Wkhtmltopdf – A Smart Tool to Convert Website HTML Page to PDF in Linux

Wkhtmltopdf is an open source simple and much effective command-line shell utility that enables user to convert any given HTML (Web Page) to PDF document or an image (jpg, png, etc).

Wkhtmltopdf is written in C++ programming language and distributed under GNU/GPL (General Public License). It uses WebKit rendering layout engine to convert HTML pages to PDF document without loosing the quality of the pages. Its is really very useful and trustworthy solution for creating and storing snapshots of web pages in real-time.

Wkhtmltopdf Features

  1. Open source and cross platform.
  2. Convert any HTML web pages to PDF files using WebKit engine.
  3. Options to add headers and footers
  4. Table of Content (TOC) generation option.
  5. Provides batch mode conversions.
  6. Support for PHP or Python via bindings to libwkhtmltox.

In this article we will show you how to install Wkhtmltopdf program under Linux systems using source tarball files.

Install Evince (PDF Viewer)

Let’s install evince (a PDF reader) program for viewing PDF files in Linux systems.

$ sudo yum install evince             [RHEL/CentOS and Fedora]
$ sudo dnf install evince             [On Fedora 22+ versions]
$ sudo apt-get install evince         [On Debian/Ubuntu systems]

Download Wkhtmltopdf Source File

Download wkhtmltopdf source files for your Linux architecture using Wget command, or you can also download latest versions (current stable series is 0.12.4) at wkhtmltopdf download page.

On 64-bit Linux OS
$ wget https://github.com/wkhtmltopdf/wkhtmltopdf/releases/download/0.12.4/wkhtmltox-0.12.4_linux-generic-amd64.tar.xz
On 32-bit Linux OS
$ wget https://github.com/wkhtmltopdf/wkhtmltopdf/releases/download/0.12.4/wkhtmltox-0.12.4_linux-generic-i386.tar.xz

Install Wkhtmltopdf in Linux

Extract the files to a current working directory using following tar command.

------ On 64-bit Linux OS ------
$ sudo tar -xvf wkhtmltox-0.12.4_linux-generic-amd64.tar.xz 

------ On 32-bit Linux OS ------
$ sudo tar -xvzf wkhtmltox-0.12.4_linux-generic-i386.tar.xz 

Install the wkhtmltopdf under /usr/bin directory for easy execution of program from any path.

$ sudo cp wkhtmltox/bin/wkhtmltopdf /usr/bin/

How to Use Wkhtmltopdf?

Here we will see how to covert remote HTML pages to PDF files, verify information, view created files using evince program from the GNOME Desktop.

Convert Website HTML Page to PDF File

To convert any website HTML web page to PDF, run the following example command. It will convert the given webpage to 10-Sudo-Configurations.pdf in current working directory.

# wkhtmltopdf https://www.tecmint.com/sudoers-configurations-for-setting-sudo-in-linux/ 10-Sudo-Configurations.pdf
Sample Output :
Loading pages (1/6)
Counting pages (2/6)
Resolving links (4/6)
Loading headers and footers (5/6)
Printing pages (6/6)
Done

View Generated PDF File

To verify that the file is created, use the following command.

$ file 10-Sudo-Configurations.pdf
Sample Output :
10-Sudo-Configurations.pdf: PDF document, version 1.4

View Information of Generated PDF File

To view the information of generated file, issue the following command.

$ pdfinfo 10-Sudo-Configurations.pdf
Sample Output :
Title:          10 Useful Sudoers Configurations for Setting 'sudo' in Linux
Creator:        wkhtmltopdf 0.12.4
Producer:       Qt 4.8.7
CreationDate:   Sat Jan 28 13:02:58 2017
Tagged:         no
UserProperties: no
Suspects:       no
Form:           none
JavaScript:     no
Pages:          13
Encrypted:      no
Page size:      595 x 842 pts (A4)
Page rot:       0
File size:      697827 bytes
Optimized:      no
PDF version:    1.4

View Created PDF File

Take a look at the newly created PDF file using evince program from the desktop.

$ evince 10-Sudo-Configurations.pdf
Sample Screenshot :

Looks pretty nice under my Linux Mint 17 box.

View Website Page in PDF

View Website Page in PDF

Create TOC (Table Of Content) of a Page to PDF

To create a table of content for a PDF file, use the option as toc.

$ wkhtmltopdf toc https://www.tecmint.com/sudoers-configurations-for-setting-sudo-in-linux/ 10-Sudo-Configurations.pdf
Sample Output :
Loading pages (1/6)
Counting pages (2/6)
Loading TOC (3/6)
Resolving links (4/6)
Loading headers and footers (5/6)
Printing pages (6/6)
Done

To check the TOC for the created file, again use evince program.

$ evince 10-Sudo-Configurations.pdf
Sample Screenshot :

Take a look at the picture below. it looks even more better than the above.

Create Website Page to Table of Contents in PDF

Create Website Page to Table of Contents in PDF

Wkhtmltopdf Options and Usage

For Wkhtmltopdf more usage and options, use the following help command. It will display list of all available options that you can use with it.

$ wkhtmltopdf --help
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I am Ravi Saive, creator of TecMint. A Computer Geek and Linux Guru who loves to share tricks and tips on Internet. Most Of My Servers runs on Open Source Platform called Linux. Follow Me: Twitter, Facebook and Google+

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41 Responses

  1. Bun says:

    Hello,

    Please somebody help, i have error on the negatif sign (-) on negatif number rendered into small square instead of "-", when i try to remove the msstcore fonts package, both the “square” and the “-” did not show up, when reinstall the msttcore fonts, persist not back to show up.

    I try to use wkhtmltopdf version 0.12.1, 0.12.2, 0.12.2.1, 0.12.4.

    All required dependency was installed and up-to-date, Centos 7.3, and upgraded to CentOs 7.4 have same problem.

    I have problem on odoo 10 report.

    Please help.

  2. Ismael Alvarez Wong says:

    Hi Ravi,

    I am getting the following error […network error: TimeoutError] because I has a proxy in my LAN. I found another solution, it’s to save as “local” the “web page, complete” & give it to input’s argument of command wkhtmltopdf.

    $ sudo wkhtmltopdf https://www.tecmint.com/sudoers-configurations-for-setting-sudo-in-linux/ 10-Sudo-Configurations.pdf
    ...
    Exit with code 1 due to network error: TimeoutError
    
    $ sudo wkhtmltopdf toc "file:///path/10%20Useful%20Sudoers%20Configurations%20for%20Setting%20'sudo'%20in%20Linux.html"  10-Sudo-Configurations.pdf
    Loading pages (1/6)
    QFont::setPixelSize: Pixel size <= 0 (0)                     ] 45%
    Counting pages (2/6)                                               
    QFont::setPixelSize: Pixel size <= 0 (0)=====================] Object 2 of 2
    Loading TOC (3/6)                                                           
    Resolving links (4/6)                                              
    Loading headers and footers (5/6)                                           
    Printing pages (6/6)
    Done 
    
    $ evince 10-Sudo-Configurations.pdf    <-- Shows OK the PDF
    

    Finally very good post

  3. Russ says:

    The instructions are lacking the steps of installing the includes, libraries, and man pages. Once the archive is extracted (as noted in the article), all of the files need to be copied to their respective locations as they are in the archive folder (i.e. stuff in the ‘include’ folder needs to go in the system’s /usr/include folder).

  4. kjlw99 says:

    Does anybody know from their testing, whether the outputted PDF’s are images of text or text on a page?

    If it is images of text, the text will not be selectable or copyable into another application.

    I prefer the PDF format, for all of my E-books and many of my comics; but I use Firefox with the mhtml add-on to get copies of articles that allow me to copy-paste into other applications if needed.

  5. Martins Almeida says:

    No GUI interface. Typing extensive command lines in XXI century? No thanks.

  6. Ted Waugh says:

    Hi Ravi.

    I’m a fairly new user. I used the root terminal in MX-16 to run the commands.

    Evince installed no problem.

    The tar downloaded to my user directory no problem

    The unpack exited with the following error:

    gzip: stdin: not in gzip format
    tar: Child returned status 1
    tar: Error is not recoverable: exiting now
    

    Any suggestions?

    • Ted Waugh says:

      Hi Ravi,

      I dropped the z from the unpack line and everything worked normally.

      Thanks for the entertainment! I enjoy learning more. Keep up the good work.

      Ted

      • Ravi Saive says:

        @Ted,

        Thanks for notifying us about that z option tar command, could you tell us on which Linux distro you have omitted the option? it will help us to add correct instructions in the article.

  7. Ananda Bhattacharjee says:

    wkhtmltopdf http://www.google.com.ph google.pdf
    bash: wkhtmltopdf: command not found
    BUT

    /usr/local/bin/wkhtmltopdf http://www.google.com google.pdf
    Loading pages (1/6)
    Counting pages (2/6)
    Resolving links (4/6)
    Loading headers and footers (5/6)
    Printing pages (6/6)
    Done
    Please suggest me what to do now ?

  8. Jonus Joseph says:

    Hi Ravi,

    I am getting below error while trying this command. please check and advice me.

    [[email protected] tmp]$ wkhtmltopdf “https://www.google.co.in/?gfe_rd=cr\&ei=7n1LVeKNOMPCuAGDjoGACw\&gws_rd=ssl” /tmp/test/web/
    Loading pages (1/6)
    QPainter::begin(): Returned false============================] 100%
    Error: Unable to write to destination
    [[email protected] tmp]$

    Thanks.

  9. Eddy says:

    @Ravi,

    Do we need to add crontab by using root username or nagios username?

  10. eddy says:

    Hi..

    Good article.

    I use this command to create
    wkhtmltopdf –username nagiosadmin –password XXXX “http://10.20.20.159/nagios/cgi-bin/status.cgi?servicegroup=HC&style=detail” /usr/local/nagios/report_daily/nagios_daily.pdf

    1. I want run this automatically by using crontab. How do i do it?
    2. I want to add this file at my nagios side.php. How?

    Thank you

    • Ravi Saive says:

      @Eddy,
      Just add the same command in the crontab file..

      • eddy says:

        @Ravi,

        Thanks for the reply. Here what ii create at crontab. Please correct me if im wrong.

        56 9 * * * wkhtmltopdf -username nagiosadmin -password XXXX “http://10.20.20.159/nagios/cgi-bin/status.cgi?servicegroup=HC&style=detail” /usr/local/nagios/report_daily/nagios_daily.pdf

        From the crontab, i wish to get report at 9.56am everyday. i’m i correct?

        • Ravi Saive says:

          @Eddy,
          The cron entry is correct, but just you need to add correct path like ‘/usr/bin/wkhtmltopdf’ in the cron entry..

          • Eddy says:

            @Ravi and all,

            I got error (from /var/mail/root)

            From [email protected] Wed Mar 11 16:49:02 2015
            Return-Path:
            X-Original-To: root
            Delivered-To: [email protected]
            Received: by ubuntu-ea (Postfix, from userid 0)
            id 18E07396D; Wed, 11 Mar 2015 16:49:01 +0800 (MYT)
            From: [email protected] (Cron Daemon)
            To: [email protected]
            Subject: Cron wkhtmltopdf -username nagiosadmin -password XXX “http://X.X.X.X/nagios/cgi-bin/status.cgi?servicegroup=HC&style=detail” /usr/local/nagios/report_daily/nagios_daily.pdf
            Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ANSI_X3.4-1968
            X-Cron-Env:
            X-Cron-Env:
            X-Cron-Env:
            X-Cron-Env:
            Message-Id:
            Date: Wed, 11 Mar 2015 16:49:01 +0800 (MYT)

            Unknown switch -u

            Please help

          • Ravi Saive says:

            @Eddy,
            Please use the following command in cron file.

             /usr/bin/wkhtmltopdf -username nagiosadmin -password XXX “http://X.X.X.X/nagios/cgi-bin/status.cgi?servicegroup=HC&style=detail” /usr/local/nagios/report_daily/nagios_daily.pdf
            

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