I want to install a package (specifically xlop). I'm using TeXLive on Ubuntu, and I don't really know my way around LaTeX.

Can apt-get install or something similar be used?

  • As well as the question that Martin mentions, I'd like to point you to tex.stackexchange.com/q/13709/86 which might help you a bit. Sep 15, 2011 at 11:11
  • I actually use WINE to run MiKTeX (or rather, Texmaker on top of MiKTeX), because I love the auto-installation feature of MiKTeX so much...
    – DevSolar
    Sep 15, 2011 at 14:27
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    What abut "apt-get install texlive-full"? Aug 1, 2013 at 21:57
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    @Anton : That might be a bad idea if you're on Ubuntu with a more recent version than the one that comes with Ubuntu. For instance, Ubuntu comes with a very outdated version of TeXLive (2009). If you manually install TeXLive 2012, the "texlive-full" is for the 2009 version ; you don't wanna do that. But of course if you want the 2009 version coming with Ubuntu and you're missing packages texlive-full is the way to go. Aug 16, 2013 at 3:24

3 Answers 3


A lot of frequently used *TeX packages have been combined into Ubuntu packages. In this case a quick search in the Ubuntu Package Manager shows that xlop is part of the texlive-generic-extra package, which you can install using apt-get install or the GUI as preferred.

Having said that, it's not particularly difficult to install *TeX packages manually once you've identified the right tree to put them in (CTAN has pre-zipped versions of a lot of packages, which makes it even easier - you just have to unzip them at the right place and run texhash), and you then have the advantage of being sure you're up-to-date. At the moment I believe the Ubuntu versions are lagging quite a way behind TeX Live releases (let alone any subsequent package updates).

  • I'm on Ubuntu 10.04 and just downloading the zip file, unzipping it, running make (in the case of the minted package) and running texhash was super easy.
    – krupan
    Nov 20, 2012 at 18:21
  • No xlop found in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS in apt-cache. What is the role of the xlop here? Jan 13, 2016 at 14:16
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    For anyone not knowing this: you can search with apt-cache search xlop.
    – bugybunny
    Nov 2, 2017 at 3:49

Ubuntu and Debian ship with a totally outdated TeXLive 2009. The current version is 2011, released a couple of weeks ago. I highly recommend installing TeXLive using its own installer instead as described in How to install “vanilla” TeXLive on Debian or Ubuntu?. Then you can install packages using the normal tlmgr package manager:

tlmgr install <package name>

To update a package use:

tlmgr update <package name>

To update all packages (and tlmgr itself):

tlmgr update --self --all

This tool is not shipped in Ubuntu because they don't want any other tool installing files. Unfortunately software like the LaTeX editor Kile has TeXLive (the Ubuntu version) as its dependency, even if there is no binary one. They simplest way would be to keep the old TeXLive around and not to uninstall it. You might be able simply delete the files, though.

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    tlmgr didn't work for me at all, it seems to be completely absent. How do I acquire it? I tried apt-get install tlmgr, but it didn't know anything about it. Sep 15, 2011 at 12:41
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    @Eric: As I mentioned, it is not part of the TeXLive installation of Ubuntu. You need to install (the real) TeXLive manually as shown in the linked thread. Sep 15, 2011 at 12:44
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    I'm using LaTeX for the first time in four years. I think that 2009 will seem cutting edge to me. :) Sep 15, 2011 at 12:57
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    And what about packages that are not in the TeXLive repositories, say emerald?
    – Raphael
    May 13, 2014 at 6:14
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    @Raphael I dunno, maybe I don't need them? Or maybe a separate question should be asked? Dec 11, 2015 at 13:29

The best way I have figured out is that :-

  1. first locate well known packages, e.g. locate graphicx
  2. Now you will know how texlive is managing the packages.
  3. Now download your package, for example I have downloaded algorithmicx package.
  4. I pasted at suitable place, in my case ../texlive/texmf-dist/ .
  5. Last command -- sudo texhash it will update the package

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