I mostly work on linux with texlive, but sometimes with miktex in windows. Now I even want to write some cross platform software based on latex.

By accident I found out that the option -shell-escape common to all tex engines in texlive does not exist in miktex. There it is called -enable-write18.... Is this true? If so it is a superfluous and harmful difference.

Are there further differences known??

  • Texlive also works on windows. If you use the same distribution on all systems, you won't run into such problems. Mar 19 at 10:04
  • 1
    You can certainly use --shell-escape as an option with miktex
    – mbert
    Mar 19 at 14:27

1 Answer 1


The commandline and its options have always been implementation specific. looking at miktex documentation there are several options I do not recognise from texlive,

--aux-directory, --disable-installer, --enable-etex etc.

Some, correspond to similar options in texlive's pdftex such as --etex some correspond to specific miktex features such as its package installer.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .