Google Chrome for Linux no Acrobat PDF Reader Support

Written by James McDonald

March 16, 2010

Update: Found this on the Google forums. When you see the grey screen when trying to view PDF on Linux Chrome. Hit CTRL-S and you can save it to disk and view it from there.

It’s beginning to look like Google Chrome for Linux is dead in the water as regards getting support for viewing PDF documents using Acrobat Reader embedded within the browser. It’s been months since it stopped working.

Normally with Open Source software when a prominent and often-used component such as Acrobat Reader fails to work then someone somewhere, with the appropriate skills codes a fix and submits it to the project, usually within a week.

Many people are searching for an answer for Google Chromes lack of Acrobat Reader PDF support on the Google forums, it’s becoming repetitive.

Some people are recommending Mozplugger as a fix, however people are reporting patchy results with this approach.

Acrobat Reader for Linux has been embedded within Firefox for a long time and the same plugin architecture seems to be used for Google Chrome (albeit I assume with different implementation details). So why hasn’t it been fixed?

My guess is that a company as large as Google, who is sponsoring the OSS development of Chrome is not allocating resources to fix the problem because it wants people to use it’s Google docs extension. Or perhaps there is a genuine show stopping technical reason that Acrobat PDF hasn’t appeared in Google Chrome for Linux as yet. But the plugin framework works for just about every other media type including Adobe Flash. So why can’t it work for Adobe Reader?

Google. Please forget your strategic vision and just allocate a Uber Coder to fixing the one thing that’s stopping a lot of us using Chrome on Linux.

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