How to install texlive (full) on Fedora 17 – and why

Fedora provides a texlive package (http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Features/TeXLive), however it is incomplete, usually out of date and I haven’t been able to easily install new latex packages through it. In theory new packages can be installed by issuing the command:

yum install 'tex(epsfig.sty)'

However this never worked for me, and despite some searching I couldn’t work out what was going wrong.

Personally, as someone with plenty of free disk space, I’ve found the best solution is to install the full version of texlive. Certainly, ever since doing so I’ve never had any problems compiling my latex files and haven’t had to think about the install ever since.

This excellent post on the tex StackExchange describes in detail how to do this with Ubuntu:
http://tex.stackexchange.com/a/95373
which I would recommend reading before following any of the advice here

For fedora it may be slightly different (especially in faking packages, see step 1 below), but in summary what I did was as follows:

  1. Install the official package from fedora using ‘yum install texlive’ (so that software with tex as a dependency can be installed)
  2. Download the installer for the full texlive from http://www.tug.org/texlive/acquire-netinstall.html
  3. Run the install-tl script
  4. Make sure the install path is /opt (or /opt/texlive if you’d like)
  5. Add /opt/texlive/2012/bin/x86_64-linux (with the correct year) to the path (see e.g. http://askubuntu.com/questions/60218/how-to-add-a-directory-to-my-path if unsure how to do this) making sure it’s added before /usr/bin so the correct latex programs are used rather than the ones from fedora’s texlive package
  6. If using some software such as texmaker to edit and compile your latex, make sure it is correctly configured to run pdflatex, biber etc. from /opt/texlive/2012/bin/x86_64-linux (e.g for texmaker follow the instructions at http://www.xm1math.net/texmaker/doc.html#SECTION02)

Advantages

  • A lot more packages are included
  • tlmgr is included, which allows incredibly easy installation of new packages from ctan (tlmgr install package-name)

Disadvantages

  • Not integrated into fedora’s package management
    • You’ll now have to manually update using
      tlmgr update –self
      tlmgr update –all
      rather than it simply working through yum (though there may be a way around this, I haven’t looked into it)
  • Uses a lot of space (something like 3-4GiB)
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13 comments
  1. alfC said:

    Not sure if it is what you want. But there is a package called `texlive-scheme-full` in Fedora 1X, that installs everything! (there is also `texlive-scheme-medium`, `texlive-scheme-basic`, etc).

    • jofunu6 said:

      Ah, this seems like it would be a good solution! Reading the documentation it seems that ‘yum install texlive-scheme-full’ should indeed do the trick, though I haven’t tried it

      • alexaiv said:

        Hello, yes ‘yum install texlive-scheme-full’ absolutely does the trick and installs all tex packages.

  2. Milozzy said:

    Hi!!
    Like you I prefer to install vanilla Texlive from CTAN, the only problem is that many editors, almost all (even gedit plugins for latex) require the Texlive packaged in Fedora Repos and I fear some sort of conflicts…so I only install Texworks, that doesn’t depend on them.

    Did you know a way to install the other editors and avoid conflicts?

    • jofunu6 said:

      Hi,
      If you install the default fedora texlive packages through yum (step 1), you’ll satisfy the required dependencies for your editors.
      Installing texlive as described is self-containef, outside of the package management and in a non-system folder, so won’t cause conflicts.
      Step 5 should then alllow for the full texlive to be used by most editors, but step 6 gives an example of how to set up one requiring additional configuration.

      Hope that answers your question?

      • Milozzy said:

        Thanks!!! So the path step should generally keep me away from troubles?

        Thanks again?

      • jofunu6 said:

        Hopefully – any standard commands the editors may run such as latex, pdflatex, biblatex etc will then be executed using the correct latex install

      • Milozzy said:

        Ok, thank you very much! I will try!!

        Just one more thing…why do you use Fedora 17 that i s no longer supported?

      • jofunu6 said:

        When I wrote the post fedora 17 was the current release (I think!), but I’m sure the instructions work fine on the newer versions of fedora too

  3. Milozzy said:

    Hi jofunu6, did you tried the above suggested method of installing texlive-scheme-full with yum?
    I am preparing for a brand new installation of Fedora with the upgrade to F20, and I am undecided if I may go with the usual manual installation or with the yum way.
    I ask you if you have tried yum method to see if you consider it good.

    Thank you very much.

    • jofunu6 said:

      Hi,
      I’m afraid I haven’t tried myself, and F20 may well be better.
      What I would recommend would be to do it through yum, and if you find it doesn’t work when trying to compile your latex then do the manual method.

      It doesn’t cost much to try it through yum, and then if you do need to do it manually having tried it through yum first won’t matter

      Best of luck

      • Milozzy said:

        Thanks!
        Yes I was thinking the same…
        Only problem is that fedora rpm packages don’t seem updated too often, while with the manual method I receive a lot of update…

        Thanks again, I will let you know.

        Regards!

  4. Thanker said:

    Thanks for taking the time to write this post! Helped me immensely.

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