I recently ran into a problem when compiling a doc, where latex indicated a missing package, while Ubuntu indicated that it was installed. The missing package in question is pst-node.sty but I think that's irrelevant.

All the packages in the compilation came from /usr/local/texlive/2013/texmf-dist/tex/latex/. Indeed, when I do

echo $PATH

the only tex-relevant path I get is


But kpsewhich pst-node.sty returns nothing. However:

$ locate pst-node.sty

And using Synaptic, I can indeed see that pst-node is installed, through the texlive-pstricks package.

My question: how can I have only one LaTeX distribution on my computer? I'm happy keeping the one managed by Ubuntu (for simplicity), as I do not need very fine-grained Latex package management.

  • You should use tlmgr to install the PSTricks packages to your “vanilla” TeX Live; they are in the TeX Live/Debian but they are out of reach when you use the “vanilla” TeX Live programs.
    – egreg
    Commented Aug 20, 2014 at 9:22
  • 1
    I don't know why you have two versions of TeXLive on Ubuntu, take a look at this recent question about where we try installing TeXLive on Ubuntu and in turn refers to another three questions that discuss how to do a clean installation of TeXLive smoothly. I don't know if it's your case, but maybe this information will be useful.
    – Aradnix
    Commented Aug 20, 2014 at 15:12
  • 1
    At this point, however, TeX Live 2013 is no longer maintained: in particular, tlmgr will no longer work. Thus you need to decide: remove TL2013 and go back to the Debian/Ubuntu-maintained version (which will usually be slightly out of date), or install TL2014 (which means triplication of things unless you remove other [parts of] installs.
    – jon
    Commented Aug 20, 2014 at 15:13
  • 1
    Unless you're in a hurry to get stuff going, as I was when I asked this question, I can thoroughly recommend uninstalling everything LaTeX-related and installing the latest full version direct from CTAN. A major reason for me not doing this was that I'd have had to download everything again over a slow (2Mb/s on a really good day) connection, so if that's not an issue just go for it. The ubuntu latex packages are hopelessly out of date (even more so if you use LTS versions) and to be avoided.
    – Chris H
    Commented Aug 21, 2014 at 14:16

1 Answer 1


I could not install packages using tlmgr (I guess because, as jon pointed out, TL2013 is not maintained anymore).

So I ended up using tlmgr uninstall to remove the TexLive "vanilla" installation, remove its path from $PATH, and reinstall the Ubuntu version from scratch. It is good enough for me for the meantime, although it's true that I ended up installing giant Debian/ubuntu packages just to have access to a few LaTeX packages.

I will probably look more into reinstalling Vanilla properly, without Ubuntu getting confused, thanks to the links provided here.


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