I installed

[root@magpie ~]# yum -q info texlive
Installed Packages
Name        : texlive
Arch        : x86_64
Epoch       : 3
Version     : 2013
Release     : 4.20131226_r32488.fc20
Size        : 0.0  
Repo        : installed
From repo   : updates
Summary     : TeX formatting system
URL         : http://tug.org/texlive/
License     : Artistic 2.0 and GPLv2 and GPLv2+ and LGPLv2+ and LPPL and MIT and Public Domain and UCD and Utopia

However things that I used to use such as \begin{equation*} and \left( no longer work. Here is the message for the equation numbering problem.

! LaTeX Error: Environment equation* undefined.

See the LaTeX manual or LaTeX Companion for explanation.
Type  H <return>  for immediate help.

l.249  \begin{equation*}

What have I missed?

  • Have you created a document that starts with \documentclass and ends with \end{document}?
    – Werner
    Mar 18, 2014 at 22:53
  • 1
    there is no equation* environment in latex or the standard classes, you need to load a package that defines it (such as amsmath) Mar 18, 2014 at 23:06

1 Answer 1


The main difference is that the 'direct' version is patched to the latest versions of package faster than the version via your linux distribution's package manager, since the latter has to go through their quality control etc first. So if you always want the latest and greatest with the most recent versions of packages with all the bugfixes you should go for the `direct' version. That being said, there should be no real restrictions in either version, since in both cases the packages come from CTAN anyway.

So if you're missing an environment that's been around as long as equation* you're probably forgetting to include a package such as amsmath that provides this.

  • Thanks. I have added amsmath and that fixes my ability to turn off equation numbers and still use that environment. However this means that the Lamport documents are now dated. ( I am too). Do I need a new thread to talk about \left( and \right) and the size of the sqrt symbol surd. Mar 19, 2014 at 0:03
  • Marking the answer that best solves your problem as accepted by clicking the ✓ is the appropriate way to say thank you on this site. This keeps questions, answers, and comments as much on topic as possible.
    – hugovdberg
    Mar 19, 2014 at 0:24
  • @PeterMorgan Yes, One question per question is recommended and there is not much connection between those topics and maintaining a TeX installation. (Except they are both related to TeX but that's not so unusual around here.)
    – cfr
    Mar 19, 2014 at 0:41
  • 1
    @PeterMorgan why do you say the documents are dated? equation/equation* haven't changed for over 2 decades. Mar 19, 2014 at 0:45
  • David you are correct. The latex environment has not changed but what has changed is where the code is to perform the feature has changed. There are also quite a few changes in code written when tetex was the package of choice Mar 19, 2014 at 1:10

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