TeXLive on Unix systems at CERN (latest update 4 March 2018)

Standard versions of TeX on Linux

The default version of TeX installed at CERN on Linux is the one that comes with the "standard" Linux Distribution (SLC6) and almost ten years old. This version is probably all right for many common documents, but the more recent TeXLive 2017 distribution (prepared in June 2017 and regularly kept up to date) might prove more appropriate with its numerous recent developments and improvements.

Getting access to the latest TeXLive on Linux

You can get access to the 2017 version of TeXLive Linux by adding the directory

/afs/cern.ch/sw/XML/TL2017/bin/x86_64-linux
at the beginning of your PATH variable (do not append it at the end since that will most probably make you use the older default version that comes with the operating system).

Below we give an example of running pdflatex, xelatex and lualatex on the LaTeX test file sample2e.tex, that comes with the LaTeX distribution.

> PATH=/afs/cern.ch/sw/XML/TL2017/bin/x86_64-linux:$PATH
> export PATH
> which latex
/afs/cern.ch/sw/XML/TL2017/bin/x86_64-linux/latex   

> pdflatex sample2e
This is pdfTeX, Version 3.14159265-2.6-1.40.18 (TeX Live 2017) (preloaded format=pdflatex)
 restricted \write18 enabled.
entering extended mode
(/afs/cern.ch/sw/XML/TL2017/texmf-dist/tex/latex/base/sample2e.tex
LaTeX2e <2017-04-15>
Babel <3.10> and hyphenation patterns for 84 language(s) loaded.
(/afs/cern.ch/sw/XML/TL2017/texmf-dist/tex/latex/base/article.cls
Document Class: article 2014/09/29 v1.4h Standard LaTeX document class
(/afs/cern.ch/sw/XML/TL2017/texmf-dist/tex/latex/base/size10.clo))
No file sample2e.aux.
(/afs/cern.ch/sw/XML/TL2017/texmf-dist/tex/latex/base/omscmr.fd)
[1{/afs/cern.ch/sw/XML/TL2017/texmf-var/fonts/map/pdftex/updmap/pdftex.map}] [2] [3]
(./sample2e.aux) )
</afs/cern.ch/sw/XML/TL2017/texmf-dist/fonts/type1/public/amsfonts/cm/cmbx12.pfb>
</afs/cern.ch/sw/XML/TL2017/texmf-dist/fonts/type1/public/amsfonts/cm/cmex10.pfb>
</afs/cern.ch/sw/XML/TL2017/texmf-dist/fonts/type1/public/amsfonts/cm/cmmi10.pfb>
</afs/cern.ch/sw/XML/TL2017/texmf-dist/fonts/type1/public/amsfonts/cm/cmmi7.pfb>
</afs/cern.ch/sw/XML/TL2017/texmf-dist/fonts/type1/public/amsfonts/cm/cmr10.pfb>
</afs/cern.ch/sw/XML/TL2017/texmf-dist/fonts/type1/public/amsfonts/cm/cmr12.pfb>
</afs/cern.ch/sw/XML/TL2017/texmf-dist/fonts/type1/public/amsfonts/cm/cmr17.pfb>
</afs/cern.ch/sw/XML/TL2017/texmf-dist/fonts/type1/public/amsfonts/cm/cmr6.pfb>
</afs/cern.ch/sw/XML/TL2017/texmf-dist/fonts/type1/public/amsfonts/cm/cmr7.pfb>
</afs/cern.ch/sw/XML/TL2017/texmf-dist/fonts/type1/public/amsfonts/cm/cmr8.pfb>
</afs/cern.ch/sw/XML/TL2017/texmf-dist/fonts/type1/public/amsfonts/cm/cmsy10.pfb>
</afs/cern.ch/sw/XML/TL2017/texmf-dist/fonts/type1/public/amsfonts/cm/cmsy7.pfb>
</afs/cern.ch/sw/XML/TL2017/texmf-dist/fonts/type1/public/amsfonts/cm/cmti10.pfb>
Output written on sample2e.pdf (3 pages, 136717 bytes).
Transcript written on sample2e.log.

> xelatex sample2e
This is XeTeX, Version 3.14159265-2.6-0.99998 (TeX Live 2017) (preloaded format=xelatex)
 restricted \write18 enabled.
entering extended mode
(/afs/cern.ch/sw/XML/TL2017/texmf-dist/tex/latex/base/sample2e.tex
LaTeX2e <2017-04-15>
Babel <3.10> and hyphenation patterns for 84 language(s) loaded.
(/afs/cern.ch/sw/XML/TL2017/texmf-dist/tex/latex/base/article.cls
Document Class: article 2014/09/29 v1.4h Standard LaTeX document class
(/afs/cern.ch/sw/XML/TL2017/texmf-dist/tex/latex/base/size10.clo))
(./sample2e.aux) [1] [2] [3] (./sample2e.aux) )
Output written on sample2e.pdf (3 pages).
Transcript written on sample2e.log.

> lualatex sample2e
This is LuaTeX, Version 1.0.4 (TeX Live 2017)
 restricted system commands enabled.
(/afs/cern.ch/sw/XML/TL2017/texmf-dist/tex/latex/base/sample2e.tex
LaTeX2e <2017-04-15>
(using write cache: /afs/cern.ch/sw/XML/TL2017/texmf-var/luatex-cache/generic)(
using read cache: /afs/cern.ch/sw/XML/TL2017/texmf-var/luatex-cache/generic /af
s/cern.ch/user/g/goossens/.texlive2017/texmf-var/luatex-cache/generic)
luaotfload | main : initialization completed in 1.145 seconds
Babel <3.10> and hyphenation patterns for 1 language(s) loaded.
(/afs/cern.ch/sw/XML/TL2017/texmf-dist/tex/latex/base/article.cls
Document Class: article 2014/09/29 v1.4h Standard LaTeX document class
(/afs/cern.ch/sw/XML/TL2017/texmf-dist/tex/latex/base/size10.clo
(load luc: /afs/cern.ch/sw/XML/TL2017/texmf-var/luatex-cache/generic/fonts/otl/lmroman10-regular.luc)))
(./sample2e.aux)
(load luc: /afs/cern.ch/sw/XML/TL2017/texmf-var/luatex-cache/generic/fonts/otl/lmroman17-regular.luc)
(load luc: /afs/cern.ch/sw/XML/TL2017/texmf-var/luatex-cache/generic/fonts/otl/lmroman12-regular.luc)
(load luc: /afs/cern.ch/sw/XML/TL2017/texmf-var/luatex-cache/generic/fonts/otl/lmroman12
-bold.luc)
(load luc: /afs/cern.ch/sw/XML/TL2017/texmf-var/luatex-cache/generic/fonts/otl/lmroman7-regular.luc)
(load luc: /afs/cern.ch/sw/XML/TL2017/texmf-var/luatex-cache/generic/fonts/otl/lmroman10-italic.luc)
[1{/afs/cern.ch/sw/XML/TL2017/texmf-var/fonts/map/pdftex/updmap/pdftex.map}]
(load luc: /afs/cern.ch/sw/XML/TL2017/texmf-var/luatex-cache/generic/fonts/otl/lmroman8-regular.luc)
(load luc: /afs/cern.ch/sw/XML/TL2017/texmf-var/luatex-cache/generic/fonts/otl/lmroman6
-regular.luc)
[2] [3] (./sample2e.aux))
 368 words of node memory still in use:
   2 hlist, 1 vlist, 1 rule, 3 glue, 5 attribute, 45 glue_spec, 5 attribute_list, 1 write nodes
   avail lists: 2:224,3:69,4:11,5:202,6:2141,7:538,8:14,9:99,10:7,11:148
</afs/cern.ch/sw/XML/TL2017/texmf-dist/fonts/opentype/public/lm/lmroman8-regular.otf>
</afs/cern.ch/sw/XML/TL2017/texmf-dist/fonts/opentype/public/lm/lmroman6-regular.otf>
</afs/cern.ch/sw/XML/TL2017/texmf-dist/fonts/opentype/public/lm/lmroman10-italic.otf>
</afs/cern.ch/sw/XML/TL2017/texmf-dist/fonts/opentype/public/lm/lmroman7-regular.otf>
</afs/cern.ch/sw/XML/TL2017/texmf-dist/fonts/opentype/public/lm/lmroman12-bold.otf>
</afs/cern.ch/sw/XML/TL2017/texmf-dist/fonts/opentype/public/lm/lmroman10-regular.otf>
</afs/cern.ch/sw/XML/TL2017/texmf-dist/fonts/opentype/public/lm/lmroman12-regular.otf>
</afs/cern.ch/sw/XML/TL2017/texmf-dist/fonts/opentype/public/lm/lmroman17-regular.otf>
</afs/cern.ch/sw/XML/TL2017/texmf-dist/fonts/type1/public/amsfonts/cm/cmex10.pfb>
</afs/cern.ch/sw/XML/TL2017/texmf-dist/fonts/type1/public/amsfonts/cm/cmmi10.pfb>
</afs/cern.ch/sw/XML/TL2017/texmf-dist/fonts/type1/public/amsfonts/cm/cmmi7.pfb>
</afs/cern.ch/sw/XML/TL2017/texmf-dist/fonts/type1/public/amsfonts/cm/cmr10.pfb>
</afs/cern.ch/sw/XML/TL2017/texmf-dist/fonts/type1/public/amsfonts/cm/cmr7.pfb>
</afs/cern.ch/sw/XML/TL2017/texmf-dist/fonts/type1/public/amsfonts/cm/cmsy10.pfb>
</afs/cern.ch/sw/XML/TL2017/texmf-dist/fonts/type1/public/amsfonts/cm/cmsy7.pfb>
Output written on sample2e.pdf (3 pages, 88727 bytes).
Transcript written on sample2e.log.

Note that if you are running a C-type shell (csh, tcsh) you should replace the two first commands:

> PATH=/afs/cern.ch/sw/XML/TL2017/bin/x86_64-linux:$PATH
> export PATH

by the single command

> setenv PATH /afs/cern.ch/sw/XML/TL2017/bin/x86_64-linux:$PATH

Documentation of packages

The command

> texdoc package_name
will open a PDF browser and show the documentation for the package with name package_name. For instance texdoc luatex displays the LuaTeX reference manual, while texdoc graphics displays the documentation of the packages in the graphics bundle.

Note that CERN-specific files, such as the CERN-logo, CERN letter, report, etc. LaTeX classes, are automatically included at CERN when you issue the PATH-defining commands mentioned previously.

Getting CERN-specific extension

All CERN-specific extensions are available in the file texmf-local.zip, a zip archive that should be unpacked in a directory, e.g., my-tree. This will contain a directory tree temmf-local in that directory. To inform TeX about the presence of the files you should add the top of the tree to the TEXINPUTS search path, as follows.

If you are running a Bourne-like shell (such as sh, bash, ksh):

> TEXINPUTS=my-tree/texmf-local:
> export TEXINPUTS

On a C-type shell (csh, tcsh):

> setenv TEXINPUTS my-tree/texmf-local:

You can add as many file trees as you need in a similar way, just add their different paths separated by a colon (:) in the definition of the TEXINPUTS variable (do not forget the colon at the end).

Latest updates

The 2017 TeXLive distribution comes with the tlmgr (TeXLive manager) program, which allows one to update the files in the locally installed distribution to keep them in synch with the 2017 version available on CTAN (the reference archiving network for TeX-related material). At CERN this program is run on a regular basis with the last update having been made on 4 March 2018.

There will be no more updates for the 2017 edition. Work is ongoing to prepare the 2018 edition, which will be available after the summer.


Last Mod. 4 March 2018 (Michel Goossens).

Source: /afs/cern.ch/sw/XML/XMLDOC/textproc/texlivelinux2017.html