TeX Live

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Since 12 Sept. 2008, TeXLive packages are available in extra for both arches, hence replacing the obsolete tetex. Packages for the 2009 release of TeXLive are available since early September 2009 (thus before the official upstream release). By installing the packages texlive-core (57MB) and its dependency texlive-bin (15MB), you will have a very solid and bleeding-edge typesetting system at your disposal!

Important information

  • The way to handle font mappings for updmap has been improved in Sept. 2009, and installation should now be much more reliable than in the past. In the meanwhile, if you encounter error messages about unavailable map file, simply remove them by hand from the updmap.cfg file (ideally using "updmap-sys --edit"). You can also run "updmap-sys --sync-with-trees" to automatically comment out outdated map lines from the config file.
  • The ConTeXt formats (for MKII and MKIV) are not automatically generated upon installation. See the ConTeXT wiki for instructions on how to do this.
  • TeXLive (upstream) now provides a tool for incremental updates of CTAN packages. On that basis, we also plan to update our packages on a regular basis (we have written tools that almost automate that task).
  • Some tools and utilities included in TeX Live rely on ghostscript, perl, and ruby.
  • System-wide configuration files are under /usr/share/texmf-config. User-specific ones should be put under ~/.texlive/texmf-config. $TEXMFHOME is ~/texmf and $TEXMFVAR is ~/.texlive/texmf-var.
  • A skeleton of a local texmf tree is at /usr/local/share/texmf: this directory is writable for members of the group tex.


By default, the fonts that come with the various TeXLive packages are not automatically available to fontconfig. If you want to use them with, say XeTeX or OpenOffice, the easiest approach is to make symlinks as follows:

 ln -s /usr/share/texmf-dist/fonts/opentype/public/<some_fonts_you_want> ~/.fonts/OTF/ (or TTF or Type1) 

To make them available to fontconfig, run:

 fc-cache ~/.fonts
 mkfontscale ~/.fonts/OTF (or TTF or Type1) 
 mkfontdir ~/.fonts/OTF (or TTF or Type1)

Alternatively, you can also add a file /etc/fonts/texlive.conf that contains a list of the font directories you want to make available system-wide, with a content similar to this:

 <?xml version="1.0"?>
 <!DOCTYPE fontconfig SYSTEM "fonts.dtd">

List of all texlive-* packages

The texlive packages are arranged into two groups: texlive-most and texlive-lang (NB: the groups texlive-most-doc and texlive-lang-doc are currently not provided but might be re-added to community soon).

The essential package texlive-core contains the basic texmf-dist tree, while texlive-bin contains the binaries, libraries, and the texmf tree. texlive-core is based on the “medium” install scheme of the upstream distribution. All other packages are based on the eponymous collections in TeXLive. The following links bring to a list of the CTAN packages contained in each Arch package.

Group texlive-most

  • texlive-bin
  • texlive-core
  • texlive-bibtexextra
  • texlive-fontsextra
  • texlive-formatsextra
  • texlive-games
  • texlive-genericextra
  • texlive-htmlxml
  • texlive-humanities
  • texlive-latex3
  • texlive-latexextra
  • texlive-music
  • texlive-pictures
  • texlive-plainextra
  • texlive-pstricks
  • texlive-publishers
  • texlive-science

Group texlive-lang

NB: The latter replaces and provides texlive-lang{african, arab, armenian, croatian, hebrew, indic, mongolian, tibetan, vietnamese}.

TeXLive Local Manager

There is now a new utility provided by Firmicus which allows to conveniently manage a TeXLive installation on Arch Linux. See http://aur.archlinux.org/packages.php?ID=23776 in AUR.


Usage: tllocalmgr  
       tllocalmgr [options] [command] [args]

       Running tllocalmgr alone starts the TeXLive local manager shell 
       for Arch Linux. This shell is capable of command-line completion!
       There you can look at the available updates with the command 'status' 
       and you can install individual CTAN packages using 'install' or 'update'
       under $TEXMFLOCAL. This is done by creating a package texlive-local-<pkg>
       and installing it with pacman. Note that this won’t interfere with your 
       standard texlive installation, but files under $TEXMFLOCAL will take
       Here are the commands available in the shell:

              status   --   Current status of TeXLive installation
           shortinfo * --   Print a one-liner description of CTAN packages
                info * --   Print info on CTAN packages
              update * --   Locally update CTAN packages
             install * --   Locally install new CTAN packages
          installdoc * --   Locally install documentation of CTAN packages
          installsrc * --   Locally install sources of CTAN packages
           listfiles * --   List all files in CTAN packages
              search * --   Search info on CTAN packages
         searchfiles * --   Search for files in CTAN packages
             texhash   --   Refresh the TeX file database
               clean   --   Clean local build tree
                help   --   Print helpful information
                quit   --   Quit tllocalmgr

        The commands followed by * take one of more package names as arguments.
        Note that these can be completed automatically by pressing TAB.

        You can also run tllocalmgr as a standard command-line program, with
        one of the above commands as argument, then the corresponding task will
        be performed and the program will exit (except when the command is 'status').

        tllocalmgr accepts the following options:

Options:     --help          Shows this help
             --version       Show the version number
             --forceupdate   Force updating the TeXLive database
             --skipupdate    Skip updating the TeXLive database
             --localsearch   Search only installed packages
             --location      #TODO?
             --mirror        CTAN mirror to use (default is mirror.ctan.org)
             --nocolor       #TODO

Alternative: TeXLive network install

See http://tug.org/texlive/doc/texlive-en/texlive-en.html#x1-140003

Alternative: TeX Live with loop-mounted DVD ISO

See TeXLive_from_iso (obsolete?)

See Also

For frequently asked qustions about TeX, TeXLive, and how it is packaged on arch, see the TeXLive FAQ. For basic information on LaTeX see LaTeX. If you are interested in using CJK (Chinese, Japanese, Korean) characters, see this Tutorial