A presenter console with multi-monitor support for PDF files.
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mjg and AndreasBilke specify screens by output name
Currently, the used outputs depend on the enumeration: the primary
screen for the presenter, the last one for the presentation (or the last
but one, if the primary is last).

Allow to specify both screens by giving the name of the output such as
Latest commit 4f45efa Nov 28, 2018




pdfpc is a GTK based presentation viewer 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 a picture of the next slide, as well as the left over time till the end of the presentation. The input files processed by pdfpc are PDF documents, which can be created using nearly any of today's presentation software.

More information, including screenshots and a demo presentation, can be found at https://pdfpc.github.io/


  • On Ubuntu or Debian systems:

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

    sudo dnf install pdfpc
  • On archlinux:

    sudo pacman -S pdfpc
  • On FreeBSD:

    It's available under graphics/pdfpc. A pre built binary is also available.
  • On macOS with MacPorts:

    # Nice macOS integration, but no video support currently
    sudo port -v install pdfpc +quartz
    # Video support, but window placing might not work well
    sudo port -v install pdfpc +x11
  • On Windows 10 (with Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL)):

    1. Windows: Activate WSL: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/commandline/wsl/install_guide
    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: https://sourceforge.net/projects/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

Compile and install


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

  • CMake Version >=3.0
  • vala >= 0.34
  • GTK+ >= 3.22
  • gee 0.8
  • poppler with glib bindings
  • gstreamer 1.0
  • pangocairo

On Ubuntu 18.04 onwards, 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 gstreamer1.0-gtk3

(the latter 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.

Compiling from source tarballs

You can download the latest stable release of pdfpc in the release section of github (https://github.com/pdfpc/pdfpc/releases). 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/, with config files under /etc/ you may specify another installation prefix as follows:


By default, pdfpc includes support for movie playback. This requires several gstreamer dependencies as well as gdk-x11. The requirement for these packages can be removed by compiling without support for movie playback by passing -DMOVIES=OFF to the cmake command.

Compiling on Windows

First a cygwin installation with the following dependencies is needed:

  • cmake
  • automake
  • make
  • gcc
  • gcc-c++
  • libstdc++-4.8-dev
  • x11

For pdfpc the following compile time dependencies are necessary:

  • vala
  • gtk
  • gee
  • libpoppler
  • gstreamer
  • libgstinterfaces1.0-devel (has gstreamer.audio included)

Compiling Trouble Shooting

Some distributions do not have a valac executable. Instead they ship with a version suffix like valac-0.28. If cmake can not find your compiler you can try running cmake with:

cmake -DVALA_EXECUTABLE:NAMES=valac-0.28 ..


Now download some [sample presentations](#sample-presentations) and load them up:

pdfpc pdfpc-demo.pdf

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


pdfpc was initially developed as pdfpc-presenter-console by Jakob Westhoff (https://github.com/jakobwesthoff/Pdf-Presenter-Console) then further extended by davvil (https://github.com/davvil/pdfpc).