I'd like to install TeX Live, but I'd like to know the best option: download the ISO image or install through apt-get command: apt-get texlivefull.

I am using Xubuntu 11.10. Is there a significant difference between the two types of installations? Will I have the same packages?

Can I use Kile editor with Tex Live installed through the ISO image? Is it hard to configure it?

  • 1
  • 1
    Generically, if you run ubuntu it's not a good idea to go around apt and install software by other mechanisms. If you install software using apt, you get bug fixes automatically every time you do updates. Some of these bug fixes may be fixes for security flaws. Also, software uses libraries, and part of apt's job is to coordinate updates of apps and libraries so that they're always compatible with each other. If you don't let it do its job, then apps may randomly break, and you may have a hard time diagnosing or fixing the problem. Going around apt should be a last resort.
    – user6853
    Jan 14, 2012 at 1:12
  • 3
    @BenCrowell, Usually I'd agree with this. However, given that it is unlikely for TeXLive to ever be a security risk, and that updating though tlmgr is so simple, I think TL2011 is a reasonably safe exception to make. TeXLive is batteries included, so libraries aren't an issue. Some things in Debian/Ubuntu may pull TL2009 as a dependency, but provided Kile is pointed to TL2011 this is not an issue either.
    – qubyte
    Jan 14, 2012 at 5:43
  • 2
    Normally I would agree that it it not a good idea to go around apt. But... shipping TeX Live 2009 in 2012 is downright embarrassing.
    – Sharpie
    Jan 14, 2012 at 6:39
  • 2
    I strongly disagree with Ben, too. "You get bug fixes automatically every time you do updates" is just a bad joke in case of TeXlive. There is TL2009 in the repros of Ubuntu, and there was never an update available (since 2009).
    – user2574
    Jan 14, 2012 at 8:27

2 Answers 2


AFAIK, Ubuntu ships with TeXLive 2009. The iso image is TeXLive 2011. There were many changes during this time.

Also, tlmgr allows you to update the packages from the online repository.

I used Debian TeXLive for many years, until changed to the current TeXLive at the end of 2011. I just got tired of manually updating my distribution with the new versions of the packages I needed.

AFAIK, Kile should work with TL'2011 without problems.

  • My guess is that most latex users only use features and packages that are much more than two years old and are stable and well tested. For them, a 2011 version will be absolutely indistinguishable from a 2009 version. My advice to the OP would be to install using apt, and only resort to installing from an ISO if s/he finds that s/he is being affected by a bug or needs a missing feature.
    – user6853
    Jan 14, 2012 at 1:15
  • 1
    @BenCrowell This is not correct with respect to XeTeX users, LuaTeX users, ConTeXt users. LaTeX is much more stable, but packages that rely on l3 like siunitx change quickly. Also many beautiful fonts have been added recently. Of course being a consultant I feel the urge to have the current installation, and I can imagine many LaTeX users happily working with TL2009, but some new packages are really cool...
    – Boris
    Jan 14, 2012 at 1:59
  • 1
    Although I am a self-confessed early adopter, I'd say that the differences between 2009 and 2011 are significant enough to go with 2011, whatever your needs. I've installed it on Debian and Ubuntu distributions without any issues at all. tlmgr makes it a very smooth ride too. I recommend the installation over the internet option over the ISO though, unless you'll need to install on multiple machines. The internet install will likely have the most up to date packages.
    – qubyte
    Jan 14, 2012 at 5:37

I don't know what the difference between the two types of installations are but installing TeX Live from an ISO image is not hard in any way. It has both a graphical and text-based installation wizard that lets you choose packages, languages, documentation etc. and it can also install the binaries.

You must log in to answer this question.

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