I'm new to emacs and latex, in general. I'm trying to compile a basic latex file after having installed auctex on emacs. However, when I run C-c C-c on emacs (inside a terminal) I get bash: pdflatex: command not found.

Apparently only installing Auctex is not enough. What did I miss? What else do I need to do/install?

Thanks for your help and patience! Have a great day! :D

  • You of course need to install a latex distribution. Latex and the chosen editor are independent of each other.
    – daleif
    Aug 23, 2015 at 17:57
  • Interesting. So Auctex would be the editor in this case, and I would also need to install the compiler. Could you recommend a good distribution for Macs? Aug 23, 2015 at 19:03
  • 1
    Auctex is an extension to the editor Emacs (which, I use myself). For Mac, install MacTeX, see tug.org/mactex. After installing, remember to update, for example using sudo tlmgr update --all --self
    – daleif
    Aug 23, 2015 at 19:14
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    Grr, annoying interface --all --self they are options
    – daleif
    Aug 23, 2015 at 19:15
  • Thanks so much! I installed and it's now working! If you want to submit your comments as an answer to the question I will accept it. Aug 23, 2015 at 19:21

1 Answer 1


This is quite a common error: installing an editor, but forgetting to install the interpreter as well.

In this case MacTeX is the obvious choice.

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