TeX Live 2009 on Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx)

TeX users on Linux tend to use the packaged TeX installation provided by there distro, rather than using the standard TeX Live installer and managing things themselves. Ubuntu is one of the more popular Linux distros, and there has been an issue for a while that they had stuck with TeX Live 2007, despite TeX Live 2008 and then TeX Live 2009 being released.

The latest Ubuntu release, 10.04 ‘Lucid Lynx’, finally moves to TeX Live 2009. This finally makes it easy to get TeX Live in a reasonable up to date version:

sudo apt-get install texlive

This grabs a subset of the complete TeX Live 2009, but seems to include quite a good selection (a bit like the MiKTeX basic installation on Windows, but I think a bit bigger). TeXworks is also on the list (at least the stable version), so if you don’t want to compile it from the source you can do

sudo apt-get install texworks

and be ready to go. Of course, you might still need to grab a few more bits of TeX Live (for example, XeTeX is not included in the standard selection). However, it’s definitely an improvement of the earlier situation.

6 thoughts on “TeX Live 2009 on Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx)

  1. Excellent news. It should be noted that:

    sudo apt-get install texlive-full

    will give you a full installation of TL 2009 for those that have the room to spare.

  2. But (and perhaps you can confirm this), there is still a good reason to go rogue and install vanilla TeXLive 2009 on Lucid. With the repo version, you can’t update TeXLive packages with tlmgr.

    Note that if you do this, you may want to use ‘equivs’ to create a dummy package to satisfy any TeX dependencies (for Kile, Emacs autex, etc). Instructions are partway down this page:


  3. It all depends on how you view updates and the like. As I mainly use Windows and Mac OS X, I’m used to having to look after myself. I also like to have a very up to date system, so the pre-packaged route is not ideal for me. However, a lot of Linux users are much happier sticking with distro-managed material if it’s available. That means accepting you won’t using the very latest software, but the problem with TeX Live was that it was a long way out of date. Of course, TeX Live 2010 will appear in the not too distant future, and the problem may reappear!

  4. You’re right. It’s great that TL2009 is now in the Debian/Ubuntu repos. I just thought I’d add that note about a vanilla install for completeness, since I had a hard time finding any info online about whether the Ubuntu TL2009 repo packages could update using tlmgr. For those who know they need to keep up-to-date on several different packages, it’s worth thinking ahead about what is in fact the path of least resistance. I love the Ubuntu package system, and often prefer its ease over the bleeding edge, but in my case a stock install of TeXLive was better. And that’s why I need equivs, to mock-fulfill the demands of the packaging system as well.

    Thanks for this great blog,

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