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I know services like TeX cloud and similar. My question is: Are there ready-made distributions of LaTeX that allow me to set up my own server? What are the best solutions? My goal is to have a nice editing environment on the iPad, and be able to use some remote compilation service.

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The guy who sells TeX touch for the ipad (not me) offers two solutions using your very own latex installation + dropbox: see vancapy.com/textouch/setup – Koji Mar 29 '12 at 14:02
The -ipc and -ipc-start command line switches might have something to do with this; It'd be interesting to learn their use. (+1) – morbusg Mar 29 '12 at 14:08
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Here are several solutions. I have not attempted them at my University as University policy forbids it.


Ignore compile errors

There are several issues:

  • Need server side access (and probably admin access) to set up
  • The access should be set up to use a secure channel to protect both the ipad and the server.
  • You will need an appropriate client(app) on your ipad which provides you the same functionality as the usual LaTeX ides (TexMaker, TexniCenter, Kile, etc) or be willing to use a simple text editor and appropriate software to link to the server.

And when you get it running, please post your setup and solution as another question and answer as this is very wanted answer.

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To your third issue: No, you don't need that. Of course you may desire it, but that's something different. All you really need is the ability to edit plain text files. – celtschk Mar 29 '12 at 15:02
Good point, edited my answer to reflect that. – R. Schumacher Mar 29 '12 at 19:04
Server side access is no problem. If I did not have that, I would use TeXcloud or something like that. – Arne Apr 1 '12 at 17:00

writeLaTeX is an online LaTeX editor that works on the iPad and other tablet devices.

It's free to use, and you can try without even signing up, so if you don't like it there's no commitment.

PS: I'm one of the developers of writeLaTeX - if you do give it a try let us know what you think, feedback is always appreciated.

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Very good solution! I tried it for a couple of minutes on my PC, and it works great. Have to check out if it works on the iPad equally well. – Arne Jan 24 '13 at 9:30

understand that you're after the cloud service. Wondering why not use a local environment that includes both typesetting and a syntax-highlighting editor? That way you don't have to rely on connectivity and can also take of advantge of the iOS UI that a restricted webapp cannot provide.

(Disclaimer: I'm one of the Texpad developers.)

May I suggest looking at Texapd for iOS (http://texpadapp.com/ios). We have local typesetter that we believe is currently the most completely LaTeX system on iOS with advanced fonts, beamer and tikz. We also have a full package manager that practically delivers the whole of texlive to you:


Like the OS X version, the app will open multi-file latex projects starting from the root and also allow you to search across files. There's autocomplete in the iPad version, synctax highlighting, dropbox support. Full list of features is online at http://texpadapp.com/ios .

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Interesting, haven't heard of it before. I will definitely check it out. – Arne Jun 5 '13 at 7:01

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