tlmgr, perl-Tk, RHEL 6.7 and LaTeX

Man this is tidy!

When I got my new box, I decided that instead of installing LaTeX/TeX using the packages from the distribution (RHEL 6.7 suplied by my work), I would use TeXLive’s own manager, tlmgr.

The TeXLive manager (<tt>tlmgr</tt> GUI.

The TeXLive manager (tlmgr) GUI.

I’m very happy with the decision. Here is the simple path laid out.

(1) Went to and downloaded install-tl-unx.tar.gz to a subdirectory. I called it ~/installs/texlive.

(2) Extracted the archive:

tar x -vzf install-tl-unx.tar.gz

and went to the created subdirectory (install-tl-20160209).

(3) Created some subdirectories — I decided to install in userspace, since I am not sharing the box:

mkdir ~/installs/texlive/2015

(4) Ran the installer and responded to some questions:


(5) For the GUI (useful), I needed to install perl-Tk. this can be done in different ways according to your distro, but on RHEL it is a little tricky since that package is not in the default repo.  So…

(6) Needed to add the EPEL (extra packages for enterprise Linux) repo. This is best done by following the instructions at but in summary in my case (RHEL 6.7, not the newest version) I had to:

(6a) First…


(6b) …then…

sudo rpm -ivh epel-release-6-8.noarch.rpm

(7) Then can install — note that the yum command explicitly enables the EPEL repo.

sudo yum --enablerepo=epel install perl-Tk

(8) This then allows the tlmgr GUI to be run thus:

tlmgr --gui &

The GUI (see picture above) is useful because you can interactively search for what you need and install it in a click or two.

I like this approach, whether GUI or command line, because it means (1) I do not have to install LaTeX via a bunch of huge packages made up by the Linux distro maintainers which means that (2) I don’t install a huge amount of stuff that I don’t need because I can (3) readily install what is missing when and only when I actually need it and I know that (4) when I do install it it will be the current version not a version from some time in the past (whenever the Linux package was assembled).

I like my Debian, but in retrospect, given Debian’s conservative policies (the stable version of LibreOffice on my Debian box is 3.X, for example), I should have installed LaTeX using tlmgr and associated tools.

There are some minor issues however.  One is that  this means the LaTeX needs to be updated separately from the OS.  Another is that (at least in my case) some dependency resolution had to be done by hand.  In this case, xdvi wanted libXaw installed, which means I had to look at the error output from trying to run xdvi then work out the appropriate yum command; not hard (sudo yum install libXaw) but would not have been needed had I installed LaTeX from the RHEL repos.


Et. seq.


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About Darren

I'm a scientist by training, based in Australia.

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