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Why don't the Ubuntu repositories have the latest versions of software?

Starting from a fresh install of Ubuntu 12.04.1 in late August, I have used the Ubuntu Software Center to install the so-called "decent selection" of TeX Live and also some additional TeX Live packages. To my astonishment I have now realized that (at least some of) the TeX Live packages are outdated!

The Ubuntu Software Center states the version of the TeX Live distribution to be "texlive 2009-15". An example of an outdated file is fontspace.sty, on my system that file is dated 2008-08-09 but I have been informed that there is e.g. a version dated 2011-02-26 (see answer given to the question Problem with XeTeX (LaTeX) and system fonts at http://tex.stackexchange.com).

Two questions:

  • Why does the Ubuntu Software Center deliver an outdated version of the TeX Live distribution?
  • How to update the TeX Live distribution to the latest and greatest version?

marked as duplicate by Jorge Castro, Mitch, Anwar, mikewhatever, Uri Herrera Sep 6 '12 at 20:22

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • Welcome to Ask Ubuntu! :) Ask Ubuntu site works better when distinct questions are asked separately. It is hard to answer multiple question in a single answer. – Anwar Sep 6 '12 at 19:04
  • See also: askubuntu.com/questions/163682/… – Jorge Castro Sep 6 '12 at 19:16
  • 2
    TeX including LaTeX is one of the oldest open source projects and in my opinion with very high quality. I understand that the Ubuntu repositories can not have the latest versions of all software, but the offered TeX Live distribution should in my opinion always be the version closest to the Ubuntu release date. The answer to the howto question is of course most important for my way forward, but when taking my astonishment into account I assume it is understandable that I bundled the howto question with a question about why this could happen. – mghg Sep 6 '12 at 20:17
  • While I completely agree with your assessment, @mghg, I think the main reason is that the number of TeX users among Ubuntu users is minuscule, and most of them will be able to handle manual installation. I have the same problem with R repositories -- those in Ubuntu are outdated, and I use the cran repositories and manual package installation procedures. – January Sep 6 '12 at 21:06
  • For information about this see the comments in bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/texlive-base/+bug/712521 – N.N. Sep 7 '12 at 5:22

Install it manually using the instructions from the TeX Live Website. See also here.

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