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Is there a package that contains a Tex to PDF converter/renderer available on Ubuntu 12.04?

If not can you recommend a tool for me to download from elsewhere that can do this that is simple to install?

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Welcome Triss, I investigated this a while back and I'm not sure there is a way via the command line. I use Lyx. You might find some useful information here though – stephenmyall Jul 22 '12 at 11:05
@StephenMyall: Lyx is not a command line utility. – Martin Schröder Jul 23 '12 at 6:40
Im aware of that and thats why I commented rather than answer your question. I wanted to let you know that I had looked for a command line utility before for this type of conversion with no luck. I hope you have better luck. – stephenmyall Jul 23 '12 at 6:46
up vote 16 down vote accepted

As far as I know, you won't find a single standalone binary that will do this for you. The typical utility is called pdflatex and is part of the TeX Live package. It's in the repositories, so simply opening the terminal and typing the below will install pdflatex and lots of other essential TeX stuff:

sudo apt-get install texlive
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For people who see this QnA, do visit and a sample pdf question… – abel Dec 12 '13 at 17:11
The difficulty with this answer is that it doesn't actually tell the asker how to use the pdflatex utility to make the conversion on the command line. Since that was the question, this doesn't provide a full answer. (Some of us may be able to just read man pages, but for command-line novices who might read this some more explanation is important.) – monotasker Jun 5 '14 at 17:46

At the command line, first install the texlive package if it isn't already installed:

sudo apt-get install texlive

Then use the pdflatex utility to convert the file like this:

pdftex /path/to/myfile.tex

The path /path/to/myfile.tex is, of course, an example path. You would put the path to your own file on your system.

Notice that although the utility is called pdflatex you execute it with the command pdftex (without the la).

There are several settings that you can read about in the help for pdflatex:

pdflatex --help

The setting I use the most is the one to generate the pdf in a different directory:

pdflatex /path/to/myfile.tex --output-directory=../otherdir

The pdflatex utility is also interactive, so that if you forget to supply necessary information it will prompt you to enter it before converting the file.

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You should try rubber. It is a command-line tool to handle all the tasks associated with compiling TeX documents into pdf, dvi, etc.

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For Ubuntu 13.10 I suggest you use texlive-full, since it works better.

To install it, open a terminal window and type or copy/paste:

sudo apt-get install texlive-full
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Does this still apply for 15.x? – Dodekeract Jan 4 at 18:59

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