How large is a FULL install of TexLive? (2> and what about the RECOMMENDED install of TeXLive and also of MiKTeX?)

  • 2
    TeXLive Full is on my Linux about 4.5 GB -- not really large for modern hard disks ;-) – user31729 Apr 5 '16 at 18:44
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    same for MiKTeX. also basic installs of both TeXLive and MiKTeX are around 1.2GB. – naphaneal Apr 5 '16 at 19:23
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    With du -sh /usr/local/texlive/2015 I get 5.2G (I have one backup for each updated package). – egreg Apr 5 '16 at 19:26
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    I recommend a full installation because the extra hard drive space is far outweighed by the fact that you won't have trouble with missing packages. Even with MiKTeX, problems can arise when the base installation gets too old and the automatic download feature stops working. – Ian Thompson Apr 5 '16 at 19:39
  • in addition to what @IanThompson said: if internet connection is unavailable, one has everything at hand. – naphaneal Apr 5 '16 at 21:07

Reserved disc space for MiKTeX and/or TeX Live:

Basic Installation: takes minimum of 1.2GB
Full Installation: takes minimum of 4.5GB, but usually less than 5.5GB

Recommended Installation reserves 3.2GB.

I recommend a full installation, so all packages are installed, in case one has no internet connection.


For a full TeXLive:

voss@shania:~> du -h /usr/local/texlive/2016/
4,9G    /usr/local/texlive/2016/

The following screenshot of SpaceSniffer provides us with the details visually.

enter image description here

TeXLive 2020 full installation needs about 7.2GB where

  • Fonts take about 2.9GB
  • Documentation takes about 2.7GB
  • Others take about 1.6GB.

Bonus question: Every year it increases by xGB. Find x.


For TeXLive 2018, my computer says 3.9 G by running du -h /usr/local/texlive/2018/, with 3.7GB taken up by texmf-dist (of which 1.7GB is taken up by the doc folder, and 1.4GB by the fonts folder).

If you enable tlmgr backups feature, this base size will further grow. This is why I am unsure about the above answers. A certain amount of time might have elapsed between when they installed TL on their machines and when this question was answered. The TL binaries themselves are not that big, about 125 MB in my case.

I'd like to add that I have had no problems compiling a large variety of documents with a custom installation of packages so that the whole distribution weighs under 750 MB (726 MB as of today). When writing/compiling latex documents, I work offline since it helps me to focus better. I am not sure if installing all the fonts is meaningful anyway, and a common selection is sufficient (116 MB for me today). Even if a specific font is not available on your computer while you are having no internet access, you may simply substitute the exotic font with the basic ones to get to see the typeset PDF. I have ahad no problems with this approach and I can vouch for this approach since I peer-review latex code of all types (as the graduate school's designated LaTeX GTA) in my university.

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