Merge multiple PDF files into one from the command line

Unless you have Adobe Acrobat, it’s hard to find tools that allow you to play around with PDFs. For viewing i stick to Foxit for now, as it’s the fastest thing around. But when it comes to merging, there sure is a lack of good free tools. I looked at and some other ones, but they were purely crap.

The best tool i found was pdftk, the PDF Toolkit. It’s a simple exe that you copy to your system path and merging files is as easy as

pdftk 1.pdf 2.pdf 3.pdf cat output 123.pdf

It also allows you to merge/split files, update meta data etc. You can check out its page for more details.

Test Redmine with sqlite3

I asked around on HN a while back for a project management solution. I’ll do a comparison post soon among all the ones i checked out. I also tested Redmine, which came highly recommended.  Using it with SQLite on Windows might result in an nmake error, while installing the ruby-sqlite3 gem. Make the minor changes mentioned below to make it work.

You can choose to download it from RubyForge, or plain old svn with

svn co redmine

You might also want to check out the Bitnami readymade stack at


Redmine is based on Ruby on Rails, so you need to install those two first. The install guide on their site uses MySQL by default, but we want to use the more portable SQLite instead. To do that, you only need to modify/add to the steps listed in, as follows:


  • Install the Ruby sqlite3 gem, after installing Ruby and Rails. Only the specific version mentioned below works on my machine. If you don’t specify the version, it may result in an nmake error on Windows.

     gem install sqlite3-ruby -v=1.2.1 

  • Follow the steps in the install guide till where it asks you to copy the database.yml . Then in database.yml, you could replace

    adapter: mysql
    database: redmine
    host: localhost
    username: root
    encoding: utf8


    adapter: sqlite3
    dbfile: db/redmine.db

  • The rest of the steps stay the same, for eg. the following commands

    rake db:migrate RAILS_ENV="production"

    rake redmine:load_default_data RAILS_ENV="production"

    ruby script/server webrick -e production

The rest of the steps should be similar to the one mentioned on the install documentation, for example setting permissions to directories etc., if you’re on Linux.