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Zathura is a highly customizable and functional document viewer with vi-styled keybindings. It provides a minimalistic and space saving interface as well as an easy usage that mainly focuses on keyboard interaction. Different file formats are supported through plugins. Support is available for PDF, PS, DjVu and CB files.


Install the zathura package along with the desired optional dependencies:


Zathura automatically reloads documents. When working in compiled documents such as those written in LaTeX, Zathura will refresh the output whenever compilation takes place. Zathura has the option of enabling inverse search (using "synctex").

Zathura can adjust the document to page-fit (a) or to fit width (s), and it can rotate pages (r). It can view pages side-by-side (d) and has a fullscreen mode. Pages can also be recolored to have a black background and white foreground (C-r). Most of vi's movement/scrolling commands are supported.

Links can be followed by clicking them. Additionally, one can press f to highlight all links on the page and assign them a number, typing the number of the link and pressing enter will then jump to the link's location. If F is used, only the location of the link will be shown in the status bar.

Zathura can search for text and copy text to the primary X selection. It supports bookmarks and can open encrypted files.

The behavior and appearance of Zathura can be customised using a configuration file. Zathura has the ability to execute external shell commands. It can be opened in tabs using tabbed.

Zathura provides an optional sandbox mode by using seccomp filter to provide a hardened runtime environment.

Useful tips

Commands may be entered directly into Zathura by pushing :, just like vi.

Enable copy to clipboard

set selection-clipboard clipboard

Side-by-side mode

Press d to toggle side-by-side mode.

In side-by-side mode, to view the first page on the left side, enter the command set first-page-column 1:1 into Zathura. This is particularly useful for reading music scans where typesetting optimizes page-turning on certain pages. Like other Zathura commands, this can go in zathurarc as well.

Titlebar and statusbar tweaks

Tango-edit-cut.pngThis section is being considered for removal.Tango-edit-cut.png

Reason: Needlessly duplicates zathurarc(5). (Discuss in Talk:Zathura#)

By default, the title and status bars will show the full path of the file opened.

  • If window-title-basename is set to true, only the file name will be shown in the window title.
  • If window-title-home-tilde is set to true, the path to $HOME will be contracted to ~ in the window title.
  • If statusbar-basename is set to true, only the file name will be shown in the status bar.
  • If statusbar-home-tilde is set to true, the path to $HOME will be contracted to ~ in the status bar.

Tabbed Zathura

You can open Zathura in tabs using tabbed.

tabbed -c zathura -e

Enable Sandbox

Zathura has a sandbox mode that provides a secure environment by using a strict seccomp filter. The mode can be set in zathurarc like this:

set sandbox strict

Some features are disabled when using strict sandbox mode, such as writing files, printing and bookmarks

See also