TeX Live package installation

You may have gotten your TeX Live installation in one of two fundamentally different ways. The directions for installing and updating packages depend on which way you got your installation.

TeX provided by your operating system

First, you may have gotten a TeX installation that was based on TeX Live but was packaged for your operating system. For instance, the free GNU/Linux distributions, and the distributions from Red Hat, Debian, Ubuntu, SUSE, etc., all make TeX installations derived from TeX Live available through their normal packaging system (rpm, apt-get, yum, etc.). If this is how you got your TeX, the timing and content of updates is entirely up to your operating system provider—contact them with any and all questions.

By the way, a native TL, which is typically installed under /usr/local, and a TeX from your operating system can happily coexist, each with their own completely independent trees and programs. (Do not try to merge them!) So you could install a native TeX Live if your vendor is not keeping up.

Native TeX Live

The other case is that you installed the “native” TeX Live, e.g., from the DVD or over the net. Here, the first thing to try, both to install new packages and to update already installed ones, is to run (on a command line/system prompt) the command tlmgr update --all (tlmgr is the command name of the TeX Live package manager). If you would like to see what would be done before doing it, run tlmgr update --list.

If that doesn't get the material that you want, then here is one possibility. When you installed your native version of TeX Live, the default was to include everything available for your platform. If you accepted this default, called scheme-full, then the above command gets you the freshest version of everything available. However, if you chose a smaller scheme than the default, then you will get only what is included in that scheme. Likewise, if you have manually removed collections or packages (terminology explanation), then those packages will not be automatically updated. In these cases, to manually install or reinstall a package, run tlmgr install pkgname.

If you accept scheme-full, and you still didn't get the material you were expecting, here are two other possibilities:
1) the TeX Live developers have not yet made the update. This is usually done within a day or two of the upload to CTAN, but occasionally it can take longer.
2) the package may not be available under a free software license, in which case it cannot be included in TeX Live (the package contribution page explains).

More information is in the full tlmgr documentation.

TeX Live terminology

To explain the terms schemes, collections, and packages used above: the general idea of native TL installation is to choose one of the available top-level schemes, each of which is defined as a set of collections and packages. A collection is a set of packages, and a package is what contains actual files. And each package is in exactly one collection, no more and no less.

If you have questions or suggestions, please email tex-live@tug.org.

$Date: 2010/05/04 20:14:56 $; TeX Live;