[tex-live] Ubuntu update to 11.10 while texlive 2011 is installed independently

Axel E. Retif axel.retif at mac.com
Tue Nov 1 09:08:31 CET 2011

On 10/31/2011 07:35 AM, Bernhard Kleine wrote:


> I updated my Ubuntu 11.04 to 11.10 today. Everything went smooth, only
> three packages did not install well: These were tex-common, kile and
> texlive-latex-base.


> Two points are therefore to be reminded:
> First: It is better to remove the tl2011 symlinks before updating the
> distribution. Saves time.

Here is my recommendation, somehow along the lines of previous replies. 
It has worked for me with Ubuntu and (Ubuntu based) Linux Mint:

1) Do not do (ask for) any symlinks at all when installing TUG TeXLive, 
nor afterwards. Make sure the symlinks option is unchecked during 

2) Prepend your path in /etc/environment. This file has a simple line:


Just put your path to TUG TeXLive first:

PATH="/usr/local/texlive/2011/bin/x86_64-linux:/usr/local/sbin: ... games"

(of course, if your binaries are for a 32 bit system, change 
x86_64-linux accordingly).

(On Debian, instead of /etc/environment it is /etc/profile and 
/etc/login.defs: see http://www.tug.org/texlive/debian.html ---I know it 

3) Reboot.

This has these great advantages:

a) You don't have to remember about those symlinks (there aren't any) 
when upgrading, etc.

b) You know TUG TeXLive is the one that will be used.

c) When you install TUG TeXLive 2012 you don't have to unistall TL 2011 
and its symlinks (again, there aren't any) ---just change the above path 
from 2011 to 2012, and you can keep 2011 if anything goes wrong with 
2012, or a particular document don't compile for some reason and you 
don't have time for debugging. (On my Mac I have TL from 2007 to 2010 
---it has proven very useful when in a hurry.)



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