Is it possible to work on a project from different machines?

I usually work on my thesis at home, but I'm considering to go to a library to work from there with their computers.
At home I use Ubuntu with TexLive and Texmaker, the library uses Windows with MiKTeX and also Texmaker.
My project is stored on my flash drive.

Would it cause conflicts when working on the same project from different machines?

  • 1
    It will conflict perhaps if different TeX versions are used. Perhaps you should store a portable TeX distribution on your flash drive too
    – user31729
    Sep 30, 2015 at 20:19
  • @ChristianHupfer: Would it run on both Ubuntu and Windows? Sep 30, 2015 at 20:36
  • I don't know. I never use Windows (or a portable version -- just give it a try with some test document)
    – user31729
    Sep 30, 2015 at 20:37
  • I doubt the library will allow the execution of arbitrary code from flash drives. Note that there is certainly no problem editing on both machines. If the versions of TeX are different, you may find that the output differs or that compilation fails on one machine but not the other. This is more likely if you rely on newer stuff. For example, if you compile with TeX or pdfTeX, you are less likely to have problems than if you use LuaTeX or XeTeX. If you use long-stable packages, you are less likely to have problems than if you use PGF/TikZ.
    – cfr
    Sep 30, 2015 at 22:18
  • Off-topic: just to state the self-evident, you obviously don't store your project only on your flash drive, right? You mean that you have a copy on there....
    – cfr
    Sep 30, 2015 at 22:20

1 Answer 1


Maybe less if your documents are set in "plain English", but in my experience (about 1/3 Windows, 2/3 Linux, sometimes Mac) as soon as you want to write in other languages with diacritic marks (like diaeresis, circumflex, ogonek, etc. pp.) pay attention to the input encoding used and keep it consistent across *.tex and *.bib. A good TeX editor allows to set, or at least displays the encoding used (like UTF-8).

The old school of writing, like \'{e}cole to obtain école (French for school) offers greater portability. On the other hand, thanks to \usepackage{inputenc} (and correctly set keyboard) it may be typed directly and offers advantages in hyphenation and sort sequence in the bibliography, too.

For commands of a structure like \includepicture{pictures/example}, assuming pictures are stored in a dedicated folder, as long as the relative path does not contain spaces, nothing changes. This is good if you carry all necessary files of your project with you, for example on an external drive.

In similar tune as Christian Hupfer: compile once on both machines a \listfiles to check if the packages called are of the same version. Some packages offer the user to select the version explicitly .

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .