There is a .cls file that pdflatex should use. I have read the following

Using TeX Live 2012, installed into /usr/local/texlive/.

I would like to install the .cls file into $HOME/.texmf (or some other non-standard directory), rather than $HOME/texmf. I thought this would be:

mkdir $HOME/.texmf
initexmf --register-root=$HOME/.texmf
sudo /usr/local/texlive/2012/bin/x86_64-linux/tlmgr conf texmf TEXMFHOME $HOME/.texmf
mv amazingbook.cls $HOME/.texmf
latex amazing-stories-1.tex


The initexmf program does not exist (in TeX Live 2012). I have read that the mktexlsr command is equivalent to initexmf.



mktexlsr $HOME/.texmf
mv amazingbook.cls $HOME/.texmf
mktexlsr $HOME/.texmf

The .cls file cannot be found when running:

pdflatex amazing-stories-1.tex


What are the exact steps necessary to install a custom .cls file into a given directory and configure the environment so that the .cls file is visible from LaTeX using TeX Live 2012?

  • AFAIK initexmf is MikTeX-specific; MikTeX can easily handle many texmf trees. Feb 6, 2013 at 10:34
  • initexmf is a multi-purpose tool. initexmf --update is the equivalent to mktexlsr, but initexmf --register-root is a (wonderful) miktex specific feature. Feb 6, 2013 at 13:50

2 Answers 2


The following commands create the required directory hierarchy and register the .cls file:

mkdir -p $HOME/.texmf/tex/latex/amazing
sudo /usr/local/texlive/2012/bin/x86_64-linux/tlmgr conf texmf TEXMFHOME $HOME/.texmf
mv amazingbook.cls $HOME/.texmf/tex/latex/amazing
mktexlsr $HOME/.texmf
latex amazing-stories-1.tex

The pdflatex command can now find amazingbook.cls.


Hello I had the same problem and found a suitable and easy solution.


kpsewhich -var-value=TEXMFHOME

find your personal tex home directory, where you would put your own .cls files. On my Ubuntu with texlive 2013 it will show "~/texmf" which can lead to a misunderstandung.

Check it again with:

kpsepath -n latex tex

which will show all folders where latex will search for .cls files. Here it can be seen that the folder is: ~/texmf/tex/latex. Copy your file in this folder. Make a update with:

sudo mktexlsr

Check if it worked with:

kpsewhich my_class_file.cls

This should show path where you copied the file!

Here are some references: https://www.math.hmc.edu/computing/support/tex/installing/ http://latex-community.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=17242


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