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I prefer to use pgfplots for my plotting needs, but I tend to use LaTeX for my documents as well, so I have the full TeX Live installed. I'd like to convince my friends/lab mates/colleagues to use pgfplots as well, instead of Gnuplot or MATLAB or Origin or...

What are the minimal requirements to install pgfplots in a "standalone" manner, and what procedure should I follow to install this on a computer with no TeX distribution installed? I would prefer to use a .zip file that can be unzipped and any binaries added to the system path, rather than trying to install a minimal TeX distribution, since (I think!) that will be the easiest procedure, similar to installing Gnuplot with an installer.

Let's assume for now that I want PDF output with support for system fonts (i.e. lualatex or xelatex with unicode-math preferred). I presume the procedure will be similar to creating a portable installation (e.g., on a USB stick), but those instructions will install all of TeX Live, when I just want pgfplots.

This question asks about installing the pgfplots package in the home directory, so is related, but does not include the *latex binaries: How can I install pgfplots on the home directory with or without sudo rights?

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  • You will (anyway) need a basic TeX installation (for miktex, it is basic miktex) and then install pgfplots using package manager.
    – user11232
    Commented Jan 19, 2015 at 14:22
  • @HarishKumar Is there any way I can package up the minimal amount from the TeX distribution into a separate "installer" (zip file is fine)? See my edit. Thanks! :-)
    – darthbith
    Commented Jan 19, 2015 at 14:27
  • For miktex there is a basic installer and I don't know about texlive. And packaging by yourselves... well you will get lot of headache ;)
    – user11232
    Commented Jan 19, 2015 at 14:45
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    You need a minimal tex distribution. Then you can unzip the pgfplots .tds zip into the "local texmf" directory (linux: ~/texmf, windows also has it somewhere) and then run texhash. Keep in mind that you also need PGF (which can also be installed into a local texmf tree). Commented Jan 20, 2015 at 16:41
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    @ChristianFeuersänger care to convert your comment to an answer for this one? Commented Apr 26, 2015 at 1:15

1 Answer 1

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You need a minimal tex distribution. Then you can unzip the pgfplots .tds zip into the "local texmf" directory (linux: ~/texmf, windows also has it somewhere) and then run texhash. Keep in mind that you also need PGF (which can also be installed into a local texmf tree).

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