Our customer has a Linux server (Redhat), which runs Java web applications. Recently there is a requirement to submit PDF files to printers to be printed out.

The command we are using is cat /path/to/pdf_file | acroread -toPostScript | lp -dprintername. But we are getting the error lp: stdin is empty; so no job has been sent.

Printing a normal file, such as /etc/hosts, using this command lp -dprintername /etc/hosts works, and we can see the printout at the printer. The lp command is not the problem.

The I proceeded to test the other 2 commands cat /path/to/pdf_file | acroread -toPostScript and I saw the output Segmentation fault.

To further troubleshoot this issue, I used the strace command like so cat /pdf_file | strace -f -o /tmp/acroread.$$.trace acroread -toPostScript. From the trace file, I saw these lines before the segmentation fault happened.

stat64("/home/oracle/.adobe", {st_mode=S_IFDIR|0755, st_size=4096, ...}) = 0
16673 stat64("/home/oracle/.adobe/Acrobat", {st_mode=S_IFDIR|0755, st_size=4096, ...}) = 0
16673 stat64("/home/oracle/.adobe/Acrobat/9.0", {st_mode=S_IFDIR|0755, st_size=4096, ...}) = 0
16673 stat64("/home/oracle/.adobe/Acrobat/9.0/Temp", {st_mode=S_IFDIR|0755, st_size=4096, ...}) = 0
16673 open("/home/oracle/.adobe/Acrobat/9.0/Temp/AdobeTempPS7XwXNz", O_RDWR|O_CREAT|O_EXCL, 0600) = 4
16673 close(4)                          = 0
16673 unlink("/home/oracle/.adobe/Acrobat/9.0/Temp/AdobeTempPS7XwXNz") = 0
16673 open("/home/oracle/.adobe/Acrobat/9.0/Temp/AdobeTempPS7XwXNz", O_RDWR|O_CREAT|O_TRUNC, 0666) = 4
16673 getcwd("/var/spool/mail"..., 1024) = 16
16673 open("/home/oracle/.adobe/Acrobat/9.0/Temp/AdobeTempPS7XwXNz", O_RDONLY) = 5
16673 --- SIGSEGV (Segmentation fault) @ 0 (0) ---
16673 +++ killed by SIGSEGV +++
16720 <... waitpid resumed> 0x3, WNOHANG|WCONTINUED|0x7410) = 0

When I did an listing of the /home/oracle/.adobe/Acrobat/9.0/Temp/ directory, all the files are zero byte size.

So, my question is what could have caused the segmentation fault? Is it a bug in this version of Acrobat Reader?

The Acrobat Reader version installed is 9.4.

The RedHat version is Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server release 5.7 (Tikanga). The kernel is Linux SCHPOAPS1 2.6.18-274.el5 #1 SMP Fri Jul 8 17:36:59 EDT x86_64 GNU/Linux.

  • lp? What old version of Red Hat is this? Aug 12, 2013 at 13:52
  • I have updated the question with the redhat and kernel version.
    – Alvin Sim
    Aug 13, 2013 at 2:25

2 Answers 2


I think, that it is acroread problem, when it want to open file /home/oracle/.adobe/Acrobat/9.0/Temp/AdobeTempPS7XwXNz twice.

Can you use pdf2ps instead of acroread?

  • If there are no other solutions, we might give this a try. Thanks.
    – Alvin Sim
    Aug 13, 2013 at 9:24

We fixed this by removing the current Acrobat Reader (ver 9.4), and installing a higher version one (9.5.5).

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