Is there a standalone version of LaTeX that might run of, say, a USB stick? So a version that doesn't need installing. I am looking for something to run under Windows.


Update 2014-02: It has been two years since this response was written. As of February 2014, available packages for USB installation are: TexLive option to run from USB stick (for multiple OSes), MikTex Portable, and TexPortable (both Windows).

Original response:

I guess you're looking for USBTeX: http://www.exomatik.net/U-Latex/USBTeXEnglish

Update 2014-02: USBTeX seems to be no longer maintained; the above URL does not work anymore.

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    It looks as if this is a windoze only solution. – user10274 Feb 11 '12 at 0:03
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    @MarcvanDongen: Of course, since the OP explicitly asked for it. – Karolos Feb 11 '12 at 0:04
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    Thanks for clarifying. I just wanted to add the comment because some answers are for multiple platforms. – user10274 Feb 11 '12 at 0:05
  • OK. I didn't think about that. Good point :) – Karolos Feb 11 '12 at 0:06
  • @symera: Thanks for pointing this out. I have updated this answer 2 years after to include the current status. – Karolos Feb 12 '14 at 10:42

TeXLive has options for running from a USB stick.

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    This solution is for multiple OSs. – user10274 Feb 11 '12 at 0:04

MikTex Portable is exactly what you want. It is a "portable" version of MiKTeX, one of the major TeX distributions, by the MiKTeX project itself. It's the first thing to try before considering repackaged distributions.

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    It would be great if the answer would contain more than just a link, such as a short information what MiKTeX Portable offers. An edit would be nice, for future readers. – Stefan Kottwitz Feb 10 '12 at 22:55

USBTeX is no longer maintained and the link (http://www.exomatik.net/U-Latex/USBTeXEnglish) is broken, so if you still are looking for a portable LaTeX environment for Windows, you could try TexPortable, which you can obtain from here.

Basically it's a combination of MiKTeX, Texmaker and SumatraPDF.

If you're going to give it a try, please let me know if you have any problems.


The Knoppix DVD has LaTeX(TeXLive distro), Kile,TeXmaker and even Lyx basically pre-installed. It will run in VMWare, VirtualBox, or any other virtualization software. You can download the ISO image. Be advised this is an entire operating system, which runs from the DVD. You can boot into it outright, or just run it in a Virtual Machine. Order CD/DVD online and other KNOPPIX vendors in addition to vendors at distrowatch can send you a DVD for cheap

  • Would you be able to provide a link to the software? – Werner Feb 12 '12 at 0:26
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    You can download the ISO image knoppix.net/get.php. Be advised this is an entire operating system, which runs from the DVD. You can boot into it outright, or just run it in a Virtual Machine. OSDisc.org and other vendors (linked to on distrowatch.com) can send you a DVD for cheap. – Mark Hornberger Feb 13 '12 at 17:52

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