Chrome PDF Plugin in Ubuntu – How To Enable

There are many differences between Chromium and Chrome when it comes to the principles and licenses etc. But, from a user point of view, there are certain features that work only in Chrome and not on Chromium, the opensource version. But the good news is, we can get most of those things work on Chromium with a little tweaking.

read all the news about Chrome OS and CR 48 on

If you are using Chromium on Ubuntu and wants it to play nice with the new Chrome inbuilt PDF viewer from Google, here is how to do it. ( I will post the windows version soon )

  • Download a Google Chrome release that matches your processor architecture (x86/x86_64):
    # wget
    # wget
  • extract the .deb:
    # ar vx <previously downloaded .deb>
  • extract the data payload:
    # tar --lzma -xvf data.tar.lzma
  • copy the plugin to destination folder:
    (note/usr/lib/chromium-browser is valid for my Ubuntu PPA version, might be/opt/chromium-browser or something on other distributions)
    # sudo cp opt/google/chrome/ /usr/lib/chromium-browser/
  • restart any open Chromium processes
  • check about:plugins for the Chrome PDF Viewer, should not need any enabling

Hope this helps ! More tips on Chromium and Ubuntu versions are welcome ! and if you are asking me why should we use Chromium when Chrome is there .. hmm, there are situations where you have only Chromium, and not chrome. Like when I tried jolicloud recently …. I will write about that too soon ! .. remind me if I forget LOL !

Related : How to Use Google Chrome As Your Default PDF Reader on Windows

Via Azmo’s Weblog.

By Dinsan Francis

Content Strategist and Digital Minimalist. Loves testing new Chromebook features and writing about them. Favorite Chrome OS Channel is Canary. | Twitter


  1. Hi, I managed to install the plugin properly and it shows up in about:plugins page. But on trying to view a pdf file, it give me a missing plugin. What could have possibly gone wrong?

  2. I’m having the same problem as Dick, the installation is no problem and on the plugin page the plugin is fully recognized but when opening a file it says “Missing plugin”.

      1. I have enabled all plugins and restarted my computer, but it still doesn’t work. Maybe my version from chromium-daily/beta ppa is too old…

    1. I tried that, but for me personally the google docs online site is very slow in loading, so I wanted to use a local viewer. Maybe I manage to make evince load inside the chromium window…

  3. note: replace
    > sudo cp opt/google/chrome/ /usr/lib/chromium-browser/
    > sudo cp /opt/google/chrome/ /usr/lib/chromium-browser/

  4. thanks for this article,
    works fine with opensuse 11.4 and chromium 15.0.870.0 .

    I only had to change the comandline to:
    “sudo cp opt/google/chrome/ /usr/lib64/chromium/”,
    because I use a 64bit-system and opensuse has only a “chromium”-folder, without “-browser”.

  5. Have any of you tried testing out multiple sites to be sure it isn’t just a problem with the site you’re viewing? Here’s the problem I was encountering and how I fixed it.

    I’m using Ubuntu 11.10 and Chromium 15.0.874.106. Before reading this article, I was having the same “missing plugin” problem. Following the above instructions didn’t fix the problem for the site I was trying to access. But it DID fix it for most sites. For example, this site didn’t used to work for me, and after following the instructions in this article, the PDF parts work:

    But the original site I was trying to access still didn’t work!

    Well, it turns out that the site I was trying to access was doing a very dumb thing. Rather than just trying to embed the PDF, it was checking to see if I had Adobe Reader. If I did, it used JavaScript to embed the PDF. If not, it displayed an error message without even trying to display the PDF or offering a link to it. So since I’m using Chrome PDF Viewer rather than Adobe Reader, that site will never work properly for me until they redesign it.

    Anyway, just a thought. If you’re having trouble getting Chrome PDF Viewer to work properly, test it out on multiple sites. The site you’re trying to view PDFs on may just be poorly designed and refusing to show you the PDF because it doesn’t detect Adobe Reader.

  6. Do you run a 32bit or 64bit Ubuntu? I have exactly the same config (Ubuntu 11.10 64bit and Chromium 15.0.874.106) and still having the “missing plugin” error (and it’s NOT site-dependent: I tried on dozens of different websites). 🙁

  7. Just tried that and no luck: still missing plugin 🙁

    Chromium 17.0.963.65 (Developer Build 124586 Linux) Ubuntu 11.10

  8. I suppose you’re all on Ubuntu 32bits and used the i386.deb? Can someone else and give feedback with 64bits?

  9. Same results as everyone else, on Ubuntu amd64 – unstable results in “missing plugin” error, and anon comment from march 10 2012 instructing to use stable instead works fine

  10. OK my mistake, it’s working fine now, must have done something wrong the first time. Sorry for the trouble, and thanks for the fix!

  11. mmm i have tried the fix above downloaded both version but it’s not working. I have Ubuntu 11.10 64bit and Chromium 17.0.963.79 (Developer Build 125985 Linux) Ubuntu 11.10
    Is there any workaround about this? How did 64bit users above got it working?

    Thanks in advance!

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