How to Install Foxit Reader in Ubuntu?

Adobe invented the PDF (portable document format) thus their PDF Reader is perhaps one of the most widely used applications for reading PDF files. But in my experience, apart from all of its features and usability, it’s a PC resources hog!.

If you have a PDF file with lots of images (and somewhat an older computer) for instance, then you won’t be impressed with its performance. Someone now could say that Adobe has nothing to do with it since it’s your PC which is the bottleneck.

That’s what I used think until I found Foxit Reader few years ago! :). Not only it loads fast but it’s certainly uses less amount of your system resources as well. The developers, somewhat recently released a new version for Windows platform which brought a lot of changes (mainly concerning the GUI) but Foxit has been a bit “shy” at supporting the GNU/Linux platform.

Where ya all PDFs at! ;-)…

But with recent times they’ve found out that there’s certainly something worth investing in GNU/Linux (thanks to Ubuntu, I suppose). So as a result, they released a separate version for the GNU/Linux users which of course lacked some features when comparing with the MS Windows version.

And it was actually at beta stage for a long time but initially, they released the official Foxit 1.1 for GNU/Linux sometime ago. And when compared with the old beta versions, concerning both feature and stability, this is a much better product.

Main features…


*. Loads fast and rendered PDF files without any issues, while I tested it. Although I think perhaps the default document viewer in Unity, Evince (Gnome’s actually) could be a bit faster but then again Foxit gives you a few more features.

*. Simple yet an effective GUI design, integrates with Ubuntu flawlessly.

*. Show/Hide navigation panel (bookmarks or thumbnail page views).

*. Find/search text.

*. Show PDF meta-tag infos (such as changing the Author name, Subject, Title, etc).

*. Printing support.


*. Excellent tool-bar with popular functions such as: Zoom in-out, Full screen view, Hand tool, Text selection tool, next/previous page tool, etc. You can easily add/remove features with ease unlike with Evince, where it’s almost impossible.

customize-tool-bar-300x156  *. Automatic scrolling support.

*. Take screenshots.

*. Save selected text to clipboard automatically. I find this to be a bit of an annoying feature actually. For instance, rather than letting us right click and copy the text, as soon as you highlight the text, it copies the text to clipboard.

*. And using the “preferences” window you can change few more additional options such as: Automatic scrolling speed, default fonts, background color, page layout (singe/continuous/dual, etc), set default zoom levels, customize shortcuts…

preferences-window-300x208  These are just a few of the main features to mention.


You can install Foxit Reader 1.1 (latest version) in Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal & 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot (not sure about other versions) by first downloading the “.deb” package form here (once you’re on that page, choose ‘Desktop Linux’ from the drop down menu and then click on the ‘Download’ button. From the next pop-up window, under ‘Package type’ choose ‘Deb’).

After the download completes, just double click on the file to open it using Ubuntu Software Center (package manager) and follow the on screen instructions. But while I was trying to install it USC gave me a warning but I ignored it and the installation went quite well and Foxit worked as expected without any issues whatsoever.

And to my surprise, even after having some useful additional features over Evince, I was impressed by its memory usage too. Apart from all those features, this is not an open-source or a GNU licensed software (it’s absolutely free to use though).

It’s true the Evince is slightly lower on Memory but when considering the features, it runs “light” (plus there were times that they were almost the same!) …

It’s been like two years since the last time they updated it, so… Other than that, if you’re looking for a more professional looking PDF reader for Ubuntu (or GNU/Linux in general), then Foxit 1.1 PDF reader, still looks pretty darn impressive!.

An RHCE, 'Linux' user with 14+ years of experience. Extreme lover of Linux and FOSS. He is passionate to test every Linux distribution & compare with the previous release to write in-depth articles to help the FOSS community.

12 thoughts on “How to Install Foxit Reader in Ubuntu?”

  1. Hello,

    Recently I installed Ubuntu 11.10 on my Lenevo Thinkpad Edge E420. After installion of Foxit Rreader 1.1, the pdf flies still unable to open with foxit reader. And I get this message "Could not find 'FoxitReader'".

    I will be very grateful to you if you provide me with solution for viewing PDF files.


      • Hi Gayan,

        Thank you so much for your response. Your given solution perfectly worked for me. Well explained and to the point . Thanks a million……….:)

        But, I would like to ask someting more. Is it possible to highlight the texts of PDF files in ubuntu11.10, as we do in windows through FoxitReader. Thank you so very much for your assistance!!:)


        • Hello Nidhi,

          If you're referring to right click on the text and choose "Copy", then Foxit won't let you do that in GNU/Linux. It's a bit weird, I know, but you can't add that functionality (as far as I know). Sorry about that.

  2. I am using u 11.04 i downloaded as per intruction above but when i click for installation i get a error msg cal " BAD QUALITY FILE" why is so,, how to fix it n install,,?

    • Hello 'Kiran,

      Sometimes Ubuntu Software Center gives this message for some packages due to various reasons (packages without proper license files, if they're really of bad quality etc) but with recent versions of USC (11.10 and up) lets you ignore this error and install them anyway.

      But since you're using 11.04 Natty, you can install these packages by following the below method.

      Open your Terminal and enter the below command.

      cd Downloads

      If you have downloaded it to somewhere else, then please replace 'Downloads' with the file's path.

      Then enter the below command to install it (make sure there aren't any other 'deb' files in this folder, otherwise this will re-install them all!).

      sudo dpkg -i *.deb

      Did it work for you? …

  3. The other error I have seen is that it does not display text in English. To solve this issue go to preference and in the font tab section select Latin and explore it and select Ubuntu type then it will start displaying the text properly. It worked for me.

  4. Just to say foxit reader works really fast, even faster than native evince reader, probably you wont notice it on a regular pdf but try it on chilean public transport pdf map (transantiago) a big vectorized pdf file with huge amount of info, evince took almost a minute to render it, foxit about 5 secs, have an old hp530 notebook, running centos 6 on it, I dont have nothing to do with the software author just wanted to let my impression somewhere.

    • Hi ‘Ort32’,

      True, ‘Foxit’ has its uses, although I always assumed that ‘Evince’ to be as fast as ‘Foxit’ was. Guess I was wrong.

      Thanks for the input.


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