I installed with the net install TeX Live 2010 on an Ubuntu machine. Because I don't have to much space to spare I carefully selected components to install to reduce the required disk-space.

Later I missed some package and I wanted to install it with tlmgr. However, tlmgr is nowhere to be found! I'm guessing I somehow didn't install it.

How can I fix this the best?

Edit: I did really installed the TeX Live 2010 from the TeX Live website. I downloaded this file, and started the installation with sudo ./install-tl. The paths I kept standard and the only thing I changed are which collections are installed, leaving some collections that are not useful for me out. When I list all binaries in /usr/local/texlive/2010/bin/i386-linux I have e.g. latex,lualatex,bibtex etc. but not xetex (which I didn't want to install) and not tlmgr.

Also, when I type pdflatex anywhere, I see the following version This is pdfTeX, Version 3.1415926-1.40.11 (Tex Live 2010) which wouldn't be possible with Ubuntu packages, as they are TeX Live 2009. (which pdflatex gives /usr/local/texlive/2010/bin/i386-linux/pdflatex)

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    It sounds very much to me as if you are using Ubuntu's TeX Live packages rather than installing TeX Live directly. Ubuntu removed tlmgr, as they expect you only to install their packages. – Joseph Wright Dec 23 '10 at 8:04
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    @Joseph I think I didn't install Ubuntu's texlive packages. See also my edit. – Peter Smit Dec 23 '10 at 8:13
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    it should be a link to ../../texmf/scripts/texlive/tlmgr.pl try to create it – user2478 Dec 23 '10 at 8:15
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    @Peter, then your installation is incomplete. Without these scripts directory you can't run a lot of other things – user2478 Dec 23 '10 at 8:21
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    @Peter. I agree with Herbert: something is badly up here. I'd try re-installing TeX Live! – Joseph Wright Dec 23 '10 at 8:23

It should be safe to install TL again with the same location settings, and this time only select tlmgr. (I'm surprised tlmgr is not part of the 'essential binaries' group anyway.) I think it would be safe to uncheck all "macros for XXX" options sice they will not be erased from a previous install, I'm less sure about font options.

Are you installing a version of TL provided by Debian/Ubuntu? Those have been known to remove tlmgr in the first place, since it's a packaging mechanism that bypasses the distribution's own.)

  • No, it is the TL installer from the texlive website. I am not sure in which 'collection' tlmgr is located. The essential binary collection is installed, as I have latex et al. – Peter Smit Dec 23 '10 at 8:06
  • @Peter Smit: tlmgr is in texlive.infra, but as Herbert says, it's only a symlink. – Ulrich Schwarz Dec 23 '10 at 11:30
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    no, it's not really safe. True, existing files won't be deleted, but the problem is, tlmgr will not know about the already installed packages, hence update --all will not work as expected, etc. – mpg Dec 23 '10 at 17:25

During the installation of TeX Live 2010, ensure that you go into the options menu and enable the creation of the symlinks. (At least, this is the cause of a common problem with another project I've worked on -- folks forget to create the symlinks, so tlmgr, etc. aren't in the PATH.)

  • It's quite weird that the symlink option isn't listed in the 'O' summary on the main page of the install prompt. – T. Verron Aug 22 '12 at 20:59

Just use install-tl and do a custom install over, but not replacing, your already existing install, selecting just the essential collection "Essential programs and files". It worked for me.


You can't fix it without using TeXLive instead of the Debian/Ubuntu packages. Deb/Ub strip out the tlmgr since it can create conflicts with apt, their own package manager (apt cannot know what tlmgr has updated; Deb/Ub have files distributed amongst a different array of packages to texlive, etc).

You can install anything new you want in a local texmf tree; tex ought to look here first if configured normally, so if you need a newer version or something not in the Deb packages, you can install it locally and not mess around in root. This would nominally be a preferred option in the general Linux way of operating. This is suboptimal in disk space (cheap these days, though) and in presence of multiple versions. I mean, Deb will eventually upgrade its texlive, and then you might have to manually mess around with your local texmf tree; but this ought to be a useful alternative solution.

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