Introduction to TeX Live from source
Most of TeX Live can be built from source without a pre-existing
installation, but xindy (for
indexing) needs working versions of latex and pdflatex when configure is run,
and the testsuite and install for asy (for vector graphics) will
fail if TeX has not already been installed. Additionally,
biber is not provided within the
All of those packages are dealt with on their own pages and can be
built after installing this package. If you have not already done
so, you should start at Setting the PATH for TeX Live
so that the final commands to initialise the new installation will
This package is known to build and work properly using an LFS-7.9
Required Additional Download
Much of the texlive environment (including scripts, documentation,
fonts and various other files) is not part of the source tarball.
You must download it separately. This will give you all of the
additional files which are provided by a full install of the binary
version, there is no realistic way to restrict which parts get
Because of the size of this package, it is unlikely to be mirrored
by BLFS mirrors. In case of difficulty, go to
http://www.ctan.org/mirrors/ to find a more-accessible mirror.
TeX Live from source Dependencies
ghostscript-9.19 (for dvisvgm - used by
asymptote which provides a mathematical coordinate-based framework
for technical drawing), X Window
The source ships with its own versions of many libraries, and will use them unless
it is forced to use the system versions. The following are
recommended so that the system version will be used: Fontconfig-2.11.1, FreeType-2.6.3, GC-7.4.2, Graphite2-1.3.8, HarfBuzz-1.2.7 (built with graphite2 enabled),
ICU-57.1, libpaper-1.1.24+nmu4 (used by at least
context and xelatex), libpng-1.6.21, Poppler-0.43.0
The source ships with its own versions of several libraries which
are either not under active development, or only used for limited
functionality. If you install these, as with some other optional
dependencies in this book you will need to tell configure to use the system
versions. GD, t1lib,
Python-2.7.11 is used by many scripts.
Ruby-2.3.1 is used by some scripts, mostly within
mtx_context which is part of conTeXt, but also for one or two others, such
as match_parens, which are generally useful.
User Notes: http://wiki.linuxfromscratch.org/blfs/wiki/texlive
Installation of TeX Live
Install TeX Live by running the following commands:
The shared libraries will be installed into a texlive directory. As
root user, add it to your
cat >> /etc/ld.so.conf << EOF
# Begin texlive 2015 addition
# End texlive 2015 addition
From 2015 onwards, a successful install requires some texlive
commands to be run as the root user, so we will export the
TEXARCH variable to let
Now, as a normal user:
export TEXARCH=$(uname -m | sed -e 's/i.86/i386/' -e 's/$/-linux/') &&
mkdir texlive-build &&
cd texlive-build &&
--disable-static --enable-shared \
--with-banner-add=" - BLFS" &&
To test the results, issue: make
check One test in each of web2c, dvipng and ttf2pk2
will SKIP because kpathsea has not yet been installed.
Now, as the
make install-strip &&
make texlinks &&
mkdir -pv /opt/texlive/2015/tlpkg/TeXLive/ &&
install -v -m444 ../texk/tests/TeXLive/* /opt/texlive/2015/tlpkg/TeXLive/
Only run make
texlinks once. If it is rerun, it can change all
the program symlinks so that they point to themselves and are
Now install the additional files as the
tar -xf ../../texlive-20150523-texmf.tar.xz -C /opt/texlive/2015 --strip-components=1
Still as the
root user, initialise
the new system (the commands fmtutil-sys --all and
will produce a lot of
fmtutil-sys --all &&
You can now proceed to asymptote-2.38, biber-2.5 and / or
xindy-2.5.1 if you wish to install them.
--prefix=, --bindir=, --datarootdir=,
--infodir=, --mandir= ... : these switches ensure that
the files installed from source will overwrite any corresponding
files previously installed by install-tl-unx so that the alternative methods
of installing texlive are
... : these switches ensure that the libraries and
include files will be within the directories for this year's
switch prevents installation of static versions of the libraries.
--enable-shared: Use shared
this parameter is used, the included versions of these libraries
will be statically compiled into the programs which need them. If
you decided not to install a recommended library, omit the
Uniquely, this parameter has a non-standard meaning, it tells
configure to use the
system-installed poppler headers
and library. Again, omit this if you have not installed
--without-x: use this if you do not
have Xorg installed.
make texlinks : this runs
the texlinks.sh script to create symbolic links from formats to
engines. In practice, several of the targets such as xetex are now separate binaries
and for these it will report "file already exists".
tar -xf texlive-20150523-texmf.tar.xz
-C /opt/texlive/2015 --strip-components=1: the tarball
contains the files for the texmf-dist directory, and because of its
size we do not want to waste time and space untarring it and then
copying the files.
install -v -m444
/opt/texlive/2015/tlpkg/TeXLive/: This puts the perl
TLUtils.pm into the directory where the binary
installer puts them - it is at the start of the perl @INC@ PATH
within texlive when installed using the above configure switches.
Without these modules, texlive is unusable.
mktexlsr: Create an
ls-R file which lists what was
installed - this is used by kpathsea to find files.
fmtutil-sys --all: This
initialises the TeX formats, Metafont bases and Metapost mems.
mtxrun --generate: This
initialise the ConTeXt system.
Over 300 binaries and symlinks to
libsynctex.so, libtexlua52.so, libtexluajit.so
The programs included in TeX are too numerous to individually
list. Please refer to the individual program HTML and PDF
pages in the various html, man, or pdf files within the
2015/texmf-dist/. Using texdoc pdflatex (
with the command name ) may also be useful.
(kpathsearch) exists to look up a file in a list of
directories and is used by kpsewhich.
is a library for Japanese pTeX (publishing TeX).
is the SyncTeX (Synchronize TeXnology) parser library.
provides Lua 5.2, modified for use with LuaTeX.
provides LuaJIT, modified for use with LuaJITTeX.
Last updated on 2016-02-27 15:58:54 -0600