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pdfpc is a GTK-based presentation application which uses Keynote-like multi-monitor output to provide meta information to the speaker during the presentation. It is able to show a normal presentation window on one screen, while showing a more sophisticated overview on the other one, providing information like an image of the next slide, time remaining till the end of the presentation, etc. The input files processed by pdfpc are PDF documents, which can be created by most of the present-day presentation software.

More information, including screenshots and demo presentations, can be found at


  • On Debian, Ubuntu, and other Debian-based systems:

    sudo apt-get install pdf-presenter-console
  • On Fedora:

    sudo dnf install pdfpc
  • On Arch Linux:

    sudo pacman -S pdfpc
  • On Gentoo:

    sudo emerge --ask pdfpc
  • On FreeBSD:

    sudo pkg install pdfpc
    # It is also available under graphics/pdfpc in the ports tree.
  • On macOS with Homebrew:

    # Full macOS integration, including video support
    brew install pdfpc
  • On macOS with MacPorts:

    # Nice macOS integration, including video support
    sudo port -v install pdfpc +quartz +video
    # Less well integrated due to using X11 server, video supported
    sudo port -v install pdfpc +x11 +video
  • On Windows 10 (with Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL)):

    1. Windows: Activate WSL:
    2. Windows: Open CMD and run: 'bash' in order to start the WSL-bash
    3. WSL-Bash: run: 'sudo apt-get install pdf-presenter-console'
    1. Windows: Install a Windows X-Server like VcXsrv:
    2. Windows: Make the presentation screen your secondary screen and disable the taskbar on that screen
    3. Windows: Start the X-Server with: 'vcxsrv -nodecoration -screen 0 @1 -screen 1 @2 +xinerama'
    4. Windows: Open CMD and run: 'bash' in order to start the WSL-bash
    5. WSL-Bash: run: 'DISPLAY=:0 pdfpc <your PDF file>' to open your presentation with pdfpc

Sample presentations


Try it out:

pdfpc pdfpc-demo.pdf

If you encounter problems while running pdfpc, please consult the FAQ first.

Compilation from sources


In order to compile and run pdfpc, the following requirements need to be met:

  • cmake >= 3.0
  • vala >= 0.34
  • gtk+ >= 3.22
  • gee >= 0.8
  • poppler with glib bindings
  • pangocairo
  • gstreamer >= 1.0 with gst-plugins-good
  • discount (aka markdown2)
  • webkit2gtk
  • json-glib
  • libsoup
  • libqrencode

E.g., on Ubuntu 18.04 onward, you can install these dependencies with:

sudo apt-get install cmake valac libgee-0.8-dev libpoppler-glib-dev
libgtk-3-dev libgstreamer1.0-dev libgstreamer-plugins-base1.0-dev
libjson-glib-dev libmarkdown2-dev libwebkit2gtk-4.0-dev libsoup2.4-dev
libqrencode-dev gstreamer1.0-gtk3

(the last one is a run-time dependence). You should also consider installing all plugins to support required video formats; chances are they are already present through dependencies of ubuntu-desktop.

On macOS with Homebrew, the easiest way is to install all dependencies of the pdfpc package without pdfpc itself:

brew install --only-dependencies pdfpc

On macOS with MacPorts, you can install all dependencies using the port command:

# list dependencies for the +quartz +video variant
# (good macOS integration)
port deps pdfpc +quartz +video
# install dependencies
sudo port -v install cmake vala pkgconfig gtk3 +quartz poppler libgee librsvg gstreamer1-gst-plugins-good +gtk3

# list dependencies for the +x11 +video variant
# (using X11 server)
port deps pdfpc +x11 +video
# install dependencies
sudo port -v install cmake vala pkgconfig gtk3 +x11 poppler libgee librsvg gstreamer1-gst-plugins-good +gtk3 +x11

On Windows, a Cygwin installation with the following dependencies is needed:

  • cmake
  • automake
  • make
  • gcc
  • gcc-c++
  • libstdc++-4.8-dev
  • x11
  • vala
  • gtk
  • gee
  • libpoppler
  • gstreamer
  • libgstinterfaces1.0-devel

Downloading and compilation

You can download the latest stable release of pdfpc in the release section of github ( Uncompress the tarball (we use v4.2.1 as an example here):

tar xvf pdfpc-4.2.1.tar.gz

Change to the extracted directory:

cd pdfpc-4.2.1

Compile and install:

mkdir build/
cd build/
cmake ..
sudo make install

If there are no errors in the process, you just installed pdfpc on your system. Congratulations! If there were errors, they are probably due to missing dependencies. Please check that you have all the necessary libraries (in some distributions you may have to install -devel packages).

Note: You may alter the final installation prefix in the cmake call. By default, the pdfpc files will be installed under /usr/local/. If you want to change that, for example to be installed under /usr/, you can specify another installation prefix as follows:

cmake -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX="/usr" ..

By default, pdfpc includes support for movie playback. This requires several gstreamer dependencies. The requirement for these packages can be removed by compiling without support for movie playback by passing -DMOVIES=OFF to the cmake command.

To disable support for the built-in REST Web server, pass -DREST=OFF to cmake. In this case, libsoup and libqrencode are not needed.

To disable support for viewing notes in the Markdown format, pass -DMDVIEW=OFF to cmake. In this case, webkit2gtk is not needed.

Compilation troubleshooting

Some distributions do not have a valac executable. Instead they ship with a version suffix like valac-0.40. If cmake cannot find the Vala compiler, you can try running cmake with:

cmake -DVALA_EXECUTABLE:NAMES=valac-0.40 ..


pdfpc was initially developed as pdfpc-presenter-console by Jakob Westhoff ( then further extended by David Vilar (