I'd like to learn and use LaTeX on Ubuntu. What packages do I need? What is the best editor for LaTeX code on Ubuntu for a new LaTeX user? I'd also like the ability to see the code in one pane and the results in a second pane, if possible -- not necessarily WYSIWYG, though.
Just install the texlive package, this will pull in all the essentials. Additionally you can install documentation in your language, eg. texlive-doc-en. If you're writing in a language different from English, you should also add the respective language package, e.g. texlive-lang-french. There are also nice topic oriented packages like texlive-science or texlive-humanities -- but if you want to learn the basics of LaTeX you certainly don't need them.
If you just need basic editing support like syntax highlighting, any text editor will do, including the standard GNOME text editor gedit. More advanced options include:
- texworks : A LaTeX editor with a quite clean and simple interface, featuring an integrated PDF viewer and synchronisation between the editor and the viewer (i.e. you can jump to the same position in both)
- kile : a powerful editor for KDE (can be installed under GNOME and works fine apart from changing some configuration details to use the GNOME pdf viewer for example)
- texmaker : Similar in scope to KILE, but more "GNOME-like" (e.g. less buttons in the toolbar ;-) ), a bit fewer features than KILE probably
- latexila : Like KILE, but targeted to GNOME.
- lyx : not really a LaTeX editor but more a word processor that uses LaTeX internally -- opinions differ whether this is the best way to learn "real" LaTeX.
Most of these editors don't really have a preview pane but this is not really necessary: Just keep evince open with the document you are working on, evince will automatically refresh its content as soon as you "compile" your latex document
If you just want to install the base stuff you should install
sudo apt-get install texlive-latex-base
If you want the whole shebang, including extensive documentation, you go for
sudo apt-get install texlive-full
If you want a lightweight editor, you could just install
sudo apt-get install gedit-latex-plugin
which adds LaTeX functionality to the default text editor.
If you want something with more functionality, you could give
texmaker a try
sudo apt-get install texmaker
Not necessarily a tool specifically for Ubuntu but we have a sister TeX Stack Exchange on this network that has great information for those of us still learning LaTeX.
You can install all the necessary latex packages via texlive-latex-base. There are also additional options available.
You can always use emacs as editor, it has a lot of latex utilities available. However, any editor you are comfortable with works.
If you like to have specialized editors (that actually have wysiwyg), you can look into lyx, or if you use KDE you can use KILE which is an IDE for latex.
KILE gives you additional help with LaTex utilities like bibliography etc. You can automatically start all the compilation necessary etc.
I while back I wrote a blog post comparing 8 different free LaTeX editors, all of which are available for Ubuntu. (Of course, I was using Ubuntu when I wrote the post!)
The post is about six months old at this time. I think a lot of the information there will be worthwhile, even though some of it is out of date, or new things have been added in the meantime not mentioned there. (E.g., Texmaker(x) has a built in preview now, gedit has become more SyncTeX compliant -- I guess evince now has some SyncTeX features, though I've never figured out how to use them.)
If you're not hurting for disk space (beware, it's over 2 GB!), I recommend installing the texlive-full package, or even skipping Ubuntu's package manager and installing TeXlive directly from CTAN/TUG. That way you never have to worry about missing pacakges.
Several people have mentioned Texmaker, but if you're considering that, I highly recommend going for the TexmakerX fork instead, which has a lot more features, or at least I did when I compared.
In the meantime, I've settled on using vim, but without the vim-latex suite. I've written some custom scripts, including one that provides vim with a live-update-as-you-type preview panel using mupdf. If anyone is interested, I'll post instructions for using that with Ubuntu somewhere. However, I don't really recommend trying to master both vim and LaTeX at the same time. They each have a huge learning curve (though they're both worth it!), and trying to do them both simultaneously would make the most patient person scream.
Gummi is a free, open source, cross-platform, program, featuring a live preview pane.
Features included in the latest stable release of Gummi:
Live preview pane for the compiled document Helpers to generate tables/matrices/graphics LaTeX error checking Syntax highlighting Spellchecking Document statistics BibTeX integration Persistent configuration
Features currently included in our development branch:
Multi-tab/document project support Support for additional build LaTeX systems rubber & latexmk Compiling through DVI & Postscript Makeindex support Continuous PDF preview mode Filter bibliography entries SyncTeX support
Gummi is still under active development.
You might want to try TeXlipse, a plugin that adds TeX support to the Eclipse IDE.
Vim is one of the best editors, but you need to learn a bit before you can use it (start
vimtutor in a terminal), and learn more to use it efficiently. It has an extension vim-latex in the
vim-latexsuite package. You can use the graphical version of vim, the
Texmaker is a free, modern and cross-platform LaTeX editor for linux, macosx and windows systems that integrates many tools needed to develop documents with LaTeX, in just one application.
Texmaker includes unicode support, spell checking, auto-completion, code folding and a built-in pdf viewer with synctex support and continuous view mode. Texmaker is easy to use and to configure.
Texmaker is released under the GPL license .
As other have mentioned texlive-latex-base and texlive-full are the best way to get the latex packages on your system. I also install texlive-latex-extra as it makes even more packages available.
Lately for a latex editor I have been trying out TeXworks. With TeXworks you can have your latex code open in one window and in the window next to it you can have your compiled document. When you make an update and rebuild the document the document view will stay at the point you where looking at so this can be useful for seeing your change took effect.
As a LaTeX distribution, you can use texlive. There's a metapackage called texlive-full that will install the entire distribution for you, but of course you can install individual packages as you need them. As for the editor, there are several options and you should probably try afew and see which one you prefer. I personally use either Emacs with auctex, or texworks. Other popular editors are vim, texmaker, and many more.
Without wanting to start a (religious) war I can highly recommend
emacs combined with AUCTeX. It provides fantastic facilities for moving around the document, managing references and citations, inserting template (LaTeX) markup for different environments (tables, figures, and so on) and compiling the document and previewing it.
AUCTeX is really excellent for long documents -- writing my thesis in it was what got me to learn
emacs and, sadly, use my beloved