I know a similar question has been asked many times, but I cannot seem to port those answers to my situation.

I have recently installed TeXLive on my Ubuntu 14.04 system. I did this using the install-tl.zip file from texlive.org.

When I try to compile just the basic TeXLive default article, it crashes on every package, giving me (just to pick the first one):

! LaTeX Error: File 'booktabs.sty' not found.

But I know booktabs.sty is on my system:


I have the following lines at the end of my .bashrc:

export PATH
export MANPATH

None of those lines point to the location of any of my .sty files, and I'm not sure what variable should.

Thank you for your help.

  • Welcome! You should almost certainly remove MANPATH. However, that's not the problem here, obviously. Can you compile a document on the command line? If not, what does which pdflatex give? (Substitute whichever command you use to compile e.g. which xelatex or which context.) If you can compile at the command line but not in your editor, which editor do you use?
    – cfr
    Sep 16, 2016 at 1:24
  • Have a look through the answers to tex.stackexchange.com/questions/1092/… to see if you've missed anything. For example, it may be that you have a partial Ubuntu installation of TeX as well as the one in /usr/local, in which case you need to remove it but keep your package manager happy. The answers to the linked question explain the details.
    – cfr
    Sep 16, 2016 at 1:26
  • @cfr Thanks! I only have one pdflatex: which pdflatex /usr/local/texlive/2016/bin/x86_64-linux/pdflatex Sep 16, 2016 at 1:29
  • So what does which pdflatex give? Can you compile on the command line?
    – cfr
    Sep 16, 2016 at 1:30
  • @cfr compiling via command line works using pdflatex test.tex The problem seems to be with TeXWorks. Sep 16, 2016 at 1:33

1 Answer 1


I solved my issue by following the answer by @Dox here.

Specifically, simply running

sudo apt-get -y install texlive-latex-recommended texlive-pictures texlive-latex-extra

fixed my installation.

I confess that I don't entirely understand why that worked, and I would love it if someone would explain why. Using install-tl.tar.gz from TeXlive seems to have installed LaTeX into /usr/local. But that does not come with an editor, like TeXworks. Downloading TeXworks from the ubuntu software center seems to make the editor think that all LaTeX .sty files will be located in in /usr/share. Finally, running the above line of code makes the editor work, yet my /usr/share/ installation doesn't balloon to ~2 GB. I still seem to only have one "full" LaTeX installation in /usr/local (1.8 GB), while /usr/share is very small (100 MB).

I would appreciate any explanation of why this works, or ideas about what is going on behind the scenes of my installation(s?).


  • I cannot answer why /usr/share is so small, but you definitely seem to have two different installations. (A simple test: as we know which latex is returning the version installed by Apt, then do you have commands like latex in [something like] /usr/local/texlive/2016/texmf-dist/tex/latex?) Your basic issue is that you tried to install the editor from Apt, but TeX Live for the official sources; and I imagine Apt-installed versions of TeXworks assume you will install TeX Live from Apt as well. But, originally, you did not.
    – jon
    Sep 17, 2016 at 22:14
  • 1
    You can also check and see which version of a package (e.g., booktabs) is being used by adding \listfiles to the top of your .tex file, compiling the file, and then examining the end of the resulting .log file.
    – jon
    Sep 17, 2016 at 22:17
  • @jon How do you know that the /usr/bin/latex is the one from apt? Putting \listfiles at the beginning of my document confirms that it is finding the .sty files in /usr/share which is the small installation from apt. I'm considering removing both and trying to install from tug.org again. Can I just rm -r /usr/local/texlive to eliminate that entire install? I'll use my package manager to remove the /usr/share/ version. Thank you for your help. I've been a user of TeX for a while, but have rarely dipped into the behind the scenes things. I appreciate your help and patience. Sep 18, 2016 at 20:55
  • I know because I've done it both ways over the years. TUG's version installs into the corresponding year directory under /usr/local/texlive (see your comment below question; and this is why you had to set your PATH variable). I'd do rm -rf /usr/local/texlive/2016 if you want to uninstall it. Then reinstall and make sure the PATH is OK; then I'd install the 'fake version' of TeX Live from Apt (see here); then install TeXworks or your editor of choice.
    – jon
    Sep 18, 2016 at 21:10

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