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I am running LaTeX on a Linux VM. I am running a Xubuntu and have very little space to use. I managed to install some of the latex packages without documentation.

Currently I am missing fullpage amongst others.

I am looking to install texlive-latex-extra but it is asking for 200 MB of space. I am good with using latex, so I can live without the documentation.

Is there a way to do this in apt-get ?


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The Apt-based packages are big, no way around it. If you are proficient enough a user of LaTeX, you probably know which packages you need to use well enough; so I'd install them (and only them) from CTAN. Then, if space gets really tight (e.g., the oberdiek bundle is about 30 MB, I think), you can also delete the documentation as you need. Installing packaged files is super-easy, by the way. – jon Aug 8 '12 at 18:39

3 Answers 3

One way to conserve space is to get rid of everything LaTeX related when you are done compiling your document. Docker is a great way to do this. Here are ways to use a Docker image I created.

docker run -i richardbronosky/latex-compiler < document.tex > document.pdf

If you need supplementary files yon can in an uncompressed tar and it will be detected.

tar cf - *.tex *.sty | docker run -i richardbronosky/latex-compiler > document.pdf

If multiple documents to be created, it returns a tar file that you can expand.

tar cf - *.tex *.sty | docker run -i richardbronosky/latex-compiler --tar | tar x

If you need more (or less) LaTeX packages, you can clone the repo and modify the Dockerfile. Its current state is:

FROM ubuntu

MAINTAINER Bruno Bronosky <>

RUN apt-get update

RUN apt-get install -y texlive-latex-recommended

ADD latexcat /usr/local/bin/latexcat
RUN chmod a+x /usr/local/bin/latexcat

ENTRYPOINT ["/usr/local/bin/latexcat"]
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Welcome to TeX.SX! You can have a look at our starter guide to familiarize yourself further with our format. – Symbol 1 Mar 30 at 5:55

texlive-latex-extra-doc is a recommended, but not hard, dependency for texlive-latex-extra and the latter can be installed without the former. For example, on a Debian-based GNU/Linux distribution, you can install texlive-latex-extra without the recommended -doc dependency using sudo apt-get --no-install-recommends install texlive-latex-extra. In fact, the following (long command) does an almost-full installation of texlive with suggested packages, without the bulky -docs and may be useful for systems with limited disk space.

sudo apt-get --no-install-recommends install \
texlive-{base,bibtex-extra,extra-utils,generic-recommended, \
fonts-recommended,font-utils,latex-base,latex-recommended, \
latex-extra,math-extra,pictures,pstricks,science} \
perl-tk purifyeps chktex latexmk dvipng xindy dvidvi \
fragmaster lacheck latexdiff libfile-which-perl dot2tex \
tipa latex-xcolor latex-beamer prosper pgf
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In short, no. The best solution here is to download the packages you really need, and get rid of the documentation. This will ensure that you use the minimal space, and do not download unneeded packages.

An interesting complement to this question would be: what is the minimal set of packages not in the default Ubuntu texlive that you can't live without?

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This is not true. apt-get --no-install-recommends does what the OP is looking for. Please see my answer below. – Omid Sep 8 '13 at 22:00

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