How to Merge Multiple PDF Files into One PDF in Linux

In Linux environments, merging or combining multiple PDF files into a single PDF document can be incredibly useful, especially for consolidating reports, presentations, or any other document collections. This guide will walk you through the steps to achieve this task seamlessly using command-line tools available in Linux.

Understanding the Process

When you need to merge PDF files in Linux, the process typically involves using command-line utilities that are robust and efficient. These tools allow you to concatenate multiple PDFs into one cohesive document without altering the content or formatting of the original files.

1. Installing Required Tools

Before you begin, ensure that you have the necessary tools installed on your Linux system. The most commonly used tool for merging PDF files is pdftk (PDF Toolkit). If it’s not already installed, you can install it using the package manager specific to your Linux distribution. For example, on Ubuntu or Debian-based systems, you can install pdftk using the following command:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install pdftk

2. Merging PDF Files

Once pdftk is installed, you can use it to merge PDF files. The basic syntax for merging multiple PDFs into a single PDF is as follows:

pdftk file1.pdf file2.pdf ... cat output merged.pdf

Replace file1.pdf, file2.pdf, etc., with the actual names of the PDF files you want to merge. For example, if you have three PDF files named document1.pdf, document2.pdf, and document3.pdf, the command would look like this:

pdftk document1.pdf document2.pdf document3.pdf cat output merged.pdf

This command concatenates (cat) the specified PDF files (document1.pdf, document2.pdf, document3.pdf) into a new file named merged.pdf.

3. Handling Large Numbers of PDF Files

If you have a large number of PDF files to merge, you can use wildcard characters (*) to specify all files in a directory. For example, to merge all PDF files in the current directory:

pdftk *.pdf cat output merged.pdf

This command merges all PDF files (*.pdf) in the current directory into a single PDF file named merged.pdf.

4. Verifying the Merged PDF

After executing the merge command, it’s essential to verify the resulting merged.pdf file to ensure all pages and content are correctly combined. Open the file using a PDF viewer and navigate through the document to confirm everything looks as expected.


Merging multiple PDF files into one in Linux is straightforward and efficient with the pdftk command-line tool. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can seamlessly combine PDF documents for various purposes, such as archiving, sharing, or presentation. This method preserves the integrity of the original PDFs while providing you with a consolidated file that’s easy to manage and distribute.

With this knowledge, you now have a powerful tool at your disposal to streamline document management tasks on Linux, enhancing productivity and organization in your workflow.