I'm strying to install the mhchem package on my linux machine and it's not working. So far I've tried putting it in /usr/share/texlive/texmf-dist/tex/latex/mhchem and then running texhash on that directory, texhash fails on that folder. I also tried it in /home/<user>/texmf which is the directory I get when I run kpsewhich -var-value=TEXMFHOME. The directory did not exist so I had to create it. Running texhash on that directory succeeds and I get an ls-R file in the directory. However, when I try to run latex on a file that has \usepackage{mhchem}, it fails and says that the package does not exist. Am I putting the .sty file in the right place?

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    Hi and welcome, does it say the file does not exist, or does it say it is not found? Put the file in /home/<username>/texmf/tex/latex, there should be no need to run texhash. Can't you install mhchem and related packages using the package manager of your distro?
    – Johannes_B
    Feb 17, 2015 at 21:58
  • That worked, thanks! I don't have any experience with package manager, I do almost everything through terminal, just my engineering way of making everything more difficult. Feb 17, 2015 at 22:25
  • I bet there are good terminal package managers, you cannot do all of this including dependencies by hand. On Ubuntu, i have apt-get and aptitude, there some similar for Mint, i bet.
    – Johannes_B
    Feb 17, 2015 at 22:29
  • I use apt-get for most of what I do, I will certainly use a gui package manager if I need to, but as of yet I haven't needed to. Feb 18, 2015 at 17:30
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    community.linuxmint.com/software/view/texlive-science Seems to be in the package texlive-science, so sudo apt-get install texlive-science seems to be a good start.
    – Johannes_B
    Feb 18, 2015 at 17:34

1 Answer 1


You can always place your custom packages in /home/<username>/texmf/tex/latex.
For packages coming with TeX Live, tlmgr (TeX Live manager) takes care of downloading and making the package available. If sudo was needed to install TeX Live, i.e. in a directory where a normal user has no writing rights, sudo will also be needed to run tlmgr.

If TeX Live was installed as part of the Linux-distribution, chances are that you are havin a quite old version and not all solutions on site work. Nevertheless, distros often bundle up TeX Live packages in distro-meta-packages.

For example, mhchem can be found in texlive-science according to the Linux Mint community. The meta package will install other chemistry related packages like chemstyle and chemmacros as well.

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