I freshly installed Ubuntu 13.04 and proceeded to install TexLive 2012 which has been frozen for upcoming release of TeXLive 2013 and hence cannot be updated. I wanted to modify and compile a LaTeX document which requires installation of some packages that do not come with the standard full installation of TeXLive 2012, which, as I noted cannot be modified. I cannot find older version TeXLive 2011. And I get following error when I try to install TeXLive 2013 pretest version:

Loading ./tlpkg/texlive.tlpdb
./install-tl: open(./tlpkg/texlive.tlpdb) failed: No such file or directory at tlpkg/TeXLive/TLPDB.pm line 359.

I am stuck in no man's land.

  • I used Silex advice in [this link][1] to install TeXLive in full. I used Software center to find and install texlive-full. Although, I have TeXLive in full now, still tlmgr is not working. [1]: tex.stackexchange.com/questions/1092/…
    – antmw1361
    May 15, 2013 at 2:17

4 Answers 4


you mix a lot of things: first things first: What do you think is missing in TL2012 that was available in TL2011 or before, and will be available in TL2013?

My guess there is nothing like this.

Now for the rest;

1) older TL releases

Yes, we do not keep track, there is not enough capacity to keep it around.

2) TL2012

You can still install it with the installer package from CTAN's tlnet directory.

3) TL2013 and mentioned error

I fixed this error today in the repo, so if you download a new installer package it should work, BUT - with tlpretest you can anyway not install without explicitly giving the -repository option. So your call would have failed, too.

Last: Advice

If you are not able to read and follow the working instructions for tlpretest installation, I recommend to stay with 2012 for the time being.


use rsync, eg:

rsync -av --delete --exclude="mactex*" ftp.math.utah.edu::texlive/tlpretest /tmp/tlpretest

then run sudo /tmp/tlpretest/install-tl

After installing updates are possible with:

sudo tlmgr --all --self -repository=http://www.math.utah.edu/pub/texlive/tlpretest/   update

But remeber that you have to put the 2013 binary path into your PATH environment variable. Otherwise the old installation is used.

  • Three or four days ago, with this approach rsync was fine but install-tl also failed in my Debian testing.
    – Fran
    Apr 29, 2013 at 21:24
  • I used rsync to get the latest version, but I couldn't update packages.
    – antmw1361
    Apr 30, 2013 at 4:24

You can always install the packages you need in ~/texmf and they will have priority over the packages of texlive. You are not stuck. Just keep texlive 2012 and install what you need localy in you Home-directory. There have been descriptions for sophisticated cases, see here e.g.


Best bet (unless you really know what you are doing, in which case you won't ask this here...) is to install whatever TeX the Linux distribution ships. The distribution will take care of updating and keeping it nicely integrated with the other packages.

  • 3
    Sorry, this is not a good advice. Some Distros used to ship with a really outdated texlive. And there a quite a lot howtos for installing a new texlive on top.
    – Keks Dose
    Apr 29, 2013 at 20:12
  • 2
    yes, the Linux distributions will update, but once a year. And the TUG-texlive will update daily! That makes the difference ...
    – user2478
    Apr 29, 2013 at 20:26
  • In Debian testing the version is 2012, as probably in the very recent Ubuntu 13.04 (not tested). Just now that you cannot update the TeXLive 2012, nor install new packages, nor install the pretest (unstable) TeXLive 2013, at least for these distros could be a good provisional solution if the required LaTeX packages are in the Linux (.deb) packages.
    – Fran
    Apr 29, 2013 at 21:17
  • BTW, I can understand that tlmgr cannot update packages of a frozen version, but why the hell is not allowed to install the frozen packages?
    – Fran
    Apr 29, 2013 at 21:28

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