Installing TEX Live in Ubuntu

The TEX Live packages provided with Ubuntu (and Debian) are woefully out of date. I typically recommend installing TEX Live using the upstream packages. Here is the procedure I use to install TEX Live in Ubuntu:

  1. First, remove any Ubuntu TEX Live packages, if you have them installed.
    $ sudo apt-get remove texlive-*
  2. Download the TEX Live 2012 install script.
  3. Unpack the tarball:
    $ tar xvf install-tl-unx.tar.gz
  4. Change to the newly-unpacked directory:
    $ cd install-tl-*
  5. Run the script:
    $ sudo ./install-tl
  6. Select where you’d like to install everything, and any other options you prefer. Be sure to enable creation of the symlinks, otherwise Ubuntu won’t be able to locate the LaTEX programs:
    1. From the main TEX Live installation menu select Options (O).
    2. From the Options menu, select “create symlinks in standard directories” (L).
    3. The default directories are usually okay.
    4. Press R to return the main menu.
    5. Press I to start downloading and installing files.
  7. Install this Ubuntu .deb package. This package will convince Ubuntu that you’ve installed the texlive-* packages and will allow you you install LaTEX IDEs and other programs from the Ubuntu repositories using your new TEX Live installation.

If you have any questions about this procedure, or encounter any problems, feel free to leave a comment or email me.