# What is the quickest way to check whether I already have a given package?

What is the quickest way to check (on Linux) whether I already have a given package? In particular I'm interested in whether there is something that will take less time than the 20 seconds or so it would take me to create a tiny latex document and try to compile it.

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kpsewhich pkgname.sty
kpsewhich clsname.cls

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And this not only tells you if you have the package, but also the path where it's installed. –  Juan A. Navarro Aug 16 '10 at 14:25

The standard tool works not only on Linux but also on Windows systems: at the command prompt, the command

kpsewhich name.sty


prints path and file name of one file name.sty if it can be found, otherwise nothing.

kpsewhich -all name.sty


prints all occurences if there are several (try kpsewhich -all texmf.cnf).

It uses ls-R files but could search the disk as well if you specify the option -must-exist. kpsewhich recognizes a lot of format names. Beside tex formats like .cls, .sty, .tex it finds font files, bib files and many more.

Type

kpsewhich --help


or

man kpsewhich


texdoc kpathsea