How to Install Okular on Linux Mint 21 or 20

If you’re using Linux Mint and need a versatile document viewer, Okular stands out as a top choice. This KDE project creation brings a rich set of features and extensive format support to the table, making it a comprehensive solution for various document viewing needs. In this guide, we will walk you through the steps to install Okular on Linux Mint 21 or Linux Mint 20, ensuring you have access to this powerful tool regardless of your Linux Mint version.

Key Strengths of Okular:

  • Versatile Format Support: Okular isn’t limited to PDFs; it supports many document and image formats, providing a one-stop solution for all your viewing needs.
  • Robust Annotation Tools: From highlighting text to adding notes and geometric shapes, Okular’s annotation capabilities are extensive.
  • Accessibility-Focused: With features like text-to-speech, Okular ensures it’s accessible to a diverse user base.
  • Bookmarking Ease: Navigate and mark specific sections of your documents easily using Okular’s bookmarking feature.
  • Extract Text and Images: A handy feature for researchers and students, Okular allows for extracting text and images directly from documents.
  • Comprehensive Review Tools: Okular’s range of review tools facilitates thorough content assessments, enhancing your document interaction experience.

Choosing Okular on Linux Mint

While Linux Mint comes with its PDF viewer, Xreader, Okular’s advanced capabilities and extensive format support make it a superior choice for users with diverse and demanding document interaction needs. Its alignment with KDE’s design principles makes it an excellent option for those who prefer the KDE desktop environment, ensuring a seamless and integrated user experience.

Embracing the open-source ethos, Okular is a fitting choice for the Linux Mint community, offering a powerful, user-friendly, and free document-viewing solution. To get started with Okular and unlock its full potential on your Linux Mint system, follow the detailed installation guide provided in the next sections.

Install Okular on Linux Mint 21 or 20 via APT

Step 1: Update Linux Mint Packages Before Okular Installation

Ensuring your system’s packages are up-to-date is crucial for both security and successful software installation. An updated system guarantees compatibility and reduces the risk of conflicts when installing new software. It is a widely accepted best practice to refresh your system’s package list and upgrade the installed packages before adding new software.

To update your Linux Mint system, utilize the Advanced Package Tool (APT), a robust command-line utility designed to manage packages. Run the following command in your terminal:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

The sudo apt update command refreshes your system’s package list, acquainting it with the latest software versions. Following that, the sudo apt upgrade command updates the installed packages to their most recent iterations.

Step 2: Install Okular via APT Command on Linux Mint

Okular can be installed in various ways, but for newcomers, the most accessible and straightforward approach is through the default APT repository. This repository provides a stable and secure version of Okular, positioning it as the preferred installation method. However, it is essential to note that the version available in the APT repository might not be the latest due to its slower update cycle.

To proceed with the installation of Okular using the APT package manager, input the following command in your terminal:

sudo apt install okular

In this command, you instruct the APT package manager to fetch the Okular package from the repository and initiate the installation process on your Linux Mint system.

Install Okular on Linux Mint 21 or 20 via Flatpak and Flathub

Step 1: Ensuring Flathub is Enabled for Okular Installation

Before installing Okular, it’s imperative to confirm the activation of the Flathub repository. Flathub is a comprehensive hub for applications available via Flatpak, a package management system natively integrated into Linux Mint. The Linux Mint community and its developers show a clear preference for Flatpak over Snap, making it a reliable choice for software installation.

To enable Flathub on your Linux Mint system, execute the following command in your terminal:

sudo flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub

This command ensures the addition of the Flathub repository as a Flatpak source only if it isn’t already present. The --if-not-exists flag is crucial here, as it prevents the creation of duplicate repository entries, maintaining a clean and efficient system configuration.

Step 2: Install Okular with Flatpak Command on Linux Mint

With Flathub now active, you are set to proceed with the Okular installation.

To install Okular via Flatpak, input the following command in your terminal:

flatpak install flathub org.kde.okular -y

In this command, flathub specifies the repository from which to fetch the package, org.kde.okular is the unique identifier for the Okular package within the Flathub repository, and the -y flag ensures an uninterrupted installation by automatically affirming all prompts.

Executing this command prompts the Flatpak package manager to retrieve the latest version of Okular from Flathub and initiate the installation on your Linux Mint system, ensuring you have access to the most recent features and updates.

Launching Okular on Linux Mint 21 or 20

Using Command-Line Interface (CLI) to Start Okular

Launching Okular After APT Installation

Post-installation via the APT package manager, you can swiftly initiate Okular with the following terminal command:


This command prompts the system to open Okular, providing immediate access to its features through the graphical user interface (GUI).

Starting Okular After Flatpak Installation

For installations done using Flatpak, the command to launch Okular varies:

flatpak run org.kde.okular

Here, flatpak run is the standard command to initiate applications installed via Flatpak, with org.kde.okular serving as Okular’s unique identifier.

Utilizing Graphical User Interface (GUI) to Open Okular

For those preferring a more visual approach, launching Okular through the GUI is straightforward.

Navigate through the following steps:

  1. Access the ‘Taskbar’
  2. Select ‘Show Applications’
  3. Locate and click on ‘Okular’

This process opens the Linux Mint menu, where ‘Show Applications’ unveils all installed software. Searching and selecting ‘Okular’ from this compilation will launch the application, providing a user-friendly method for those less inclined to use the CLI.

Okular icon displayed in the 'Show Applications' menu on Linux Mint, ready to be launched.
Find and open Okular easily from the ‘Show Applications’ menu on your Linux Mint system.

First-Time Tips with Okular on Linux Mint 21 or 20

Starting with a new software can be exciting yet intimidating, given the array of features and customization options that come with it. Okular is no different. As you embark on your journey with Okular, here are some tips and tricks to help you harness the full potential of this powerful tool.

General Okular Usage Tips with Linux Mint

  • Document Navigation: Use the scroll wheel on your mouse or the arrow keys on your keyboard for easy navigation through documents. Pressing Ctrl + +/- will zoom in or out of the document.
  • Multiple Document Interface: Okular supports opening multiple documents in the same window, which can be useful for cross-referencing. Go to File > Open New Tab or use the shortcut Ctrl + T to open a new document tab.
  • Search Functionality: Okular’s search functionality is a powerful tool for quickly locating information within a document. Press Ctrl + F to open the search bar.
  • Annotations: Okular allows you to make annotations in the documents, a feature especially useful when reviewing or studying documents. Click on Tools > Review to access the annotation tools.
  • Export Notes: Your annotations are not permanently attached to the PDFs, but you can export them. Go to File > Export As > Document Archive.

Okular Customizations Tips with Linux Mint

  • Toolbar Customization: You can customize the toolbars to suit your workflow better. Right-click on the toolbar and select Configure Toolbars to customize.
  • Theme Customization: Okular allows you to choose between light and dark themes. Navigate to Settings > Configure Okular > Accessibility and under ‘Change Colors’ select ‘Use color scheme’.
  • Shortcut Customization: Okular allows you to customize the shortcuts. Go to Settings > Configure Shortcuts to assign custom shortcuts to various functions.

Tips for Okular Advanced Usage with Linux Mint

  • Document Archiving: Okular allows the exporting of documents in the archive format (.okular file). This format stores both the document and the annotations, which can be useful when sharing annotated documents with peers.
  • Command-line Options: Okular supports a range of command-line options for advanced usage. Running okular --help in terminal will display the options available.
  • Shell Script Integration: As a command-line runnable application, Okular can be integrated into shell scripts for advanced automation tasks.

The tips above should help you start with Okular more profoundly and efficiently, but true mastery comes from exploring and using the software. So, don’t hesitate to explore Okular’s menu and settings to get a feel for all the functionality it offers.

Okular application open and ready for use on a Linux Mint desktop.
See Okular in action: Open and ready for your PDFs and documents on Linux Mint.

Additional Okular Commands with Linux Mint 21 or 20

Update Okular on Linux Mint

APT Update Command Method for Okular

To ensure optimal performance and security, regularly updating Okular is crucial. Execute the following command to refresh your package list and ensure you have the latest information on available updates:

sudo apt update

This command updates the package index, a crucial step before upgrading the application.

Flatpak Update Command Method for Okular

For installations done via Flatpak, use the update command to ensure Okular is up-to-date:

flatpak update

This command checks for updates across all installed Flatpak applications, including Okular, and applies them as needed.

Remove Okular From Linux Mint

APT Remove Command Method for Okular

If you need to uninstall Okular installed via APT, the following command will remove the application while preserving configuration files:

sudo apt remove okular

This action ensures that if you decide to reinstall Okular later, your settings remain intact.

Flatpak Remove Command Method for Okular

For Okular installations done with Flatpak, use the following command to uninstall the application and delete the associated data:

flatpak remove  --delete-data org.kde.okular -y

This command ensures a clean removal, erasing the application and its data from your system. The -y flag confirms the action, streamlining the process.

Final Thoughts

In recapping what the how-to article has gone over, we have aimed to demystify installing, using, and managing Okular on Linux Mint, providing you with a comprehensive understanding of the application. Whether you choose APT or Flatpak for installation or prefer using the command line or GUI for launching, you now have the tools at your disposal to navigate Okular with confidence. Remember, mastering these commands is a crucial step towards becoming proficient with your Linux system, and embracing Okular is about more than just viewing PDFs—it’s about leveraging the power and flexibility of open-source software.

1 thought on “How to Install Okular on Linux Mint 21 or 20”

  1. This was an impressive document. Meticulous attention to the many options available and tips to avoid pitfalls. I am very grateful for the time spent to develop this page.


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