I use TexLive in both linux and windows. However, the project compiles very fast (below 1 sec.) in linux while it takes between 10 to 20 seconds on windows (in the same machine).

This has happened to me on every machine. In fact, Texlive on windows sometimes is fast (compiles in 1 sec or worse) and sometimes is slow (on the same file)!

Why is Texlive so slow on windows?

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    I can approve this: independently of Windows version (xp or 7), my notebook with openSuse always has been much faster at compiling *.tex files. Editor on both: Emacs. Wonderful question, by the way.
    – Keks Dose
    Jun 28, 2014 at 11:09
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    The windows file system has always been inferior compared to the one in linux. You can install latex on an SSD or RAM disk, perhaps the difference will become neglible here... Jun 28, 2014 at 13:27
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    you can write \message{TIME: \pdfelapsedtime^^J} as first line in your file and right after \begin{document}. This might track down a huge lot of file accesses (and yes: tex loads tons of files on each compile). Then compare the numbers on windows and linux and you might get a feeling if it is the preamble which takes so long or if it is the document typesetting. Jun 28, 2014 at 15:52
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    @Ali I would check first that the TEXINPUTS is set up correctly on the windows side. If there are missing !! then TeX will search the filesystem for input files such as article.cls and without using the kpsewhich class then that can easily be ~1000 directory opens given the size of a texlive tree these days. Jan 17, 2016 at 13:09
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    @Clément without some more data the question can not be answered. E.g the engine isn't mentioned. Nov 7, 2016 at 23:10

1 Answer 1


I'm not sure which OS TeXLive was originally developed for, but the fact that it is cross-platform may mean that it's using a sub-optimal (from a performance standpoint) compatibility layer that may be affecting performance.

I have observed a similar phenomenon using TeXLive on Cygwin, which isn't an apples-to-apples comparison, but it is a data point nonetheless.

Another thing to try would be using MiKTeX, which is designed specifically for Windows. It has pretty fast compile time for me.

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    MikTeX is much slower for me using Windows 10.
    – Al_Fh
    May 8, 2019 at 19:48
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    @Al_Fh For me MikTeX and TexLive have indistinguishable performance on Windows, both for small and large documents. Both come nowhere near the "press compile, done instantly" speed I am seeing on my work PC (Open Suse Leap, 15.1). Though I am comparing an 2-year old gaming laptop with disabled turboboost (for a more quiet fan) with a new rather powerful desktop here. Both SSD-only.
    – kdb
    Aug 26, 2019 at 15:54

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