Document Viewer does not open pdf files

Asked by Tony Lewis on 2012-09-19

Running 12.04 with all updates.
Pretty inexperienced with Ubuntu.

Opening pdf files, whether from web page, desktop or terminal (using "evince filename.pdf") results in disk activity, screen greys momentarily then resumes, and file does not open. No errors shown (even in terminal).
Problem affects all pdf files.
Files open OK with Gimp

I tried the process below to ensure the installation was OK (proposed in Question 80874 answer 11)

sudo apt-get -f install
sudo apt-get --fix-missing install
sudo apt-get clean
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
sudo apt-get purge evince
sudo aptitude install evince
sudo apt-get clean
sudo apt-get autoremove

Thanks for any responses

Question information

Language:
English Edit question
Status:
Solved
For:
Ubuntu evince Edit question
Assignee:
No assignee Edit question
Solved by:
Tony Lewis
Solved:
2013-02-11
Last query:
2013-02-11
Last reply:
2012-09-20
N1ck 7h0m4d4k15 (nicktux) said : #1

Hi ,
did you try the Firefox's "Open pdf" function ?

Yes , I know that this not solve your problem with Evince , but if this is a bug , Firefox is an alternative to do your job.

If you want to enable it, let me know.

About Evince , you already done what I would suggest (purge and install) , maybe try to find and move any hidden folder or file ?

The version of evince I have (with Ubuntu 12.04) is 3.4.0 , what is yours ? apt-cache policy evince

Try to open a preview and see if working : evince -w file.pdf

As a last suggestion , try to remove evince again and remove some folders manually before you install it again.

sudo apt-get purge evince
sudo rm -r /usr/lib/evince
sudo rm -r /usr/share/evince
sudo rm /var/lib/dpkg/info/evince-*
sudo rm /var/lib/dpkg/info/libevince3-3*
sudo apt-get install evince

Thanks

Tony Lewis (anthonyplewis) said : #2

Thanks for responding.

My Firefox doesn't seem to have its own pdf function, it offers Download or Open with doc viewer if I select a pdf file.

Version info was
evince:
  Installed: 3.4.0-0ubuntu1.4
  Candidate: 3.4.0-0ubuntu1.4
  Version table:
 *** 3.4.0-0ubuntu1.4 0
        500 http://gb.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ precise-updates/main i386 Packages
        100 /var/lib/dpkg/status
     3.4.0-0ubuntu1 0
        500 http://gb.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ precise/main i386 Packages

Preview attempt gave same result as just attempting a normal pdf opening. Disk activity for several seconds but no display of the pdf.

Removal, re-install and re-boot has had no effect.

I have had messages at odd times with 12.04 (I think they were mainly when I started working after re-booting) saying Ubuntu has had an internal error, but no other information was given. Not specifically related to me oening pdf files.

Any other ideas or data I could dig into?

What if you tell the browser to use a different PDF viewer (Once you install one, obviously)

Tony Lewis (anthonyplewis) said : #4

Thanks for the suggestion.

I have just loaded Okular pdf viewer, and it works OK. The situation is improved, but it doesn't actually fix whatever the problem is.
I am keen to bottom out the issue as I suspect that something is wrong with my installation due to the sporadic errors that Ubuntu reports and a general feeling I have that performance has deteriorated.

All I have been able to check is that I have plenty of disk space, so any other ideas for checking for errors or performance issues would be appreciated.

Okular is KDE based so not the best choice (unless you already have a KDE app or 2 installed). Try Xpdf :)

Tony Lewis (anthonyplewis) said : #6

OK,

I removed Okular and installed Xpdf. After reboot, opened a pdf file. Application started to open (put up a grey rectangle) but then disappeared without the pdf file appearing. Ubuntu put up a message that Application Xpdf had closed unexpecedly.

Maybe a problem with something that Evince and Xpdf use but Okular does not? Any more ideas?

Thanks for the support!

If you make a new Ubuntu user and log in as that, is it ok?

N1ck 7h0m4d4k15 (nicktux) said : #8

On 09/19/2012 05:35 PM, Tony Lewis wrote:
> My Firefox doesn't seem to have its own pdf function, it offers Download
> or Open with doc viewer if I select a pdf file.
>
>
Hi ,

Yes , Firefox has not enabled by default this function. It has a
build-in pdf viewer.

To enable it look here :
http://www.liberiangeek.net/2012/09/enable-firefoxs-built-in-pdf-reader/

For Evince , I have no other idea. Sorry

Thanks

Sam_ (and-sam) said : #9

> sporadic errors that Ubuntu reports

Sounds like evince is just a side effect.
Log files indicate something at all or after running evince ?
.xsession-errors, syslog, Xorg.0.log

Is there enough disk space left?
df -h
mount

Review processess in one terminal window with 'top' and in the other run 'evince'.
http://www.cyberciti.biz/faq/show-all-running-processes-in-linux/

Was it fresh installation or upgrade? Did liveCD/stick work smoothly? Rather try new installation.
X lag or performance issues may due to hardware specs .... RAM, graphics driver .... 3d acceleration support.
Sys requirements there.
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Installation
https://wiki.ubuntu.com/DemystifyingUnityGraphicsHardwareRequirements

Tony Lewis (anthonyplewis) said : #10

Thanks to all responders>

I tried Sam_ (and-sam)'s suggestionss but but I am not experienced enough to make sense of the logs and processes - although I got up the displays & logs as mentioned.

Creating a fresh user did not help - similar results running evince.

One process name cropped on the top display up that rang a bell with me. Compiz. I recall seeing some error reports containing it about the time these troubles started. Could this be relevant?

Definately a bug. Run:

ubuntu-bug evince

and report the issue :)

N1ck 7h0m4d4k15 (nicktux) said : #12

On 09/20/2012 03:11 AM, Tony Lewis wrote:
>
> One process name cropped on the top display up that rang a bell with me.
> Compiz. I recall seeing some error reports containing it about the time
> these troubles started. Could this be relevant?
>

Hi ,
if you suspect compiz , then logout and login from Ubuntu-2d session.
There is no compiz in that session . (metacity instead) .

Thanks

Tony Lewis (anthonyplewis) said : #13

Thanks, but:-
No improvement in Ubuntu-2d session.
Have submitted a bug report as suggested.

pdf never used to be a problem, but started fairly recently - possibly after using the Update Manager. As the problem seems peculiar to me, would it be sensible to reload Ubuntu? Also, how do I kick off the reload?

N1ck 7h0m4d4k15 (nicktux) said : #14

On 09/20/2012 01:45 PM, Tony Lewis wrote:
> Question #208999 on Ubuntu changed:
> https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+question/208999
>
> Status: Answered => Open
>
> Tony Lewis is still having a problem:
> Thanks, but:-
> No improvement in Ubuntu-2d session.
> Have submitted a bug report as suggested.
>
> pdf never used to be a problem, but started fairly recently - possibly
> after using the Update Manager. As the problem seems peculiar to me,
> would it be sensible to reload Ubuntu? Also, how do I kick off the
> reload?
>

OK. It seems like a bug and you did well you reported this. Watch your
bug , probably developers will ask for info , follow their advices.

For now , try to use another pdf viewer . I suggest acroread (the native
acrobat reader in linux).

Enable partners repo . From terminal give :

gksudo software-properties-gtk

go to "Other Software" section and check "Canonical Partners" , close
the window and run in terminal

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install acroread

You can mark this question as solved and turn your attention to your bug.

Thanks

Tony Lewis (anthonyplewis) said : #15

Currently running Adobe Reader 9 with no problems,thanks for the support