I have a font downloaded, it's a *.ttf file. where should I place it for texlive to use?
You can install it as a system font, and all applications, including LuaTeX and TeX Live, will be able to find it.
On Linux, you can copy a font to (a subdirectory of)
/usr/local/share/fonts/ to install for all users, or
~/.fonts/ to install for one user. (There might be other font paths that work on your distribution.) On Windows, installing for all users will work but installing as a single user will not. On MacOS, the System Font Book will work.
You don’t need to read any further if that solves your problem.
If you only want the font in your TeX Live tree, and not every font menu on your system, run
to find your local TeX Live tree. You can put your fonts in a subdirectory, such as a new directory under
fonts/opentype/ of your
TEXMFLOCAL tree, and keep all the files from the same package in the same place.
There is a
TEXMFHOME as well as
TEXMFLOCAL, but I don’t recommend it unless you are unable to install packages to
Normally, after installing files to a TeX Live tree, you would run
texhash. If you installed any legacy 8-bit fonts and updated the font maps, also run
If you installed OpenType or TrueType fonts, you might want to update the font caches. You could run
fc-cache -f -s -v luaotfload-tool -f -u -p -v
But you probably don’t need to. LuaTeX and XeTeX should search for new fonts the first time you request them.