When using the TeX Live Manager or browsing CTAN, sometimes I want to know what TeX Live collection a particular package is found in. What is a convenient way to check?

  • 1
    With TeX Live collection you mean the TeX Live version or the used binary package name? The CTAN entry shows if the package is in the current (online) TeX Live version and what's the TeX Live package name is (usually identical to the real package name). Nov 14, 2011 at 12:38
  • Also, do you mean the TeX Live collection from 'vanilla' TL or say when repackaged for a Linux distribution?
    – Joseph Wright
    Nov 14, 2011 at 13:25
  • I am referring to a TeX Live installation installed directly from tug.org/texlive. I don't see any collection information listed that Web site or CTAN.
    – Village
    Nov 14, 2011 at 13:50

1 Answer 1


The terminal command

tlmgr show abc

answers with

package:     abc
category:    Package
shortdesc:   Support ABC music notation in LaTeX.
longdesc:    The abc package lets you include lines of music written in the ABC Plus language. The package will then employ the \write18 facility to convert your notation to PostScript (using the established utility abcm2ps) and hence to the format needed for inclusion in your document.
installed:   Yes
revision:    15878
cat-version: .0
cat-date:    2008-03-08 20:47:21 +0100
cat-license: lppl
collection:  collection-music

Pardon the advertising. :)

It will show the information also for not installed packages.

  • And if there is no tlmgr command? On some systems it cannot even be meaningfully used (e.g. NixOS) and on others it takes an expert to use (e.g. Ubuntu). I have found this list: mirror.ctan.org/systems/texlive/tlnet/tlpkg/texlive.tlpdb , is it "official"? Is there anything better?
    – Alexey
    Mar 4, 2017 at 10:50
  • @Alexey There are so many variations! Never heard of NixOS.
    – egreg
    Mar 4, 2017 at 11:15
  • sorry, i didn't understand: variations of what? There is not "official" partition of packages into collections? It is not documented?
    – Alexey
    Mar 4, 2017 at 11:39
  • @Alexey Debian, for instance, uses a packaging that mostly reflects TeX Live “collections”. With apt I'm sure you can look at the contents of each package; recent versions of TeX Live/Debian allow using tlmgr.
    – egreg
    Mar 4, 2017 at 11:44
  • 2
    Ok, but where are TeX Live "collections" documented or listed?
    – Alexey
    Mar 4, 2017 at 11:47

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .