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LaTeX Configuration on Debian
Sandro Tosi, 08 December 2005
Using LaTeX typesetting system is a great experience, until you crash against one of many walls of its configuration. I'll try to put here some tips about LaTeX configuration on a Debian system.
Add a new package
Standard LaTeX distributions contains many packages, but not everyone! So, sometimes you'll find in need to install a new packages, maybe downloaded from Internet. Many, many packages are available in CTAN, where you can search the packet you need.
Ok, you've downloaded the addon, but how to install it? Let's take the example of listings, a package to include formatted source code (syntax highlight etc.). Once downloaded and uncompressed, we got this:
We see no .sty file, the compiled version of a packages, so we have to compile it by ourselves (if your new package comes already compiled, you can jump this part):
$ latex listings-1.3.ins
at the end of this command, the script kindly advice us that:
and so we are going to do.
Now we need a directory where copy our generated files; there are two choices: a user local directory or a system-wide one. Every tex system has a system directory for new files:
grep -i '^texmflocal' /usr/share/texmf/web2c/texmf.cnf
for a user own directory, you can do:
Note that both this directory must respect the same tree structure of the standard one: so the packages for TeX must go into <texmf>/tex and the ones for LaTeX must go into <texmf>/tex/latex . Usually, under those directories, another one is created with the name of the package, to maintain all things in order.
Copied the files the last step is refresh the LaTeX archive (run as root):
and new you are able to use this brand new package.