Introduction to TeX Live

The TeX Live package is a comprehensive TeX document production system. It includes TEX, LaTeX2e, ConTEXt, Metafont, MetaPost, BibTeX and many other programs; an extensive collection of macros, fonts and documentation; and support for typesetting in many different scripts from around the world.

This package is known to build and work properly using an LFS-7.4 platform.

Package Information

Additional Downloads

TeX Live Dependencies


ghostscript-9.10, Poppler-0.24.1, FreeType-, Fontconfig-2.10.93, libpng-1.6.4, X Window System, ICU-51.2, GD, t1lib, ZZIPlib, CLISP, Lua-5.1.5, TECkit, and Graphite

User Notes: http://wiki.linuxfromscratch.org/blfs/wiki/texlive

Installation of TeX Live

The TeX Live set of programs with its supporting documents, fonts, and utilities is very large. The upstream maintainers recommend placing all files in a single directory structure. BLFS recommends /opt/texlive.

First, unpack the installer and change into the installer's directory, install-tl-20130730. This directory name may change if the installer package is updated by the upstream maintainers.

tar -xf install-tl-unx.tar.gz &&
cd install-tl-20130730 


The distribution binaries installed below use static linking for internal TeX Live libraries. Additional libraries as specified in the dependencies section do not need to be present during the install, but the programs that need them will not run until their specific dependencies are installed.

Now, as the root user:

TEXLIVE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/opt/texlive ./install-tl

This command is interactive and allows selection or modification of platform, packages, directories, and other options. The full installation scheme will require about 3.5 gigabytes of disk space. The time to complete the download will depend on your internet connection speed and the number of packages selected.

After the package download is complete, the next step is to make sure that the system can properly find the files. If you set up your login scripts as recommended in The Bash Shell Startup Files, update the needed paths by appending to the extrapaths.sh script. Be sure to adjust the paths below to reflect your actual installation location. In addition, the path to the binaries will be affected by your system architecture.

cat >> /etc/profile.d/extrapaths.sh << "EOF"
pathappend /usr/share/man                        MANPATH
pathappend /opt/texlive/2013/texmf-dist/doc/man  MANPATH
pathappend /usr/share/info                       INFOPATH
pathappend /opt/texlive/2013/texmf-dist/doc/info INFOPATH
pathappend /opt/texlive/2013/bin/x86_64-linux


The standard MANPATH and INFOPATH path are specified above to ensure they are included. If they are already set in the boot script procedure, the pathappend function will ensure duplicates are removed, so including them here will do no harm.

The new paths can be immediately activated by running source /etc/profile.

At this point the installation is complete. If building from source is desired, extract the source package as usual and continue.



If you do not have Xorg installed add --without-x to the configure command.

If you do not have fontconfig installed, add --disable-xdvipdfmx to the configure command.

./configure --prefix=/usr                  \
            --disable-native-texlive-build \
            --enable-build-in-source-tree  \
            --without-luatex               \
            --enable-mktextex-default      \
            --with-banner-add=" - BLFS"    &&

To test the results, issue: make -k check.

In order to gather the built files in one place, use make install to put then in a temproary location:

make DESTDIR=$PWD/texlive-tmp install

Now copy the executables to the TeX Live binary directory. Be sure to adjust the destination directory for your installation. As the root user:

find texlive-tmp/usr/bin -type f -exec cp -v {} /opt/texlive/2013/bin/x86_64-linux \;


If you passed the option --enable-shared to the configure command, the two libraries, libkpathsea.so, libptexenc.so and their symbolic links will also need to be copied to /usr/lib.


Installed Programs: Over 300 binaries and symlinks to scripts
Installed Libraries: None
Installed Directories: /opt/texlive

Short Descriptions

TeX programs

included in the TeX Live package are too numerous to individually list. Please refer to the individual program man and html pages in the installation directory's 2011/index.html directory.

Last updated on 2013-09-02 11:10:49 -0700