As I understand it, a snapshot of the MiKTeX/TeXlive is available on CTAN mirrors.

How do I install a complete (with all packages) TeX distribution on an offline computer (without Internet) ? Is MiKTeX/TeXlive snapshot available on a DVD (for a price)/free or on some "TeX user groups"?

Is the MiKTeX/TeXlive snapshot available for free for download? If so, where can I find it?

  • @Karl'sstudents Yeah, I thought that was unclear and I just edited it.
    – a06e
    Mar 28, 2013 at 2:12
  • @Karl'sstudents I have installed the Basic MikTeX package, but it is missing many packages that I need. I install this on an offline computer, so I need a set that is as complete as possible. I have hears of a Complete MikTeX package, but I don't see it listed in miktex.org/download. There's a DVD ISO image, but it is not free and is not available now.
    – a06e
    Mar 28, 2013 at 2:24
  • @texenthusiast I cannot mirror CTAN, because I install LaTeX in an offline computer. So I just want to download all the packages.
    – a06e
    Mar 28, 2013 at 2:26
  • 2
    MiKTeX as DVD is currently not available. Try ordering the TeX Collection DVD for 2012 Online or at TUG usergroup related to your country. It has all TeX collection. Mar 28, 2013 at 2:45
  • 3
    That is one reason I tend to recommend TeXLive instead of MikTeX. Just download everything and be done with it. If you can afford a computer, disk space of a few GB is not worth thinking about. Mar 28, 2013 at 2:52

1 Answer 1


LaTeX distributions come as MiKTeX (Windows), TeX Live (cross-platform) and MacTeX flavours for different operating systems, where MacTeX is an Mac-oriented complete TeX Live together with an TeX editor and some extra-tools. Similarly proTeXt is an easy-to-install MiKTeX especially for newcomers, again together with an editor and some other tools.
None of them installs the complete CTAN resource for different reasons: platform specific programs, license issues etc.

Even if you plan to install on a computer regularly used offline it is strongly recommended to make updates at least in fairly long timeframes. The best would be a temporary internet connection, but at least for MiKteX you can choose updates from a local repository, which also can be a portable harddrive, a USB stick or a DVD.


1. Online (pc with internet)

In MiKTeX download page, go to Other Downloads section instead of recommended download, then choose "This installer allows you download all packages and install a complete TeX/LaTeX system" depending on windows 32-bit/64-bit. (Note: 32-bit installer works on both, but 64-bit installer only on 64-bit windows.)

Both are net installers: During installation you will need internet connection, because needed packages are only downloaded just before they are installed.

2. Offline (install on pc without internet, but other computer has connection)

Your working computer will be regularly offline, but you have access to another computer with internet connection:

On that computer download the whole MiKTeX repository to a local folder. The best would be putting this folder on a removable disk, but later burning of an DVD-RW is possible as well. The download can be done with the net installer, if you change the installation setting from default to "Download MikTeX" and select then "Complete MikTeX". After choosing the nearest CTAN mirror and download folder the download starts. It can take several hours depending on the connection speed.
Later for performing updates of this repository rsync is highly recommended, see rsync in the English Wikipedia for software suggestions, or at least wget with its timestamp option.

When you start installation with the net installer on your offline pc, choose first installation from a local repository and select then the folder of the portable drive or DVD (especially do not choose “CD/DVD”, that’s only for shipped DVD’s from the developer). Attention, this path is saved in MiKTeX settings!

You should later perform updates for MiKTeX on your offline-pc on a regular basis for bugfixes and new packages.

If also on computer with internet connection MiKTeX is installed, updates should be done with the local repository, too. This saves a lot of bandwidth.

3. Offline (install on pc without internet and no internet computer nearby)

At least you need internet connection to download installers and updates.

TeX Collection DVD is your way to go. As unfortunately MiKTeX on DVD is “currently not available” try ordering the TeX Collection DVD for 2012 Online at TUG store or at TUG usergroup related to your country. It has all TeX collection.

Note to OP: If you are really interested in MiKTeX, contact its author and place a DVD feature request. Hope for the best.

Alternatively download the self-extracting proTeXt installer (over 1GB) and install.

You should notice, that updates are very likely necessary, though – so you should from time to time connect this pc to the internet (maybe in a fairly longer timeframe) or use the method described above in point 2.

For TeX Live only: Download single TeX Live 2012 ISO image file

Download 2.3 GB .iso image file via TUG: Either texlive2012.torrent or directly texlive2012.iso from one of the CTAN mirrors. Torrent is recommended for fast download on slow speed internet.

Later burn the .iso on DVD to install on an offline-pc or copy texlive.iso to USB drive and mount the texlive.iso on local pc to see the install-tl installer script.

To install for all users, you need to right-click install-tl.bat (Windows) or install-tl.sh (Linux and MacOS X) and select ‘Run as administrator’. You will see TeX Live Lion Installer window as in Screenshot-guide. Also related: TeX Live Windows installation, especially section "Troubeshooting".

  • anyone can add value and make it concise for a newbie. Mar 28, 2013 at 4:32
  • 3
    I found another way: tug.org/protext includes complete MikTeX, as a single download. Then point the MikTeX package manager to the directory included in ProTeXt (detailed instructions are given in ProTeXt .pdf documentation)
    – a06e
    Mar 28, 2013 at 14:12
  • I have installed texlive. However i dont know to set path. Feb 3, 2017 at 5:10
  • I use archlinux, If I install texlive using this procedure since AUR package is taking too long to install, will my system recognize this package and will it get regular updates with pacman -Syu? Jul 4 at 13:09
  • For option 1. I dont find Other Downloads. Any update here? Oct 25 at 13:56

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