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Adobe Reader 7 for Linux

Adobe just released Acrobat Reader 7 for Linux (download here).

Unfortunately it’s still x86-only — no AMD64 or PowerPC versions are available. Linux users on non-x86 architectures maybe should send them feature requests and bug reports until they extend their support to those architectures.

This article Jürgen Kreileder is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.


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Alan Stange said

You do know that the x86 version runs just fine on x86-64 systems right? It’s not like a 64 bit version of the program will run faster or otherwise work better. Generally, 64 bit gui programs are a mistake as all the supporting libraries need to be 64 bit as well (gtk, motif, gnome, whatever other toolkits are being used, etc.)

Yes, it works. (Except for the plug-in which will have trouble with 64-bit browsers.)

I would agree with your statements on most 32/64-bit systems but not on x86-64. Longmode has quite a few performance related enhancements compared to 32-bit mode, for instance:

  • Twice as many GPRs and SSE registers
  • FP operations use SSE by default (you can’t use SSE unconditionally in x86 code if you have to keep backward compatibility)
  • Better calling convention (most parameters passed in registers)

Note that none of these improvements are really advantages of 64-bitness, they just happen to be available only in x86-64’s longmode.

The disadvantages of 64-bit systems (larger code size, higher memory footprint) are negligible on x86-64. I’ve done quite a few comparisons while porting HotSpot to x86-64, the overhead was pretty small in almost all cases.

On x86-64 all distributions go for a complete 64-bit userland with a 32-bit compatibility environment due to the advantages of longmode. 64-bit mode on other architectures (e.g. ppc64) doesn’t have similar advantages, so most distributions have a mostly 32-bit userland on these.

Anyhow, I don’t care much about an x86-64 version of acrobat but I would appreciate a ppc version.