How to install TeX Live on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS- A free typesetting system

With TeX Live, the TeX Users Group has created the most extensive distribution of the TeX free typesetting system. Here we learn how to install Tex Live full distribution version on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Linux.

Well, Tex Live has replaced the no longer maintained teTeX distribution and is most likely aimed at users who already have experience with DTP and the corresponding programming languages.

It comes with lots of features, such as the TeX Live helps users to prepare and edit texts for typesetting and printing. A large number of typographical rules can be set for this. TeX Live specializes in texts with complex content – the program can also handle tables, for example, and TeX Live is the measure of all things, especially when it comes to setting mathematical formulas.

For this purpose, it brings almost all currently available TeX packages, as well as the macro languages ​​LaTeX and ConTeXt based on them, plus the applications Metafont, MetaPost, BibTeX, and a large number of character sets. In order to deal with all of this, users should bring some prior knowledge with them.

  1. Run system update

To rebuild the system repo cache and update the installed packages run the system update command i.e

sudo apt update
  1. Install Tex Live on Ubuntu 20.04

The packages to install Tex live on Ubuntu are already available in the official repository, thus, we can simply use the installation command to get it using APT.

However, the full package of Tex Live to install users needs to download around 2GB and require 5GB free space on a local hard drive. Whereas, if you just want to start with basic and some other packages then don’t go for the full one

Here are the commands:

sudo apt install texlive-full

For basic and some extra packages

sudo apt install texlive

If you wanted to be more precise then as per your profession go for the particular package such as

  • apt install texlive-publishers
  • apt install texlive-science
  • apt install texlive-pstricks
  • apt install texlive-humanities
  • apt install texlive-pictures
  • apt install texlive-xetex
  • apt install texlive-metapost
  • apt install texlive-music

However, when you install the full Tex Live distribution, all these packages will automatically get installed.

  1. Write and compile Latex code

As we ready have installed the Tex Live programming along with other packages, macros, and free fonts. It’s time to write some code to compile and create a PDF.

nano hello-latex.tex

Add the following lines


Hello world!

Save the file by pressing Ctrl+X and then type Y and hit the Enter key.

Now, compile the created Tex file to PDF using pdflatext command tool-

pdflatex hello-latex.tex

Once you have compiled the code, you will see a PDF file generated using your LaTex code. Now, we can use any PDF viewer to open that file.

By default, Ubuntu comes with a document viewer called – Evince PDF viewer and we can call it directly to open the file using the command line-

evince hello-latex.pdf

or else use some dedicated LaTex editors…

  1. Install Tex Live Latex Editor

We can also use some LateX editors such as Texmaker, TextStudio, Kite, Overleaf, and more to write and compile Tex Live code including to view the output PDF file. Let’s install the popular one i.e Texmaker. It is also available in the official repo of Ubuntu.

sudo apt install texmaker

Run it by simply typing texmaker in the command terminal or from the Applications.

Once the LateX editor opened, write the code, save it with the extension such as .tex and then press F1 or go Tools and select Quick Build.

Tex Live LaTex installed on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Linux

Know more about the basic commands of LaTex and how to use them on WikiBooks.



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