I've been running LaTeX for about a decade on my Macs and I've picked up a Dell Chromebook for travelling (to install Linux via Crouton). Pretty much the only reason to do this over a tablet is that I want a proper LaTeX installation on it. The CB has only 2GB RAM and a 16 GB hard drive so I need to be careful with resources.

Question: any recommended way to keep the LaTeX size in check or otherwise optimize my setup so I can happily write and compile? This is a working computer so if I can run LaTeX smoothly, I'm happy.

I've only ever run the odd command line command so advice would be very welcome on how to install via command line (on Linux) so I get full packages (so I'm self contained for travel and minimal internet access) but without all the disk hogging documentation.

I was able to install with the command: sudo apt-get install texlive AND sudo apt-get install texlive-full but not fully certain either of these is quite what I was after. (Not sure how to verify.) I want full packages but no documentation. Suggestions?


  • Welcome! Choice of distro is off-topic here. It is irrelevant to LaTeX if you use upstream's installer. If you use your distro's packages of TeX Live, you will want to see if they are sufficiently current for your usage. Many distros will be using older editions of TL so if you want the same as the latest MacTeX, you will probably want upstream. You can control the size in the normal way if space is really limited, but it always makes life more complicated, of course. – cfr Mar 31 '16 at 2:46
  • tex.stackexchange.com/questions/18939/…. tex.stackexchange.com/questions/1092/… is highly recommended. Easy to adapt for distros other than Debian-based e.g. adapts fine for Fedora, Arch etc. – cfr Mar 31 '16 at 2:49
  • Thanks. Distro question is a sidebar. I just wanted people to understand the fuller question I'm asking. And by that I mean distribution of Linux, not LaTeX. The "normal way"? What is that? – mangobait Mar 31 '16 at 18:15
  • Well, you can tailor the installation. Just read the instructions. Either way, you can tailor it: either picking distro packages or picking stuff in upstream's installer. Makes life more complicated, but if you've no choice, you have to do it. – cfr Mar 31 '16 at 19:29
  • Thanks. Even finding a forum that discusses LaTeX + Crouton would be great. Posted this on the Crouton "issues" page on Github: I want to run LaTex on my Chromebook (Dell 11, 2GB RAM, 1.7 GHz) and prefer Crouton. Question 1: can I maintain a LaTeX install if I update Ubuntu from 12.04 to 14.04 (or soon 16.04)? Or would I have to reinstall LaTeX? (14.04 or newer preferred.) Question 2: Which distro (Ubuntu preferred) is best to run LaTeX? Or am I best to not use Crouton? I'm new to Crouton (and fairly new to Linux) but old to LaTeX (used it on OSX for a decade). – mangobait Apr 1 '16 at 15:23

If you install vanilla texlive via the command line (e.g. from https://www.tug.org/texlive/acquire-netinstall.html) you can de-select things like documentation and languages you don't need. At the bottom you will always see the required size for your selection:

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