I have installed TeXlive from texlive.org and all I need to do now is, too say to my ubuntu system that TeXlive is installed.

I have found this which says:

Tell APT about your TeX Live installation by building a dummy package using equivs:

$ aptitude install equivs # as root 
mkdir /tmp/tl-equivs && cd /tmp/tl-equivs 
equivs-control texlive-local
# edit texlive-local (see below) 
$ equivs-build texlive-local
$ sudo dpkg -i texlive-local_2017-1_all.deb

At the step "edit texlive-local", edit the Maintainer field and the list of the packages provided by your local TeX Live installation as appropriate. If you installed scheme-full except collection-texinfo as recommended, the file should look like the following example file for TL 2017.

I am a bit new to ubuntu so sorry for the maybe stupid question: I just have to type the six line into the terminal (with that $ signs?) and what do I have to do at the forth line?

  • The $ are prompts. They tell you that this command should be entered as user (without the $). The other prompt you see is #. Those tell you that this command should be entered with root privileges (without the #). Those are the default prompts of bash.
    – Skillmon
    Feb 16, 2018 at 13:55
  • Instead of the equivs-control texlive-local step, I usually just download https://www.tug.org/texlive/files/debian-equivs-2017-ex.txt (or the more suitable year), listed on tug.org/texlive/debian.html, then save it as texlive-local, build and install.
    – daleif
    Feb 16, 2018 at 13:55
  • @daleif Where do you save it and how do you build it and install it? After that you don't need to continue with lines 4-6?
    – user115202
    Feb 16, 2018 at 14:01
  • After performing line 2 in your posted list, run wget https://www.tug.org/texlive/files/debian-equivs-2017-ex.txt, that will save this fir to the folder you are currently in (/tmp/tl-equivs), next rename it: mv debian-equivs-2017-ex.txt texlive-local, then run the last two lines in your list. Ubuntu till probably complain about missing freetype or glute, that is solved by running sudo apt install -f (this resolves any missing dependencies from the dpkg command).
    – daleif
    Feb 16, 2018 at 14:08

1 Answer 1


Too long for a comment, there is step by step (with no explanations) of what I normally do

sudo apt install equivs 
mkdir /tmp/tl-equivs && cd /tmp/tl-equivs 
wget https://www.tug.org/texlive/files/debian-equivs-2017-ex.txt -O texlive-local
equivs-build texlive-local
sudo dpkg -i texlive-local_2017-1_all.deb
sudo apt install -f

perform them one line at a time.

In line 3 I used -O to specify the name the file should be saved under. Change the URL to something fitting for you (hello future visitor), the link comes from https://www.tug.org/texlive/debian.html. In the dpkg line, the file name should of course be the generated file name.

The last line resolves any dependencies left over by running the dpkg command (which cannot resolve dependencies, apt can, but apt is usually not used to install local packages).

  • Thank you, I did it. If I do tlmgr update --all now, I got the message that the programm tlmgr is not installed. Is that normal?
    – user115202
    Feb 16, 2018 at 14:21
  • @user372565 First of, these lines only build and install an equivs package, telling Ubuntu that you have installed something equivalent to the Ubuntu texlive packages. What you manually installed texlive?
    – daleif
    Feb 16, 2018 at 14:27
  • I have manually installed texlive, yes. So if I type tlmgr update --list, I get a list with packages for which there is an update. That works. But if I type tlmgr update --all I get the message: tlmgr: package repository http://mirror.hmc.edu/ctan/systems/texlive/tlnet (verified) You don't have permission to change the installation in any way, specifically, the directory /usr/local/texlive/2017/tlpkg/ is not writable. Please run this program as administrator, or contact your local admin. tlmgr: An error has occurred. See above messages. Exiting.
    – user115202
    Feb 16, 2018 at 14:32
  • But if I type sudo tlmgr update --all I get the message that the program tlmgr is not installed.
    – user115202
    Feb 16, 2018 at 14:35
  • As part of the installation you added the new TeXLive path somewhere, where exactly did you add that path? When you run sudo the path (where the system looks for programmes) is not the same as the path for your user. Also if this is a single person system, you would not install it in /usr/local/texlive (as it is owned by root), I typically create /opt/texlive and make it owned by me and then install texlive there as me.
    – daleif
    Feb 16, 2018 at 14:46

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