Upgrading LaTeX on Fedora 16

The recent crossgrade of Fedora 16 onto my middlin’ HP 625 laptop has been a story of nearly unmitigated joy. I’ve been using Red Hat and Fedora with differing degrees of seriousness for about 12 years now–My first Linux was Red Hat 5.2–but had gotten away from it since I had gotten my laptop installed with Windows 7.* I prefer the way *nix does things, so I had been itching to put Fedora on my laptop for a while, and the free afternoon finally showed up.

The install went really well, with only one minor hic-cough (related to LVM) and one speed bump (related to WiFi), even considering I did a partition resize. The only thing that has really disappointed me so far was the bundled implementation of LaTeX included with Fedora 16. It would seem that the bundled package for latex contains very old versions of the texlive, pgf and tikz libraries. After installing a new version of TeX Live, and not being able to get my LaTeX document to compile, I had to dig a bit deeper to find the answer. The Interwebs were useful for helping diagnose the problem, but I didn’t see this exact solution, so I hope I can help out someone else fighting the same issue:

  1. Download and install TexMaker (or whatever LaTeX editor you like. The packaging for Fedora 16 included dependencies on version of texlive from 2007. WTF!?!)
    >yum install texmaker
  2. Download and install the latest version of texlive.
    >gunzip install-tl-unx.tar.gz
    >tar xvf install-tl-unx.tar
    >cd install-tl-xxxxxxxx (where the xes are some date)
  3. Follow the directions in the script. The packages it downloads can take a while.
  4. After it’s finished installing, change the symlinks in /usr/bin to point to the new versions of latex and pdflatex. (And any other ones you wish to use.)
    >cd /usr/bin
    >rm latex
    >rm pdflatex
    >ln -s /usr/local/texlive/2011/bin/i386-linux/latex /usr/bin/latex
    >ln -s /usr/local/texlive/2011/bin/i386-linux/pdflatex /usr/bin/pdflatex
  5. Change the symlink for texhash
    >rm texhash
    >ln -s /usr/local/texlive/2011/bin/i386-linux/texhash /usr/bin/texhash
  6. Run texhash.
  7. And TeXMaker should run with the latest versions of everything. You can verify this by looking at the .log file in the compiled document’s folder.

*Windows 7 was the first really usable version of Windows. I found myself actually using it more than cursing at it–a first for me and Microsoft product.

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One Response to Upgrading LaTeX on Fedora 16

  1. Thank you very much. I was a bit angry, when I saw, that on F17 still, Latex is in 2007 version! Now I can finally make my cv with a recent version of moderncv (and lots of other fine packages)!

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