I am using Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. I want to know some extra security tips in dealing with PDF files. I found that we can easily make a PDF file password protected using pdftk command from here.

But is it possible to make PDF files to expire after a specific date?

I mean a PDF displayable only for a particular period of time and after that if someone tries to open it he would get only a message like "Sorry, nothing to display".

Is there any command or script for that?

1 Answer 1


Is there any command or script for that?

Here is an example of applying extra security checks. You can put in a bit of extra javascript in your pdf that closes the file when a certain date has passed. Some issues ...

  • it won't work if javascript is turned off
  • it does not prevent opening the file when a user chances the systems date
  • it does not prevent the user making printscreens

So it is seriously flawed. All it takes is 1 person with a bit of knowledge to circumvent your check. See this for more on that.

The link also lists as alternatives for a DRM server: http://www.fileopen.com (3000 usd a year) and http://www.locklizard.com/ (5k for a perpetual license) (...).

You did not list why you wanted this but consider an alternative: google doc with a read only file. And you remove the file when your date has passed.

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