I tried to install Tex Live on Ubuntu, but I'm stuck. I installed the "install-tl" folder on to my computer and I ran "perl install-tl" on the terminal in the correct directory and waited for all the packages to install. But now, It's asking me to create Paths and create what I assume is a folder and I have no idea what to do. I even checked the website, but now I'm even more confused. All help is greatly appreciated!

Edit: I also have TeXStudio installed as someone had told me that I also needed that.

This is the message that appeared at the bottom of the terminal after installation was complete:

Welcome to TeX Live!

See /usr/local/texlive/2020/index.html for links to documentation. The TeX Live web site (https://tug.org/texlive/) contains any updates and corrections. TeX Live is a joint project of the TeX user groups around the world; please consider supporting it by joining the group best for you. The list of groups is available on the web at https://tug.org/usergroups.html.

Add /usr/local/texlive/2020/texmf-dist/doc/man to MANPATH. Add /usr/local/texlive/2020/texmf-dist/doc/info to INFOPATH. Most importantly, add /usr/local/texlive/2020/bin/x86_64-linux to your PATH for current and future sessions. Logfile: /usr/local/texlive/2020/install-tl.log

  • It did, thank you a lot!
    – TC159
    Jul 20, 2020 at 0:56

1 Answer 1


You can find complete instructions here, but what this is telling you is to add commands to set those environment variables to a file that will be read when you log in. The directories already exist. Your system just needs to be told that there are programs and documentation in them.

That is, you can only run a command such as lualatex if /usr/local/texlive/2020/bin/x86_64-linux is in your PATH, and man lualatex will only work if /usr/local/texlive/2020/texmf-dist/doc/man is in your MANPATH.

The commands you need are:

export PATH
export MANPATH

To enable them for all users on your system, save them to a new file, /etc/profile.d/texlive.sh.

To enable them only for yourself, you would need to add them to ~/.profile, and also ~/.bash_profile if it exists.

I would additionally, if you haven’t already, add the command

alias update-tex='sudo -u tex -E $(which tlmgr) update --self --all'

This allows you to update your TeX Live installation by typing update-tex. That is, after you first create the tex system account and give it ownership of your TeX tree:

sudo adduser --system --group --home-dir /usr/local/texlive tex
sudo chown -R tex:tex /usr/local/texlive/

From now on, package installers will only have permission to read or modify your TeX installation, not all the power of root. You will also be able to use your own password instead of having to set one for the tex account.

  • 1
    Thank you so much, you're an incredible person! I think I was able to do it, I even created a document to test this out and it seems to have worked imgur.com/a/HHyiVyC
    – TC159
    Jul 20, 2020 at 0:55
  • 1
    Thank you Davislor, this helped me too 3 years later. Do you know of any guide about the problem of TeXLive "installation for all users" vs "installation for specific user" on Ubuntu? Unfortunately the Guide says "If you want to make these changes globally, or for a user newly added to the system, then you are on your own". So one is not even sure what will happen running perl ./install-tl vs sudo perl ./install-tl...
    – pglpm
    Jun 21, 2023 at 10:41
  • 1
    @pglpm I have mine owned to tex. That is, first sudo mkdir /usr/local/texlive, then the last two commands in my post, sudo adduser --system --group --home-dir /usr/local/texlive tex and sudo chown -R tex:tex /usr/local/texlive/. Now that you have a tex account that owns the installation directory, you can sudo -u tex -E perl ./install-tl, and the install script should run with the permissions of tex. That is, they will be own the TeX tree, but not be able to read your files or have all the power of root.
    – Davislor
    Jun 21, 2023 at 15:48
  • Thank you, much appreciated!
    – pglpm
    Jun 21, 2023 at 16:00

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