SISSA Computing FAQ: about LATEX

It sometimes happens that you need a new version of some macro package or font; the correct approach is to create a private installation of (La)TeX which includes the new stuff you need.

Create in your home directory a subdirectory named texmf, using the following command:

mkdir ~/texmf

Install your new package (or whatever) in a directory structure like this:

File extensionDirectoryDescription
.sty, .cls or .fd~/texmf/tex/latex/<package_name>/Style file, Document class file or Font Definition files
.mf~/texmf/fonts/source/public/<font_name>/METAFONT outline
.tfm~/texmf/fonts/tfm/public/<font_name>/TeX Font Metrics for METAFONT and Type 1 fonts
.vf~/texmf/fonts/vf/public/<font_name>/TeX virtual fonts
.afm~/texmf/fonts/afm/public/<font_name>/Adobe Font Metrics for Type 1 fonts
.pfb~/texmf/fonts/type1/public/<font_name>/PostScript Type 1 outline
.ttf~/texmf/fonts/truetype/public/<font_name>/TrueType font
.otf~/texmf/fonts/opentype/public/<font_name>/OpenType font
.bst~/texmf/bibtex/bst/<package_name>/BibTeX style


  • <package_name> refers to the name of macro package you are installing. (p.e. beamer)
  • <font_name> refers to the name of font you are installing (p.e gothic)

and generate an index of that tree

mktexlsr ~/texmf

You can use this approach for updates to packages installed in the SISSA workstations, as well as for installing new versions of things.

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