Guix provides packages for the TeX, LaTeX, ConTeXt, LuaTeX, and related typesetting systems, taken from the TeX Live distribution. However, because TeX Live is so huge and because finding your way in this maze is tricky, we thought that you, dear user, would welcome guidance on how to deploy the relevant packages so you can compile your TeX and LaTeX documents.
TeX Live currently comes in two flavors in Guix:
texlivepackage: it comes with every single TeX Live package (more than 7,000 of them), but it is huge (more than 4 GiB for a single package!).
texlive-packages: you install
texlive-base, which provides core functionality and the main commands—
mf, etc.—together with individual packages that provide just the features you need—
texlive-pgffor PGF/TikZ, and so on.
We recommend using the modular package set because it is much less resource-hungry. To build your documents, you would use commands such as:
guix shell texlive-base texlive-wrapfig \ texlive-hyperref texlive-cm-super -- pdflatex doc.tex
You can quickly end up with unreasonably long command lines though. The solution is to instead write a manifest, for example like this one:
(specifications->manifest '("rubber" "texlive-base" "texlive-wrapfig" "texlive-microtype" "texlive-listings" "texlive-hyperref" ;; PGF/TikZ "texlive-pgf" ;; Additional fonts. "texlive-cm-super" "texlive-amsfonts" "texlive-times" "texlive-helvetic" "texlive-courier"))
You can then pass it to any command with the -m option:
guix shell -m manifest.scm -- pdflatex doc.tex
See Writing Manifests, for more on
manifests. In the future, we plan to provide packages for TeX Live
collections—“meta-packages” such as
langarabic that provide the set of packages
needed in this particular domain. That will allow you to list fewer
The main difficulty here is that using the modular package set forces
you to select precisely the packages that you need. You can use
guix search, but finding the right package can prove to be
tedious. When a package is missing,
pdflatex and similar
commands fail with an obscure message along the lines of:
doc.tex: File `tikz.sty' not found. doc.tex:7: Emergency stop.
or, for a missing font:
kpathsea: Running mktexmf phvr7t ! I can't find file `phvr7t'.
How do you determine what the missing package is? In the first case, you’ll find the answer by running:
$ guix search texlive tikz name: texlive-pgf version: 59745 …
In the second case,
guix search turns up nothing. Instead,
you can search the TeX Live package database using the
$ guix shell texlive-base -- tlmgr info phvr7t tlmgr: cannot find package phvr7t, searching for other matches: Packages containing `phvr7t' in their title/description: Packages containing files matching `phvr7t': helvetic: texmf-dist/fonts/tfm/adobe/helvetic/phvr7t.tfm texmf-dist/fonts/tfm/adobe/helvetic/phvr7tn.tfm texmf-dist/fonts/vf/adobe/helvetic/phvr7t.vf texmf-dist/fonts/vf/adobe/helvetic/phvr7tn.vf tex4ht: texmf-dist/tex4ht/ht-fonts/alias/adobe/helvetic/phvr7t.htf
The file is available in the TeX Live
helvetic package, which is
known in Guix as
texlive-helvetic. Quite a ride, but we found
There is one important limitation though: Guix currently provides a subset of the TeX Live packages. If you stumble upon a missing package, you can try and import it (see Invoking guix import):
guix import texlive package
Note: TeX Live packaging is still very much work in progress, but you can help! See Contributing, for more information.