i'm starting to use latex, but i'm confusing about install it.

I know its not an application but how in others computers languages, there is a way to install separated programms like only the compiler to .dvi or only pdflatex? because when i install tex live it's install a lot of other programs.

  • TeXLive will install a pretty complete set of programs and add-on packages unless you go to some lengths to tell it to do otherwise. – Mico May 19 '14 at 18:57
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    Unless your disk drive is full it is far better to install everything suggested. Especially if you are a beginner it is unlikely that you get the dependencies right if you install "by hand". You need the executables, you need fonts, font metrics, macro packages, ...and if you do it all by hand then you have to manage updates by hand as well, compared with just installing texlive that is a lot of work. – David Carlisle May 19 '14 at 19:10
  • You can install the MiKTeX package manager for linux systems as well, if you don't want a full TeXLive installation. There are several guides out there. Here is one of them: texblog.net/latex-archive/uncategorized/… – eiterorm May 19 '14 at 19:36
  • A large chunk of the install size comes from the associated documentation; but, unless you really don't have the space, that is a good thing! When you are using a package, you can easily access its documentation via the command texdoc (so: texdoc geometry will give you the documentation for the geometry package). Use texdoc texdoc to learn more. – jon May 19 '14 at 20:07
  • I would suggest not using MiKTeX on anything other than Windows. If you are inexperienced, you want something well-tested, stable and commonly understood and used. You can install a smaller version of TeX Live using the standard TL installer or, as mentioned by dox, using your package manager (GNU/Linux). But a full installation is simplest if you have space. By far the simplest. – cfr May 19 '14 at 22:39

When you install (in a debian based distribution) the basic texlive it install the compiler -which includes latex, pdflatex, dvips, dvipdf, and many others-, and the basic packages (including classes, styles, etc.).

sudo aptitude install texlive

That is the minimal amount of things should be installed in order to work!

On the other hand if you have HD to spear, you could install the complete set of packages using

sudo aptitude install texlive-full


There are a huge diversity of editors for writing in LaTeX. Some of them are

  • Kile
  • Texmaker
  • Texshop
  • Latexzila, etc

There is also a WYSIWYG editor called LyX.

To install use the command (replace texmaker by the one you want to try)

sudo aptitude install texmaker


I usually use the default evince as viewer, but you could try okular, but it will install a huge amount of packages (unless you use KDE environment)

sudo aptitude install okular
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