Monthly Archive: May, 2009

May 20, 2009

Installer formats for Adobe Reader 9 on Unix

Adobe Reader 9 for Unix (Linux/Solaris-x86) can be installed using various different methods, depending on the distribution of the OS you are running.

There are 5 installer formats for Adobe Reader available via yum/apt-get OR via FTP from Adobe’s FTP server:

  1. BIN installer
  2. RPM installer
  3. DEB installer
  4. TARball installer
  5. PKG installer

Installation using yum and apt-get/aptitude is convenient and updates happen automagically so we recommend doing that.
We’ve previously described how to install using yum and using apt-get.

Installer formats explained

Here’s a brief description and the merits/demerits of each installer format, to help you choose the format that best suits your needs/constraints:

  1. BIN installer: The BIN installer can be used to install Adobe Reader on any location that is writable by the current user.
    The advantages of using this installer are:

    • Smallest size. This installer has the smallest size amongst all installers for Adobe Reader on Unix platforms. (It is approximately 29% smaller than the second smallest installer.)
    • Install anywhere. This installer can be used to install Adobe Reader on any location that is writable by the user performing the installation.

    The BIN installers are available for both Linux and Solaris-x86 platforms.

  2. RPM installer: The RPM installer may be used to install Adobe Reader on RPM-based Linux distributions such as RedHat, Fedora, CentOS etc.
    The advantages of using this installer are:

    • Native installation. The package can be managed using RPM manager, which provides a one-stop place for managing all RPM-based packages.
    • Managing updates. RPM allows fully-automated, in-place upgrades of the package.
    • Package querying and verification.

    However, unlike the BIN installer, the RPM installer can only be installed by a privileged user. Once installed, it can used by any user on the system. The RPM installer can be used only on RPM-based Linux distributions.

  3. DEB installer: The DEB installer may be used to install Adobe Reader in Debian-based distributions such as Debian, Ubuntu, Linspire, KNOPPIX etc.
    It has exactly the same advantages and limitations as RPM installer. The DEB installer can only be used on Debian-based Linux distributions.
  4. TARball installer: The TARball installer is provided for legacy reasons.
    It has the following advantage:

    • Install anywhere. Just like the BIN installer, the TARball installer can be used to install Adobe Reader on any location that is writable by the user performing the installation.

    The TARball installer is available for both Linux and Solaris-x86 platforms.

  5. PKG installer: The PKG installer is native installer for Solaris and uses the ‘pkg’ installation mechanism, which is similar to RPM/DEB on Linux.
    It shares its advantages and shortcomings with the RPM and DEB installers. The PKG installer can be used only on Solaris-x86 platform.

Installation methods

Once you’ve chosen the installer format that suits your needs best, here’s how you can install Adobe Reader using it:

  1. Download the latest installer (9.1.1, at the time of writing this post) from here and save it to you HOME directory.
  2. Now, open a terminal (gnome-terminal / xterm / konsole /… ) and go to your home directory (which is where you downloaded the installer in step 1.)

BIN installer:

  • Now, mark the installer file as executable for the current user, that’s you:
    • On Linux:
    • On Solaris-x86:
  • Launch the installer:
    • On Linux:
    • On Solaris-x86:
  • Now follow the steps and answer the questions asked to complete the installation.

RPM installer:

  • Start the installation using the RPM installer (remember this would need to be done as root):
  • Alternatively, you can open the Desktop folder in nautilus installer and double-click the AdbeRdr9.1.1-1_i486linux_enu.rpm file to automatically start the installation.
    This method also requires you to be a privileged (or root) user.

DEB installer:

  • Start the installation using the DEB installer (remember this would need to be done as root):
  • Alternatively, you can open the Desktop folder in nautilus and double-click the AdbeRdr9.1.1-1_i386linux_enu.deb file to automatically start the installation.
    This method also requires you to be a privileged (or root) user.

TARball installer:

  • Extract the contents of the compressed tarball:
    • On Linux:
    • On Solaris-x86:
  • Launch the installation script:
  • Now follow the steps and answer the questions asked to complete the installation.

PKG installer:

  • Extract the contents of the compressed PKG installer:

We hope this will act as a definitive guide to install Adobe Reader using the various installer formats offered.
In case you run into any issues related to Adobe Reader for Unix, please let us know at our forum.

May 15, 2009

9.1.1 and 8.1.5 Security Updates

Adobe Reader 9.1.1 and 8.1.5 Security Updates were released on May 12 (see Security Bulletin APSB09-06), and resolve the vulnerabilities from Security Advisory APSA09-02. This is available for both Linux and Solaris platforms.

Please visit the Adobe Reader Download Page for the download links. Alternatively, you can download directly using the FTP links below:

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