My university here provides TeXnicCenter without compiler. I am unable to install the compiler due to permissions, I am forced to work in Windows environment during classes without traditional *ix tools such as pdflatex. I am now trying to find out a way to get my LaTeX -installations to something like USB-stick or other way without requiring permissions.

I don't have root -computer co cannot get any below methods working. So how can I get LaTeX compiler for Windows without installation due to limited permissions in my university?

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  1. TeX Installation on USB

  2. Standalone LaTeX editor/renderer for Windows?

  3. What is a good LaTeX compiler for Windows?

  • 4
    Did you try the portable versions of TeX Live and MiKTeX?
    – Joseph Wright
    Oct 5, 2012 at 10:52
  • It is very unusual to have TeXnicCenter installed without a working TeX distribution. Instead of rolling your own solution why don't you ask the IT department to install either MikTeX or TeX Live?
    – Alexander
    Oct 5, 2012 at 11:24
  • @Alexander I did that already but it takes weeks or many days for them to respond (not speaking of resolving cases) and they are going weekend -holiday. They are not much motivated folks so the much faster way is to try solve on your own. They speak more why you cannot do things, not how you can do things, I don't much like that kind of attitude. I want to just get LaTex working.
    – hhh
    Oct 5, 2012 at 11:25
  • 2
    Thanks, was just compiling an introductory course on LaTeX and was wondering if a portable version existed. Oct 5, 2012 at 12:00
  • 1
    Isn't there som sort of online version? I seem to recall seeing something. That could probably work...
    – jonalv
    Oct 5, 2012 at 13:21

2 Answers 2


I would probably first try Portable MiKTeX. The website for distribution includes instructions on using it, and adds useful options to the context (right-click) menu for the drive you put it on. Configuring with a non-portable editor might be tricky, so I'd go with the TeXworks editor that is bundled with Portable MiKTeX.

If you cannot use the context menu for any reason, you should be fine staring TeXworks 'manually'. It's located in miktex\bin inside your portable installation.

  • ...do I need to download TeXworks installer in EXE or does it have some Portable version? +1 ...thank you for your input, taking time to test different choices in installation.
    – hhh
    Oct 5, 2012 at 11:18
  • 1
    @hhh MiKTeX comes with TeXworks, so you should not have to install anything extra.
    – Joseph Wright
    Oct 5, 2012 at 11:20
  • "ShellExecutedEX failed; code 1260. This program is blocked by group policy. For more information, contact your system administrator." -- not starting well :( ... cannot find TeXorks in MiKTeX -extracted directory.
    – hhh
    Oct 5, 2012 at 11:21
  • I only need Portable things when in the university Windows machines, no other place. So could I have them somehow only for the university?
    – hhh
    Oct 5, 2012 at 11:24

My friend Markus found a clever way in Debian -based distros such as Ubuntu or Debian itself. Now most people wanting something like this have a *ix laptop and in that necessary installations for LaTex. This tip will only work if you have already the installation of LaTex on your computer so basic idea: you use your own installation and you download the files from your school/uni server. You can also use just $ scp -r [email protected]:workDir . but the next way is more visually-pleasing.

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  1. Select Places/Connect to Server in the GUI

  2. Put your credentials there, for example username as hhh and host as kosh.aalto.fi

  3. input the password

now it may mount to the root so you need to find the dir, easy way is to login there with ssh like "eval 'ssh-agent'; ssh-add ~/.ssh/school; ssh [email protected]" (replace ' with programmig thing) -- and now you should mount to your local -dir or do $ cd ~/. Then you get the path with $pwd -- it may be something like /u/87/username/unix, depending on your server -structure. Now in Debian, you can create Bookmark so next time you can click it in the menu, below an example.

enter image description here

After this, you can use your tools/editors in your own devices easily. Have fun!

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