Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Having Problems With Acrobat Reader 9.1?

If you have started using Acrobat Reader 9.1 on Linux, there is a nasty little bug that took me a while to locate. It's leaking files into /dev/shm that don't delete, and cause problems on the next startup. We were getting calls from people that when they clicked on Reader, their whole Xserver would freeze until the stuck process was removed. After running strace, I was able to see that it was attempting to use /dev/shm right before the lockup; and found the leaking files.

I placed these lines into the script that calls Reader and things are working as expected:

rm /dev/shm/sem*$USER 2> /dev/null


Michael Croes said...

Although it's not related to your post, I would urge you to try a free document reader like evince. The only reason I might ever use adobe reader willingly again, is if I have to do stuff like red-lining, which is not supported in any decent reader.
Sorry to hijack your post!


Dave Richards said...

michael: I certainly understand that perspective, but it's not possible in our environment. People are pretty combative over not running "Windows" in general. So we run "Real Adobe Reader" so that they don't complain and say, "Well this would work on Windows". For the most part if it fails on Linux, it fails on Windows and Mac too which gives them no soap box to stand on. For the most part it's stable and fairly responsive on our network. But this issue is just, stupid.

Anonymous said...

There's another reason for me to run Adobe Reader instead of free software: It has a much better font rendering than *any* open source PDF viewer.

Another anonymous said...

# Anonymous, maybe you haven't try KPdf.

Yet another anonymous said...

I haven't started to use that 9.1 version because it's only available in english but no in spanish.

Have you fill a bug report?

Varun Khaneja said...

Hi Dave,

Does this happen when the users do a particular action (such as scrolling when a particular dialog is open) or randomly or all the time?

Also, we'd really appreciate if you could report this and any other issues you face at the acroread forum:


Anonymous said...

I've switched from evince to the reader, particularly because of the nice comments & section content functionality.

but the odd-looking interface and mouse are annoying.

James D said...

Thanks for this post. I'll try that and see if I can get acroread again.

Of course, I would much rather use a free viewer, but they all seem to fall into one of two camps:
1) Those that slowly rasterize vector graphics (horrible on massive maps)
2) Inkscape, which isn't really a viewer, but will at least load any page of a PDF as it's meant to be.

It really can't be too hard to code a read-only Inkscape-based multi-page PDF viewer, but I can't seem to find anything that works like that.

Anonymous said...

Thanks! This has driven me crazy, to the point of trying to do without (not entirely possible I'm afraid).

Vaibhav Padlikar said...

This issue has been fixed in latest Adobe Reader 9.1.2. Please visit for more details.

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