Currently my Tex Live directory is placed at /usr/share/texlive, but it is taking up about 2.1 GB of space. I would like to move it to an SD card that I use for semi-permanent storage in /run/media/${user}/sdcard. Is this possible?

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    yes did you try? all texlive binaries are self locating so will set default search paths depending where they are so you can move the whole tree to anywhere, you just need to set the PATH to wherever you put it Nov 2, 2016 at 12:57
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    Not exactly a duplicate, but you should find a lot of useful resources at tex.stackexchange.com/q/49936/34551
    – Clément
    Nov 2, 2016 at 13:12
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    There are rare cases that applications not in texlive have problems with the move, because they have built in assumptions about where things are, or because supervisor programs like apparmor prevent the programs from accessing the new places. One example is evince when displaying dvi files, at least in Debian and Ubuntu; see Tex Live installation, and a problem of getting evince to show dvi files for the required adjustments.
    – gernot
    Nov 2, 2016 at 13:25

1 Answer 1


Definitely possible. I would suggest the following:

  1. Copy the entire texlive directory to its new directory
  2. Once copying is complete, go into /usr/share, do sudo rm -r texlive (or become root first if you have no sudo privileges) and create a symlink to the new directory: `ln -s /what/ever/texlive texlive

In this way, you don't need to tell TeX about the path change. Edit: good to know (as per David's comment) that TeX executables are self-locating. However, if you try to install additional LaTeX packages through your OS package manager for example, it is best to fake the original directory structure.

  • Beautiful. This is the solution I ended up going with. Thanks!
    – sb2150
    Nov 8, 2016 at 11:53

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