I use LaTex a lot in Ubuntu 14.04. Recently I came to know about the sagetex package and installed sage-6.8-x86_64-Linux . Suppose the tex file is example.tex , then one has to run the following commanda to make it work.

pdflatex example.tex
sage example.sagetex.sage
pdflatex example.tex

Now I want to do run these commands from Texmaker. So I go to the menu and then Options → Configure → QuickBuild → User and define there (in User) these three commands. I used the following pipeline

pdflatex -synctex=1 -interaction=nonstopmode %.tex | sage %.sagetex.sage | pdflatex -synctex=1 -interaction=nonstopmode %.tex

After that when I run Quick Build on the file from texmaker, I get a error message,

Error : could not start the command

I want to know why the Quick Build command does not work ? also if anyone could help me so that I could run those command from Texmaker.

  • Is there no other error message? What happens when you only keep the first part pdflatex -synctex=1 -interaction=nonstopmode %.tex and remove the rest?
    – jarauh
    Oct 25, 2015 at 13:10
  • Nope. no other error message. It is fine when I run only the first command. Then it just do what pdflatex do. But after that a example.sagetex.sage file is created. Then I have to run the sage command on that file. At last again pdflatex. This is how sagetex works.
    – ddas
    Oct 25, 2015 at 16:16
  • Your question seems similar to this one. In particular, make sure you read comments where the same error is given and two solutions: one works for me but not for Jason who leaves a comment (find "99%") about what he did to get it to work for him. Does it help? How is your problem different?
    – DJP
    Oct 25, 2015 at 17:27
  • Hi @DJP. Thanks for your reply. After @Dan's idea, I have figured out whats was going wrong with my Quickbuild command. I have to write the whole path of the command sage in Texmaker. I replace my pipeline in Options → Configure → QuickBuild → User with pdflatex -synctex=1 -interaction=nonstopmode %.tex | /home/ddas/sage-6.8-x86_64-Linux/sage %.sagetex.sage | pdflatex -synctex=1 -interaction=nonstopmode %.tex . And that also worked for me. Thank you guys..
    – ddas
    Oct 26, 2015 at 8:30

1 Answer 1


One way to work around this is to put all the commands you want into a script and just have Texmaker run the script. I downloaded Texmaker and got this working with the following script:


pdflatex $1.tex && sage $1.sagetex.sage && pdflatex $1.tex

Make the script executable -- do chmod a+x your-scripts-name in a terminal -- and then in the Quick Build options, just put /path/to/your-scripts-name % . That worked for me.

One reason I like using a separate script is that I know exactly how it will work. Texmaker's use of the pipe character (|) to separate commands is a bit weird; if I put && in the script, I know that if one command fails, it will not continue to try the other commands. This script will even work well for TeX files that don't use SageTeX: it will run the pdflatex command, then try the Sage command, which will fail because there's no .sagetex.sage file, and then the script will skip the second pdflatex.

  • Hi @Dan. Your method works for me. It is surely better to write our own script.
    – ddas
    Oct 26, 2015 at 7:50

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