Upgrading Tex Live

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Here is a memo for up­grad­ing Tex Live.

It is the time of the year again — up­grad­ing Tex Live. Until we have a true rolling-re­leased Tex Live, up­grad­ing it will al­ways mean re­in­stalling it. Below are some tips and point­ers hop­ing to make the process less painful. Note that the memo is based on my per­sonal pref­er­ences, so please take with a grain of salt.


First things first. tlmgr can ac­tu­ally han­dle the unin­stal­la­tion with just one line:

tlmgr uninstall

There may be some left­over fold­ers here and there, but it should­n’t af­fect the re­in­stalling process.


Download the in­stall script install-tl and ex­e­cute it. Personally, I would start with the medium scheme and drop un­wanted col­lec­tions like var­i­ous lan­guages and util­i­ties. I should keep LuaTex. Also re­mem­ber to use let­ter size by de­fault.


At the end of the script, it will men­tion that some en­vi­ron­ment vari­ables con­tain the string tex”. That is ex­pected since unin­stalling Tex Live will not change the en­vi­ron­ment vari­ables. Simply up­date the paths in ~/.bashrc to con­tain the cor­rect Tex Live ver­sion.

Additional Packages

I also need some ad­di­tional pack­ages: fontawesome, gillius, titlesec, and enumitem. They can be in­stalled via:

tlmgr install <package>


Test the newly in­stalled Tex Live through pre­vi­ously type­set doc­u­ments. Make sure that there is no er­ror and the out­put should be al­most iden­ti­cal as be­fore.