I have a very similar problem as discussed in the post TEX564734. I am on ubuntu 20.04 and the installation via sudo apt install texlive installed a debian version in the folder /usr/share/texlive. The installed version is texlive 2019 (issuing pdflatex I get Version 3.14159265-2.6-1.40.20 (TeX Live 2019/Debian).

I then executed:

tlmgr init-usertree

however when I then try to install a new packages I get:

unexpected return value from verify_checksum: -5

In a different post, TEX537810, I saw that a solution is to update tlmgr but that does not work either.

kpsewhich --var-value=SELFAUTOPARENT

returns / which does not seem right. Indeed when I tried sudo env PATH="$PATH" ./update-tlmgr-latest.sh i get an error ./runme.sh: Cannot find TeX Live root using kpsewhich --var-value=SELFAUTOPARENT.. I added to the PATH the director /usr/share/texlive. Maybe that's not sufficient given the Debian version? This director is the first in the PATH.

tlmgr repository list provides two repos http://contrib.texlive.info/current (tlcontrib) and http://mirror.ctan.org/systems/texlive/tlnet (main)

tlmgr key list reports a key that does not seem to have any expiration date rsa2048 2016-03-19 [E] plus another one I added from the repo maintained by Norbert Preining (tlcontrib) that has expiration date 2021-03-01.

At this point I am not sure what do to next to be able to install packages.

  • 1
    If you installed TeX Live via apt from Linux/Debian/Ubuntu/... repositories, you can use tlmgr only for a very limited set of operations. In particular packages should usually not be installed via tlmgr (for starters, you have TeX Live 2019, but tlnet currently serves TeX Live 2020). All TeX Live packages available at the time TeX Live was packaged for your distribution are available via apt. They are split into collections, so you 'just' need to find out which collection contains the package you want.
    – moewe
    Nov 19, 2020 at 7:11
  • @moewe: Thanks! I will try to see if I can 'find' the packages, but that looks certainly painful. Fortunately, I was able to manually install the packages by creating the correct tree structure in my home directory under texmf. Wanted to mention this last possibility in case someone runs into the same problem and does not find the correct package to install with apt.
    – geguze
    Nov 20, 2020 at 15:58

1 Answer 1


As moewe has pointed out, you should not install packages via tlmgr if you have installed TeX Live via apt.

Search the collection that includes you desired package via apt-cache search. For example, let's search for a collection that includes the beamer package:

apt-cache search beamer

Select a matching texlive collection and install it via apt:

sudo apt install texlive-latex-extra
  • 1
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    Oct 29, 2021 at 18:03

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