following up on a useful question and quite a few answers How can I call TexLive in Ubuntu? my question remains open :-)

I write my LaTeX texts in gedit, my base is ubuntu hardy heron 8.04,

now I seek a way to compile what I have written in gedit

however, I cannot see in gedit how I would be able to compile anything, even though I have now installed texlive-full (which I -- eh -- hoped would enable me to compile my LaTeX files created in gedit). So it seems I need to find the connection between TexLive and gedit in order to get it done. Correct?

can anyone tell me what is the missing link?

do I need to install a latex plugin for gedit? e.g., http://ubuntu-ky.ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1270282

  • 2
    Why are you still on 08.04? A new LTS edition (10.04) has been released...
    – Seamus
    Mar 5, 2011 at 17:39
  • If you ever decide to upgrade from Hardy to at least Karmic, try Texmaker. A very handy tool.
    – Heisenb0rg
    Mar 5, 2011 at 19:34
  • @Seamus, well: a. never change a running system, b. I am writing a longer thing and for that I use a second notebook that has no web access hardware - on purpose. Since I want both systems to be the same, notebook one (with web access, obviously ;-) stays in tune with notebook two (for which I am now seeking to get this stuff running) - maybe you have any better arguments on this?
    – user3992
    Mar 5, 2011 at 20:09
  • @Heisenb0rg, ok, let's see what @Seamus will come up with :-)
    – user3992
    Mar 5, 2011 at 20:11

2 Answers 2


Gedit is a text editor without LaTeX features, but you could add such by the gedit LaTeX plugin.

Follow the link you already posted for a description or:

  1. Download the plugin

  2. Extract it to ~/.gnome2/gedit/plugins/, or the equivalent on your system. Use the archive manager or type tar xfz LaTeXPlugin-0.2.tar.gz at the command prompt, i.e. in a terminal window.

  3. Start gedit, go to the editor's settings, the Plugin tab in the settings window. Check LaTeX Plugin 0.2. Close.

  4. Check the Tools menu, now there are commands: LaTeX->PDF, LaTeX->DVI, and more.

I prefer Kile, also on Ubuntu with Gnome. Further Texmaker and TeXworks are good editors also for Ubuntu Linux.

Screenshots, for the moment from my German system, of Settings window and a resulting submenu:

settings window

enter image description here

  • thanks, Stefan, re "2. Extract it to ~/.gnome2/gedit/plugins/, or the equivalent on your system" - in home/usr/bin? next question: how do I find out what is the equivalent on my system?
    – user3992
    Mar 5, 2011 at 20:04
  • @Alex: Such as /home/alex/.gnome2/gedit/plugins. I had to create plugins below ~/.gnome2/gedit/ first. Btw. ~ stands for the user's home directory.
    – Stefan Kottwitz
    Mar 5, 2011 at 20:14
  • ok, found it (had somehow not seen .gnome2 when I checked /home/alex before), how can I check if it works? "type tar xfz LaTeXPlugin-0.2.tar.gz at the command prompt" does not seem to work (neither with sudo in front)
    – user3992
    Mar 5, 2011 at 21:37
  • @Alex: I don't understand what you mean by "does not seem to work", please elaborate (error message, situation, ... or what you type and where you saved the .gz file).
    – Stefan Kottwitz
    Mar 5, 2011 at 21:44
  • @Stefan I tried again and used the archive manager to unpack LaTeXPlugin-0.2.tar.gz to ~/.gnome2/gedit/plugins/ - and you were quite right, I had to create the folders first. Now, however, step 3. does not work. LaTeXPlugin is not yet listed. Also, there are 4 gedit plugins in this list that have a checkmark, but these are not to be found in the new folder, of course. So at the moment I have no idea how gedit finds the new plugin. Can you help?
    – user3992
    Mar 7, 2011 at 20:11

An alternative way to executing latex from gedit is to use the following workflow:

  • edit your source in a gedit window;
  • use a console window to execute the required commands (latex, bibtex, etc or latexmk which wraps them all);
  • then a third window (eg evince) to view the resulting pdf (or dvi or ps).

Though I don't use this workflow myself, a friend of mine does, and she finds it has the following advantage: if the compilation takes a long time, then you can switch back to your editor window and do some work instead of waiting idly.

Even if this workflow doesn't exactly answer your question, I thought it was worth mentioning in order to highlight that there doesn't need to be a link between gedit and the various programs from TeX Live. It's something worth understanding IMO about how (La)TeX works.

  • wow @mpg, this solution really sounds like my taste. Had to install latexmk first, let's see...
    – user3992
    Mar 5, 2011 at 21:28
  • ah, some errors, re texlive-humanities-doc, texlive-base-bin-doc, texlive-fonts-recommended-doc - what do I do now?
    – user3992
    Mar 5, 2011 at 21:34
  • evince installed, thanks, @mpg - so now back to point 2: "use a console window to execute the required commands (latex, bibtex, etc or latexmk which wraps them all)" what exactly do I say in the command line when using latexmk? I guess the filename must be included, too?
    – user3992
    Mar 5, 2011 at 21:41
  • 1
    Just latexmk yourfile.tex should do the trick. If the result isn't in the format you want, add an option like --pdf. If you always want PDF, you should create a file ~/.latexmkrc with a line $pdf_mode = 1. If your have more specific questions about latexmk, I think they should be separate questions, this the current question is more about the workflow and latexmk is only one specific piece of it. (By the way, the man page is a bit long but quite informative.)
    – mpg
    Mar 6, 2011 at 5:59
  • this is really very cool, mpg, still not sure why sometimes my compiled tables show lines without field content, but generally, probably after a restart, all is fine. Please thank this clever friend of yours who shared her method with you so you could share it here. Simplement formidable.
    – user3992
    Mar 10, 2011 at 10:55

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