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pdftk not in F21

asked 2015-03-13 00:53:29 -0500

snowolfe gravatar image

updated 2015-03-13 08:01:24 -0500

mether gravatar image

I can't find pdftk in F21 - is it no longer shipped in the Fedora repos?

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Exist alternatives as PDFsam...

davidva gravatar imagedavidva ( 2015-03-16 00:45:12 -0500 )edit

@davidva, their FAQ says "If you have to perform pdf manipulation from the command line, sejda-console is the software you are looking for." And sejda is not packaged.

Federico gravatar imageFederico ( 2015-09-07 08:09:00 -0500 )edit

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answered 2015-03-13 04:37:00 -0500

updated 2018-07-06 13:28:03 -0500

deadrat gravatar image

It has been removed from fedora repositories due to licensing issues of a dependency:

pdftk has a hard dependency on GCJ because it's a C++ program that uses a Java library (iText) through CNI. I once tried to rewrite the C++ part in Java, but the existing command line parser is quite involved, so I didn't quite get there.

Switch to pdftk version 2 doesn't change the basic architecture of the program.

(We really want to get rid of GCJ.)

An additional reason is the fact, that pdftk2 may depend on iText5 or later. For licensing reasons Fedora only provides iText-2.1.7 at the last release of iText wihout any known licensing issues.

That are the two reasons why I'm not able to support pdftk on Fedora anymore and was forced to reitred this package. I'm sorry for nayone who maintaining any package with dependencies on this package.

This is why pdftk died. We can't include iText5+ because of its licensing issues.

~tom

https://lists.fedoraproject.org/piper...

The Solution

It seems that mcpdf is what is being pointed to now:

There is a more modern replacement called mcpdf. It supports the same command line syntax but has much more modern underpinnings. However, it uses a newer version of the iText library that cannot be included in Fedora due to nonfree restrictions in its license

https://lists.fedoraproject.org/piper...

Alternative Solution

I see the discussion about command line tools - I discovered a little while ago that pdfunite served my purposes and I already had it as a part of poppler. Similarly, there is pdfseparate.

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I often use "cat". How do I replace this command? pdftk input A=A.pdf B=B.pdf C=C.pdf cat A2-5 A8-10 B3-4 B16 B15 B14 B17-18 B25 A7 A6 B19-23 C13 B28 C3-10 C12 C15 C17-22 C24-26 C56 output D.pdf

Federico gravatar imageFederico ( 2015-09-07 07:48:11 -0500 )edit
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answered 2015-03-13 07:00:44 -0500

sergiomb gravatar image

As pdf tools, now, you have pdfmod and pdfshuffler

pdfmod : You can reorder, rotate, and remove pages, export images from a document, edit the title, subject, author, and keywords, and combine documents via drag and drop.

PDF-Shuffler is a small python-gtk application, which helps the user to merge or split pdf documents and rotate, crop and rearrange their pages using an interactive and intuitive graphical interface.

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Thanks @sergiomb.
I have a personal aversion to mono-based applications, which pdfmod is built on, so this is not an option I am willing to use.
pdfshuffler looks nice, but I need a command-line tool to work with scripts I have - so this does not solve my problem either.
They do look like great alternatives for others who may need a replacement to pdftk.

snowolfe gravatar imagesnowolfe ( 2015-03-14 22:01:47 -0500 )edit
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answered 2015-09-07 08:32:21 -0500

Federico gravatar image

updated 2015-09-07 08:40:23 -0500

A similar replacement seems to be QPDF, which is in the normal repositories and seems in active development. The command line interface is different but mentally easy enough to map (and perhaps more intuitive in the long run).

For instance, I wanted to replace a pdftk cat command and qpdf --pages seems to do well enough: my command

pdftk input A=A.pdf B=B.pdf C=C.pdf cat A2-5 A8-10 B3-4 B16 B15 B14 B17-18 B25 A7 A6 B19-23 C13 B28 C3-10 C12 C15 C17-22 C24-26 C56 output D.pdf

becomes

qpdf --empty --pages A.pdf 2-5 8-10 B.pdf 3-4 16 15 14 17-18 25 A.pdf 7 A B.pdf 19-23 C.pdf 13 B.pdf 28 C.pdf 3-10 12 15 17-22 24-26 56 -- D.pdf

(Suggestion via HAMS on alt.os.linux.)

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answered 2016-10-17 08:15:12 -0500

this post is marked as community wiki

This post is a wiki. Anyone with karma >750 is welcome to improve it.

Almost all results that I used achieved with pdftk could be done using similar programs. However, I have not yet solution for the problem of use one pdf as a background of another one. Especifcally, I want to user a numbered page with headings to be fillfulled be a text.

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Asked: 2015-03-13 00:53:29 -0500

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Last updated: Jul 06