I installed TexLive through Software Center of Ubuntu. However it does not contain tlmgr which is quite useful to update the packages.

Is it possible to use tlmgr with default TexLive? If yes, how can I only install tlmgr (without installing TexLive 2011)? I ran install.pl script in the downloadable TexLive 2011 installer folder, but I could not find a way to install only tlmgr.


  • No. Debian/Ubuntu's version of TeX Live will always be behind the most current version, and cannot be made to work with tlmgr (and probably never will).
    – jon
    May 16, 2012 at 3:44
  • Of course, many packages are available as a .tds.zip file, which are a breeze to install even on a default Debian/etc. installation.
    – jon
    May 16, 2012 at 3:45

1 Answer 1


You can't use both tlmgr and apt-get (Ubuntu's package manager). Either you manually install TeXLive 2011 from texlive and use tlmgr (which I would recommend), or you go with Ubuntu's packaged version of TeXLive (outdated, based on TeXLive 2009) and update it through apt-get, but you can't mix both.

If you go for a manual install of the latest TeXLive, consider using equivs to create a dummy TeXLive debian package and have your custom TeXLive installation taken into account for Ubuntu dependencies. Practically, put the following into a file called texlive-local.equivs:

Section: misc
Priority: optional
Standards-Version: 3.9.2

Package: texlive-local
Version: 2011-1~1
Maintainer: you <you@domain.org>
Provides: biblatex, biblatex-dw, cm-super, cm-super-minimal, context, dvipng, feynmf, fragmaster, lacheck, latex-beamer, latex-cjk-all, latex-cjk-chinese, latex-cjk-chinese-arphic-bkai00mp, latex-cjk-chinese-arphic-bsmi00lp, latex-cjk-chinese-arphic-gbsn00lp, latex-cjk-chinese-arphic-gkai00mp, latex-cjk-common, latex-cjk-japanese, latex-cjk-japanese-wadalab, latex-cjk-korean, latex-cjk-thai, latex-cjk-xcjk, latexmk, latex-sanskrit, latex-xcolor, lcdf-typetools, lmodern, luatex, musixlyr, musixtex, pgf, preview-latex-style, prosper, ps2eps, psutils, purifyeps, t1utils, tex4ht, tex4ht-common, tex-gyre, texlive, texlive-base, texlive-bibtex-extra, texlive-binaries, texlive-common, texlive-doc-base, texlive-doc-bg, texlive-doc-cs+sk, texlive-doc-de, texlive-doc-el, texlive-doc-en, texlive-doc-es, texlive-doc-fi, texlive-doc-fr, texlive-doc-it, texlive-doc-ja, texlive-doc-ko, texlive-doc-mn, texlive-doc-nl, texlive-doc-pl, texlive-doc-pt, texlive-doc-ru, texlive-doc-si, texlive-doc-th, texlive-doc-tr, texlive-doc-uk, texlive-doc-vi, texlive-doc-zh, texlive-extra-utils, texlive-fonts-extra, texlive-fonts-extra-doc, texlive-fonts-recommended, texlive-fonts-recommended-doc, texlive-font-utils, texlive-formats-extra, texlive-games, texlive-generic-extra, texlive-generic-recommended, texlive-humanities, texlive-humanities-doc, texlive-lang-african, texlive-lang-all, texlive-lang-arab, texlive-lang-arabic, texlive-lang-armenian, texlive-lang-croatian, texlive-lang-cyrillic, texlive-lang-czechslovak, texlive-lang-danish, texlive-lang-dutch, texlive-lang-finnish, texlive-lang-french, texlive-lang-german, texlive-lang-greek, texlive-lang-hebrew, texlive-lang-hungarian, texlive-lang-indic, texlive-lang-italian, texlive-lang-latin, texlive-lang-latvian, texlive-lang-lithuanian, texlive-lang-manju, texlive-lang-mongolian, texlive-lang-norwegian, texlive-lang-other, texlive-lang-polish, texlive-lang-portuguese, texlive-lang-spanish, texlive-lang-swedish, texlive-lang-tibetan, texlive-lang-ukenglish, texlive-lang-vietnamese, texlive-latex3, texlive-latex-base, texlive-latex-base-doc, texlive-latex-extra, texlive-latex-extra-doc, texlive-latex-recommended, texlive-latex-recommended-doc, texlive-luatex, texlive-math-extra, texlive-metapost, texlive-metapost-doc, texlive-music, texlive-omega, texlive-pictures, texlive-pictures-doc, texlive-plain-extra, texlive-pstricks, texlive-pstricks-doc, texlive-publishers, texlive-publishers-doc, texlive-science, texlive-science-doc, texlive-xetex, texpower, texpower-manual, thailatex, tipa, ttf-freefont, ttf-gfs-artemisia, ttf-gfs-baskerville, ttf-gfs-bodoni-classic, ttf-gfs-didot, ttf-gfs-didot-classic, ttf-gfs-gazis, ttf-gfs-neohellenic, ttf-gfs-olga, ttf-gfs-porson, ttf-gfs-solomos, ttf-gfs-theokritos, ttf-sil-gentium, xindy, xindy-rules
Architecture: all
Description: My local installation of TeX Live 2011.
 A full "vanilla" TeX Live 2011

and run

sudo apt-get install equivs
equivs-control texlive-local
equivs-build texlive-local.equivs
sudo dpkg -i texlive-local_2011-1~1_all.deb
  • Thanks for above answer. Will above procedure allow me to install 'bare-minimum' TexLive 2011 packages (just like the default Ubuntu Software Center version)? If yes, how do I specify that? I am not a heavy user of LaTex and do not have so much of disk space as to allow full installation of LaTex 2011. May 16, 2012 at 4:14
  • The TeXLive installer let you choose which "scheme" you want to install, which is basically a pre-determined selection of packages (see the installation documentation on www.tug.org for the list of schemes). Given your limited disk space, start with the "basic" scheme and simply manually add the extra packages you need with tlmgr.
    – Xavier
    May 16, 2012 at 4:20
  • I installed the basic version of TexLive 2011, but tlmgr seems to be missing. How do I install tlmgr only while retaining basic version of TexLive 2011? I get tlmgr: command not found when I run command tlmgr. May 16, 2012 at 4:36
  • 1
    Did you add TeX Live to your path?
    – Joseph Wright
    May 16, 2012 at 5:59

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