Due to the old version of Tex Live available in Ubuntu 11.04, I tried to install Tex-Live 2011 using the instructions given on the TUG website.

However, when I run the install-tl script I get the following message.

    Installing TeX Live 2011 from: http://archive.cs.uu.nl/mirror/CTAN/systems/texlive/tlnet....       
    <D> directories:
           TEXDIR (the main TeX directory):
             !! default location: /usr/local/texlive/2011
             !! is not writable, please select a different one!

Can anybody help me how to fix this ? When I try to run the script it just shuts down.

  • Do you run the script as root? You can also create the folder with sudo mkdir and than change the owner with chown. Commented Aug 31, 2011 at 18:28
  • Okay, I created the folded with sudo mkdir.However, still trying to figure out the chown command
    – Trap
    Commented Aug 31, 2011 at 19:00
  • I figured however to become root using (cyberciti.biz/faq/how-can-i-log-in-as-root) and tex live is installing as we speak. However I hope some developer gets in and creates a Tex Live 2011 package for ubuntu.
    – Trap
    Commented Aug 31, 2011 at 19:09
  • sudo chown -R $USER:$USER /usr/local/texlive/ should work. You can also install TL as root. In my opinion it is no problem. Commented Aug 31, 2011 at 19:10
  • 1
    One should execute the install-tl script with superuser privileges: sudo ./install-tl; the script will create the relevant directories.
    – egreg
    Commented Aug 31, 2011 at 19:28

1 Answer 1


If you wish to install TeXLive in /usr/local/texlive/2011 (which is the default location), then you need to do so as root. Either use sudo in front of your ./install-tl command, or switch to root account (sudo -i) and install it:

sudo ./install-tl

If you want to install TeXLive as a simple user (and not as root), you can do so by specifying another location for the installation:

TEXLIVE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/path/to/install/dir ./install-tl
  • 2
    sudo warning: if installing via sudo ./install-tl then make sure that your umask is 022 at the time that you run the command. Commented Sep 1, 2011 at 10:52
  • 1
    +1. You have to change that environment variable if installing to a different location than the system default (or if you do not have sudo privileges, etc).
    – enderland
    Commented Jan 18, 2013 at 16:47

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