I'm very confused about how I should be using TexWorks on Ubuntu, and what the difference is between TexWorks, TexLive, and MikTex.

So, I installed the TexLive package with sudo apt-get install texlive, because according to the website, this also installs TexWorks. However, after this installation, I could not find any reference to TexWorks on my machine. So, I then installed the TexWorks package with sudo apt-get install texworks. Now, I can open a .text file with TexWorks.

But I am confused as to whether I am now using TexWorks, or TexLive (and what about MikTex?).

Also, I am getting errors such as LaTeX Error: Filebbm.sty' not found.` This means I need to install this package. How can I do this? I am used to running TexWorks and MikTex in Windows, where packages were automatically installed on-the-fly as they were required, and ideally I would like something like this.


  • 1
    TeXworks = editor, TeX Live = compiler, MiKTeX = same as TeX Live but for Windows. Use any editor you want to type your document, I recommend kile, as it is well suited for LaTeX and more powerful.
    – naphaneal
    Commented Mar 17, 2016 at 16:26
  • Note that if you get LaTeX (texlive) from say Ubuntu, then texlive is split up into a plethora of small bundles which is very confusing for the casual user. It might be better for you to install texlive-full (I think that is the name), which just tells Ubuntu to install all those smaller Ubuntu bundles. If you are an experienced Linux user, you might want to manually install TUG TeX Live (tug.org/texlive) instead, as it is more up to date.
    – daleif
    Commented Mar 17, 2016 at 16:56
  • if you have enough space on your hard drive, just install sudo apt-get install texlive-full, then you will have nearly all packages available Commented Mar 17, 2016 at 16:56
  • 1
    Texworks is only one of the several LaTeX editors in Ubuntu , as Gummi, Latexila, Kile, TeXmaker, TeXstudio, Winefish... but you can use many other text editors for this, as Geany, RStudio, even mcedit or nano, that can help in more or less extent in LaTeX edition (syntax highlight, macros, etc.) and even in the compilation (at the risk to start a bloody flame war, also to vim and emacs, of course). TexLive/MikTeX are huge file collections that allow convert any TeX code in a beautiful .pdf (or .ps or .html or ...) with/without using a LaTeX editor.
    – Fran
    Commented Mar 17, 2016 at 19:10

1 Answer 1


You have posed several questions, let us do them one by one and start with the first about what all these names are:

  • TeX Live and MikTeX are TeX distributions. They provide all the necessary programs like the tex program, latex program (format), dvips, and many more.

  • TeX Works is an editor for TeX related files. It can use whatever TeX distribution is available.

Both TeXLive and MikTeX are available for Linux, Mac and Windows systems. See the TeXLive and MikTeX download pages for more information.

After installing texworks you are now editing files with the TeX Works editor. The editor can convert tex files to pdf by using the installed TeX distribution.

Concerning bbm.sty: You installed the package texlive which says

TeX Live: A decent selection of the TeX Live packages

It does not install the full TeX Live, but only texlive-latex-recommended and texlive-fonts-recommended and texlive-latex-base packages. These packages correspond to the original TeX Live collections of the nearly same name.

The above information you can see with apt-cache show texlive.

The missing file you mentioned, bbm.sty, is in texlive-fonts-extra. You can find this by for example

$ apt-cache search bbm
bbmail - Mail notifier for Blackbox/Fluxbox
r-cran-bbmisc - GNU R Miscellaneous helper functions for B. Bischl
texlive-fonts-extra - TeX Live: Additional fonts

which should give you a hint. You need to install at least the above package with sudo apt-get install texlive-fonts-extra, but in case you are not tight on disk space, I recommend sudo apt-get install texlive-full.

(Disclaimer: TeX Live and Debian maintainer)

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