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Unix Installation Guide for Stirling PDF

To run the application without Docker, you will need to manually install all dependencies and build the necessary components.

Note that some dependencies might not be available in the standard repositories of all Linux distributions, and may require additional steps to install.

The following guide assumes you have a basic understanding of using a command line interface in your operating system.

It should work on most Linux distributions and MacOS. For Windows, you might need to use Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) for certain steps. The amount of dependencies is to actually reduce overall size, ie installing LibreOffice sub components rather than full LibreOffice package.

Additionally if you wish to not install certain software such as LibreOffice. You can follow the customize commands to disable these from stirling-PDF and run the app without errors or confusion!.

Step 1: Prerequisites

Install the following software, if not already installed:

  • Java 17 or later
  • Gradle 7.0 or later (included within repo so not needed on server)
  • Git
  • Python 3 (with pip)
  • Make
  • GCC/G++
  • Automake
  • Autoconf
  • libtool
  • pkg-config
  • zlib1g-dev
  • libleptonica-dev

For Debian-based systems, you can use the following command:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install -y git automake autoconf libtool libleptonica-dev pkg-config zlib1g-dev make g++ openjdk-17-jdk python3 python3-pip

For Fedora-based systems use this command:

sudo dnf install -y git automake autoconf libtool leptonica-devel pkg-config zlib-devel make gcc-c++ java-17-openjdk python3 python3-pip

Step 2: Clone and Build jbig2enc (Only required for certain OCR functionality)

mkdir ~/.git
cd ~/.git &&\
git clone &&\
cd jbig2enc &&\
./ &&\
./configure &&\
make &&\
sudo make install

Step 3: Install Additional Software

Next we need to install LibreOffice for conversions, ocrmypdf for OCR, and opencv for pattern recognition functionality.

Install the following software:

  • libreoffice-core
  • libreoffice-common
  • libreoffice-writer
  • libreoffice-calc
  • libreoffice-impress
  • python3-uno
  • unoconv
  • pngquant
  • unpaper
  • ocrmypdf
  • opencv-python-headless

For Debian-based systems, you can use the following command:

sudo apt-get install -y libreoffice-writer libreoffice-calc libreoffice-impress unpaper ocrmypdf
pip3 install uno opencv-python-headless unoconv pngquant

For Fedora:

sudo dnf install -y libreoffice-writer libreoffice-calc libreoffice-impress unpaper ocrmypdf
pip3 install uno opencv-python-headless unoconv pngquant

Step 4: Clone and Build Stirling-PDF

cd ~/.git &&\
git clone &&\
cd Stirling-PDF &&\
chmod +x ./gradlew &&\
./gradlew build

Step 5: Move jar to desired location

After the build process, a .jar file will be generated in the build/libs directory. You can move this file to a desired location, for example, /opt/Stirling-PDF/. You must also move the Script folder within the Stirling-PDF repo that you have downloaded to this directory. This folder is required for the python scripts using OpenCV

sudo mkdir /opt/Stirling-PDF &&\
sudo mv ./build/libs/Stirling-PDF-*.jar /opt/Stirling-PDF/ &&\
sudo mv scripts /opt/Stirling-PDF/ &&\
echo "Scripts installed."

Step 6: Other files


If you plan to use the OCR (Optical Character Recognition) functionality, you might need to install language packs for Tesseract if running non-english scanning.

Installing Language Packs

Easiest is to use the langpacks provided by your repositories. Skip the other steps


  1. Download the desired language pack(s) by selecting the .traineddata file(s) for the language(s) you need.
  2. Place the .traineddata files in the Tesseract tessdata directory: /usr/share/tesseract-ocr/4.00/tessdata
  3. Please view OCRmyPDF install guide for more info. IMPORTANT: DO NOT REMOVE EXISTING eng.traineddata, IT'S REQUIRED.

Debian based systems, install languages with this command:

sudo apt update &&\
# All languages
# sudo apt install -y 'tesseract-ocr-*'

# Find languages:
apt search tesseract-ocr-

# View installed languages:
dpkg-query -W tesseract-ocr- | sed 's/tesseract-ocr-//g'


# All languages
# sudo dnf install -y tesseract-langpack-*

# Find languages:
dnf search -C tesseract-langpack-

# View installed languages:
rpm -qa | grep tesseract-langpack | sed 's/tesseract-langpack-//g'

Step 7: Run Stirling-PDF

./gradlew bootRun
java -jar build/libs/app.jar

Step 8: Adding a Desktop icon

This will add a modified Appstarter to your Appmenu.


cat > ~/.local/share/applications/Stirling-PDF.desktop <<EOF
[Desktop Entry]
Name=Stirling PDF;
GenericName=Launch StirlingPDF and open its WebGUI;
Exec=xdg-open http://localhost:8080 && nohup $location bootRun &;

Note: Currently the app will run in the background until manually closed.

Remember to set the necessary environment variables before running the project if you want to customize the application the list can be seen in the main readme.

You can do this in the terminal by using the export command or -D arguments to java -jar command:

export APP_HOME_NAME="Stirling PDF"