Since installing Ubuntu, I noticed that it has an old version of TeXLive, namely, TeXLive 2009. To get the latest version, I downloaded and installed TeXLive 2011 from CTAN. As this installs itself in a separate directory, I noticed that I now have two versions of TeXLive installed on my system.

My first question is, can I safely remove the old version using the Synaptic Package Manager, for example, without affecting the newer version, or do I need to uninstall both, and reinstall TeXLive 2011 by itself?

My second question is, does it really matter since I have done the proper thing, and set PATH to include the new version of TeXLive? Note that all works fine if I, for example, run pdflatex at the system prompt (that is, it uses the latest version).

My third question is, which version is KILE using? Is it using the first one it finds in the PATH, or is it still pointing to the old version?

Any help/advice would be appreciated.

  • 2
    AFAIK, you can remove the 2009 version, but there is no harm in leaving it (except some disk space). As far as Kile, I think it would depend on how you are launching it. Try typing which kile at the command prompt. Sep 7, 2011 at 1:12
  • Thanks for that @Peter. I typed which kile at the system prompt as you said - it is pointing to /usr/bin/kile, which is the same directory as those executables belonging to the old version of TeXLive.
    – Bill
    Sep 7, 2011 at 1:31
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    P.S. It would appear that KILE is using the latest TeXLive version according a log file generated by compiling a LaTeX source file using KILE. Once again, thank you for your help @Peter. At least now I know that I can keep both versions of TeXLive under Ubuntu without there being any conflict.
    – Bill
    Sep 7, 2011 at 2:05
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    You should keep all of them if you want to use kile, because he has the Ubuntu version as a dependencies. The best thing is to keep both of them, they will not conflict
    – Spike
    Sep 7, 2011 at 6:36
  • Thanks for that @Spike. I intend to keep both of them. BTW - I like how you personified Kile. He/she gets around, eh? ;-)
    – Bill
    Sep 7, 2011 at 7:45

1 Answer 1


I run TeX Live 2011 but also have most, if not all, the synaptic-managed packages from Ubuntu 11.04 on the systems. By having the paths set up correctly most software packages work well, especially those run from the command line that are part of TeX Live (I went through this in more detail in a response to a related question).

However, if you read through that answer you will notice that some software tools do not follow the set path; they have internal settings that could reference, in both our cases, the wrong versions of other tools and packages.

The version of TeXworks I run does this but has a simple configuration setting to modify.

I rarely use Kile but if you look at the menu for the synaptic-installed Kile at Settings -> Configure Kile -> Kile -> Help that the default path to the LaTeX help system is set to /usr/share/doc/texlive-doc. This is wrong on my system and may be on yours but is simply changed. On running a simple pdflatex build the output window shows This is pdfTeX, Version 3.1415926-1.40.10 (TeX Live 2009/Debian) which is not the version I would want it to run by default for live work. I do not know of a single configuration setting that can change this. A Kile support discussion suggested several workrounds that you may want to consider including running it from the console, as Peter commented above.

In the discussion below Bill comments that "the latest release of KILE (Version 2.1) contains the fix" and provides a link to a pre-general release PPA.

  • You can always write a shell script to set the PATH correctly and then launch kile. Then change the menu option so that it loads the shell script instead of kile. Sep 7, 2011 at 10:51
  • I could have sworn that KILE was using the latest version of TeXLive!!!! Apparently not!
    – Bill
    Sep 7, 2011 at 12:39
  • Thanks @Andrew but that is a bit beyond me at this stage. Will make do with the tools that I have. Worse comes to worse, I will run pdflatex from the Konsole window.
    – Bill
    Sep 7, 2011 at 12:41
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    @mas: You are correct. I hadn't tried out kile before posting and assumed it would work much like other commands. Now that I've downloaded it, I see that it's more complicated than I thought. One could still change the configuration in a text editor which would be faster than doing it tool-by-tool in kile, but I agree that this is not ideal. Sep 7, 2011 at 16:38
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    @mas: PS - I posted a similar question under Ask Ubuntu. Suffice it to say that the latest release of KILE (Version 2.1) contains the fix, and it will be available in the next release of Ubuntu (Version 11.10). In the meantime, one may download the stable PPA version from the following web site: https://launchpad.net/~kile/+archive/stable.
    – Bill
    Sep 9, 2011 at 0:39

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