The lastest Ubuntu repository TeXLive is outdated. But it's already installed. According to its documentation it can updated via TeXLive Manager.

If I run

sudo /usr/bin/tlmgr --gui with perl-tk installed I get an error:

"This may take some time, please be patient ... cannot setup TLPDB in /home/dmnq/texmf at /usr/bin/tlmgr line 5336. Compilation failed in require at /usr/bin/tlmgr line 4445."

I have the ubuntu repository texlive 2013. What am I doing wrong?

BTW: I normally prefer using the TUG iso or the repository to install. This I found useful https://milindpadalkar.wordpress.com/2011/05/04/installing-texlive-2010-in-ubuntu-10-04-10-10-and-11-04/ but not sure if it's still valid.

  • 1
    Yes; the Ubuntu provided tlmgr is in /usr/bin so you're asking for a different program, which knows the environment and will do everything in /usr/local/texlive/2014, not in the system provided TeX Live tree.
    – egreg
    Commented Apr 19, 2015 at 15:26
  • so sudo /usr/bin/tlmgr --gui is the correct command? yes? Commented Apr 19, 2015 at 16:43
  • Sorry: it is not correct; you were mentioning /opt/texbin/tlmgr which is the right command (if you have created the symbolic link); /usr/bin/tlmgr will run the distribution provided tlmgr, which will not act on the manually installed TeX Live
    – egreg
    Commented Apr 20, 2015 at 16:04
  • I have the texlive from the ubuntu package manager on this computer. usr/bin/ version gives the error above. /opt/texbin/ gives command not found. So you were right the first time ... but an error results. Commented Apr 20, 2015 at 16:16

1 Answer 1


If you have both a GNU/Linux distribution provided TeX Live and a manually installed one, you'll have two different tlmgr.

The one in /usr/bin will not update packages, but just change configuration parameters.

The one in /usr/local/texlive/<YEAR>/bin/<ARCH>, instead, will do updates to the manually installed TeX Live. Here <YEAR> stands for the version you have, probably 2014, while <ARCH> is the standard symbolic name for the processor, say x86_64-linux or i386-linux.

The correct call, if your data is as above, is

sudo /usr/local/texlive/2014/bin/x86_64-linux/tlmgr --gui

When doing a manual installation of TeX Live, I recommend doing

sudo ln -s /usr/local/texlive/2014/bin/x86_64-linux /opt/texbin

so you just need to add to your PATH the simpler /opt/texbin and have another benefit: when TeX Live 2015 is released and you install it, you just have to do

sudo rm /opt/texbin
sudo ln -s /usr/local/texlive/2015/bin/x86_64-linux /opt/texbin

and do no other change to your setup, because your PATH variable will already point to the correct location. If you create this symbolic link, then

sudo /opt/texbin/tlmgr --gui

will become the correct call.

See this article on TUGboat which explains the installation procedure I recommend and that's still valid provided you just change the year from 2010 to the current release year.

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