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I just downloaded and installed Texmaker. I've never used any (La)TeX before.

When I click the Run button with an arrow next to "Quick build" I get an error saying "Could not start the command". Why? What do I need to do?

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Welcome to TeX.sx! Did you also install MiKTeX or TeX Live? – doncherry Nov 26 '12 at 19:27
Nope, didn't know I had to. TexMaker documentation says nothing of the sort :S But I'll try, thanks. Are there any differences between them that concerns a beginner? – David Nov 26 '12 at 19:38
After isntalling MikTex, what should I do? :S – David Nov 26 '12 at 19:43
I am not an expert on the differences, but I'd recommend TexLive with which you have all the packages downloaded and ready to go. I had an issue with MikTeX as I had installed it as admin (well I think that was the issue -- really did not spend time looking into it), and then switched to TeXLive (both on Mac and PC). – Peter Grill Nov 26 '12 at 19:45
@David: You're fast, I was just writing up an answer :D. Restart Texmaker, and if it still doesn't find the MiKTeX binaries by itself, I'd just reinstall Texmaker. I hope you installed MiKTeX as the single-user install, cf. my upcoming answer. – doncherry Nov 26 '12 at 19:47
up vote 11 down vote accepted

(Also check out the MiKTeX tag wiki I just wrote up!)

The hardest part about getting started with LaTeX probably is learning what the different components you need are. Texmaker is an editor, but what actually compiles your source code and creates the document is within a (La)TeX distribution, the most popular of which are MiKTeX (Windows only) and TeX Live (Windows, Linux, OS X (as MacTeX)). You can read about some differences between the two at What are the advantages of TeX Live over MiKTeX?. I've always been using MiKTeX, which seems like a solid choice for a beginner to me. I am, however, considering trying out TeX Live as well.

If you decide in favor of MiKTeX, make sure to install the user mode (you're asked about that during the installation process), not in admin mode. It has nothing to do with multi-account configurations, but rather something network-y related. You can read about it at Difference between administrative and user mode of MiKTeX. But believe me, the user mode will make your life much easier. I wish I would've done it right away. (On another question that might come up before downloading MiKTeX: What is the difference between the basic MiKTeX and the complete MiKTeX?)

Once you installed a distribution, you might have to reinstall Texmaker if you want to avoid having to (find out and) type in all the paths yourself.

As introductory reading for LaTeX, I recommend The Not So Short Introduction to LaTeX2ε, which also has a section about the different parts of a working LaTeX system, if I remember correctly.

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Thanks for the heads-up! I was about to install Miktex in admin mode, as I do that will all my apps. – Filip Vondrášek Feb 27 '15 at 0:12

i have the same problem with you but i solve it finally:) I should explain my situation first, i use windows 7. The reason for me to have the error is i just download MikTeX(really takes a long time) and NOT install MikTex from the package i download before.

Basically for Windows, 2 steps:

Step 1: install and download MikTex which is a distribution for windows (Note: remember to install after downloading all the package)

Step 2: download Texmaker which is text editor

Here are some useful guides for you if you use windows http://www.howtotex.com/howto/installing-latex-on-windows/ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RL15I-6NQFQ

Hope that helps you and enjoy you day:)

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I had the same issue(on Manjaro/Arch Linux). Delete / rename (safer) the .texlive directory in the home directory, and reinstall texlive-core. That would solve it.

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Manjaro is not Arch. – cfr Nov 23 '14 at 0:48
@cfr, No it isn't. But it uses the same repos. So the behaviour can be expected to be similar. – jadelord Dec 1 '14 at 11:02
But it often is not similar as the record shows. Especially when things don't work properly ;). It is perfectly safe to delete ~/.texliveYYYY since it contains only generated files. (Unless somebody has deliberately put other things there for some reason.) I doubt you need to also reinstall texlive-core which won't (ought not) touch your home directory. It is probably a stale file or something if removing that directory solves the problem. – cfr Dec 1 '14 at 12:16

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