How to install LaTeX package called "standalone" properly so I can get update with Synaptic package manager?

I know I can manually download the file and install it.

3 Answers 3


I'm the author of standalone. It is newer than TeX Live 2009, which is the version installed by Ubuntu and Debian. The current TeX Live version is 2011. If you install the vanilla version directly you get a TeX packages manager called tlmgr which can be used to install and update packages as long as they are part of TeX Live. I heavily recommend you to do a manual install. You can find instructions on TeX.SX: How to install “vanilla” TeXLive on Debian or Ubuntu?

Then you can install standalone with the following command:

tlmgr install standalone

BTW, you can update the packages and tlmgr itself using:

tlmgr update --self --all

An alternative is to install only the package manually. This can be very easily done using the TDS ZIP file available under http://mirrors.ctan.org/install/macros/latex/contrib/standalone.tds.zip. Simply unzip it in your local TEXMF folder, usally ~/texmf. You might need to run texhash ~/texmf afterwards.

  • Too bad the Ubuntu packages for TeXlive don't get updated once they're out.
    – krlmlr
    Feb 3, 2012 at 20:58
  • @user946850: If they would update to the newest TeX Live version once a year it would still be something. TL 2009 is pretty outdated and we see related issues of Ubuntu user on tex.stackexchange.com because of this. A manual install however is not a problem, can easily be managed and updated. One problem is that there are some dependencies which require the Ubuntu packages to be installed. Feb 4, 2012 at 9:56
  • 1
    ...which can be worked around by creating a dummy Debian package -- I've read about that. It's a mess. -- Do you know why it's the way it is? Why don't the Debian packages follow TeXlive?
    – krlmlr
    Feb 4, 2012 at 10:40
  • @user946850: AFAIK there is no dedicated maintainer for TeX Live under Debian and Ubuntu. The normal maintainers don't have the time to update it. I tried the dummy package, but this doesn't work to 100%. Feb 4, 2012 at 15:02
  • 1
    I actually had to unzip that package to /usr/share/texmf/tex/latex , not just /usr/share/texmf. Oct 31, 2012 at 13:52

UPDATE (2015-12-07): standalone.sty should now be installable with a simple

sudo apt-get install texlive-latex-extra

. Keeping the answer for reference.

The search

sudo apt-file search standalone.sty

doesn't give any results. This means that the package cannot be installed using Synaptic.

The reason is found in the answer by Martin Scharrer: The package is not included in TeXlive 2009 because it's too new. TeXLive 2009 is the version packaged with Ubuntu, there is no TeXlive 201. Also, the Ubuntu packages don't seem to receive updates once they're out.

The above is the reason why I installed TeXlive using tlmgr in my home, in ~/.texlive2011. Works like a charm.

  • Your answer lacks details on how to use tlmgr (and what it is, and where to get it).
    – exhuma
    Dec 7, 2015 at 10:45
  • @exhuma: My answer is by no means comprehensive and cannot substitute a web search. (It's outdated, too.)
    – krlmlr
    Dec 7, 2015 at 11:28

After installing and updating apt-file (sudo apt-get install apt-file; sudo apt-file update), I ran apt-file search standalone.sty and saw that it belonged to texlive-latex-extra.

So I just installed it (sudo apt-get install texlive-latex-extra) and it worked.

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