How to Make Foxit Reader Work in Ubuntu 12.04 & 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot?

  1. Venus

    Your article shows a great deal of care for clarity and making the process easy for those of us who know little about Ubuntu administration – thank you so much!

  2. robert

    Had some issues in 12.04 64bit. Foxit Reader wouldn't do anything at all when I tired to open it, no error or anything. So I tried to open it from the terminal and then it showed an error. Missing a 32 bit library. If this happens to you just run the following to fix it.

    sudo apt-get install ia32-libs-gtk

  3. Muad

    It also works installing it with GDebi installer, instead of using the Software Center. It installs perfectly and no tweaks are needed.

  4. Milan

    It's perfect step by step instruction. I am Linux virgin, but I did it! Better here, then at oficial sites and them support. God job body. Realy thank's. By my languague, "dakujem" ;-)

  5. NIna

    Thank you for this nice explanation!

    I actually installed Foxit and had problems to get it started, so I followed your instructions without recognizing that there was an Update for 64-bit users (I use 64 bit ;) ). So, now I decided not to use Foxit as I don't want to have “ia32-libs”.

    Now my question is: how can I remove the "half-installed" Foxit?

    I would be glad if you could help me! :)

    Cheers, Nina

  6. jesse

    THANK YOU SO MUCH(: i was getting irritated because i had just moved from windows and i figured why would i keep dealing with ubuntu but now im fine and happy lol

  7. elkassmielec

    thanks Gayan
    you “saved” my life ,I used to work with FoxitReader on windows and I like it :)
    and now with your help I can enjoy it also on ubuntu 12.04
    big love from Morocco ;)

  8. silentsword

    I am using 64-bit ubuntu, and I finally got foxit able to use. Thank you so much! I’m the one who cannot live without foxit xD

  9. sreekar

    but this version of foxit for gnu/linux does nt have options like underlining/highlighting text… do you know any GPL-friendly reader that has this options in addition to ones that foxit for windows has… thank you in advance

    sreekar

  10. Adrian C.

    It works like a charm. Thank you very much for a good post. I tried so much to get Foxit to work.. and this did it. Had to install the 32 libs also, (cos i run 64bit), but thats ok.. if I can’t live without foxit, then 132Mb extra is not that much..
    take care.. ;-)

    1. Adrian C.

      LOL.. had to install QPDFView also, because I actually needed Foxit to be able to underline PDF’s.. I guess there is now not any easy way to get rid of all the 32 libs i got installed earlier, is it?

      1. Gayan Post author

        Hi Adrian C.,

        Well, you could try the below commands, but they might not necessarily remove all the files it installed though.

        sudo apt-get autoremove ia32-libs

        Then try the below one as well.

        sudo apt-get autoremove

        1. Adrian C.

          Thanks.. I actually tried that also, but like u said, I dont think it removed everything. So.. i just ran a partition restore cos I saved it not much earlier with fsarchiver.
          I’m gonna go install QPDFViewer now, thanks for very good and usefull posts! bye…

  11. Ralf

    Thank you for your easy process dokumentation.The description saves a lot of time in the mistake search!
    I like linux and the most of the applications works very good and offers many support functions.
    But the PDF support in Linux is BAD! – really indistinct in a world full of electronic documents.
    I will recommend with pleasure your side.

  12. Rob

    Cannot find Foxit Reader 1.1.0 or any linux version on the official website to download. I tried using wget to connect to mirrors (as suggested here: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Foxit ) but no such luck. Maybe they just pulled the plug on it? Can’t even find it on other sites. Oh well…guess I’ll just use Okular…

      1. Piotr

        Hi, Gayan, yes, it seems like MS after The Big Fail with Win8 is going for a war to survive, and MS tries to sign the contracts to remove competitive OS from development.
        We bought upgrades in the company to Win8Pro, the result is now I am testing Linux, probably Ubuntu works the best. As we were using Foxit for years now I would love to test it for Ubuntu, and no .deb files nowhere. Has qpdfview option to open media files from PDF presentation?

        1. Gayan Post author

          Hi Piotr,

          Mate I’m don’t know if ‘qpdfview’ supports that. I guess you’ll have to install it and see (that said, it’s still one of the best PDF viewers that I’ve used so far though).

  13. زياد مكي

    Hey Gayan, I am sorry if this is not the appropriate post to discuss this problem but I am very desperate indeed

    Qbittorrent just crashed out of the blue and every time I re-install it , it doesn’t open at all , and when I try to open it from terminal , it gives me this error:
    terminate called after throwing an instance of ‘std::runtime_error’
    what(): locale::facet::_S_create_c_locale name not valid
    I tried to install Deluge but it doesn’t want to open either, the only torrent client that works with me is Transmission..do you have any idea what is going on here ? Thanks, sorry to bother you

    1. Gayan Post author

      I’m sorry mate, I have no idea what that means (though a quick Google search gives me the impression that it’s a common program ‘run-time’ error).

      That said, though it’s not my favorite, ‘Tixati‘ is also a bitcorrent client with a lot of features. But I would still go with ‘Transmission’ due to its simplicity.

      1. Patrick

        Just wanted to confirm that installing the 32 bit libs (libgtk2.0-0:i386 and libstdc++6:i386) also work on 64-bit Ubuntu 14.04. Looked all over for this solution, thank you for hosting it!

  14. trodas

    Hi there, sadly it does not work now. Now the archive compression is NOT supported:
    The file is beginning with FXFC1 and Ubuntu archiver failed to open it.

    What a MEGASTUPID “developers” … how to depack this new Foxit reader?!

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