Which LaTeX distribution would you recommend for using on Linux from command line? I am looking for one with most complete coverage of packages.

2 Answers 2


You should install TeXlive.

Note some distributions like Debian derived ones (e.g. ubuntu) have a version of TeXlive in the package manager. This isn't a great option: it is old and it doesn't have all the packages you might need. Installing the one via the TUG website is much better. See this blog discussion for arguments.

TeXlive comes with a variety of useful things like tlmgr for updating packages from CTAN and so on. This way you always have the most up to date packages.

  • Thanks! Installing TeXlive right now. Also is there a tool on Linux that does the same as pdflatex from MikTeX distribution on Windows? May 24, 2011 at 12:09
  • @Seamus, LOL answers with the same content at the same time, and edits with the same content at the same time.
    – pmav99
    May 24, 2011 at 12:09
  • @Peteris yes the commands (programs actually) have the same names as in windows
    – pmav99
    May 24, 2011 at 12:10
  • @Seamus, since your answer is more verbose and descriptive, perhaps you should add the links from mine so that I may delete my answer.
    – pmav99
    May 24, 2011 at 12:13
  • 1
    Often the TeX Live that comes with the distro is good enough unless you really need to live on the cutting edge.
    – Philipp
    May 24, 2011 at 17:59

Install texlive2010, but consider installing it on its own partition. You may wish to update your Linux distri without re-installing texlive afterwards!

On the other hand I do not think it would be usefull to install texlive into your home directory.

Regards, Alexander

  • The update of Unix doesn't influence the installation of TL. May 24, 2011 at 13:23
  • @Marco You are right, but in many cases it is safer and recommended by the Distro to make a new and clean install of Linux. So I should have been writing »You may wish to install a new version of your Linux distri . . . «. And a new install might simply erease a installation under /usr/share.
    – Keks Dose
    May 24, 2011 at 15:48
  • The default location for TeXLive 2010 is in /usr/local/texlive/2010. If you later want to install, e.g., TeXLive 2011, it will go into /usr/local/texlive/2011, living happily alongside TeXLive 2010. (Of course, you'd either adjust your path or create symlinks to /usr/local/bin (etc.) to choose which one you're currently running.) May 24, 2011 at 16:34

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