TeX Live is an easy way to get up and running with TeX. It provides a comprehensive TeX system for most types of Unix, including GNU/Linux and MacOSX, and also Windows. It includes all major freely-available TeX-related programs, macro packages, and fonts, including support for many languages around the world.
Test images for the next release of TeX Live are available. Please give them a try if you can, so the release will be as good as possible.
TeX Live 2005 was distributed on DVD and CD in December 2005 to members of most TeX user groups, as a principal part of the TeX Collection. The last update of packages and programs was made on 1 November 2005. For more recent versions, please consult CTAN. At present, TeX Live regrettably does not support incremental updates.
For a list of the most important changes in this year's release, see the Release history section at the end of the documentation. The single most notable change is that you must now run programs texconfig-system, updmap-sys, and fmtutil-sys to alter system-wide configurations under Unix-like systems; the normal (non-sys) versions alter per-user configuration.
The general documentation for TeX Live, including installation instructions for Unix, MacOSX, and Windows, is included in the distribution. It's also available online:
New users can find some starting points for actually using TeX in this introduction to the TeX system.
More documentation for some of the basic pieces of the system: web2c tds pdftex kpathsea dvips.
TeX Live has been developed since 1996 by collaboration between the TeX user groups. It is extensively tested before its release, but bugs undoubtedly remain; additional testing and bug reports are always welcome. Please report problems and suggestions to the tex-live mailing list, but first check the list of known bugs and updates.
TeX Live is distributed as a benefit of membership to TUG members each year. So, if you wish to obtain TeX Live through TUG, please become a TUG member. You'll also receive a year of TUGboat and additional software, among other things. (Alternatively, you can purchase any of these items from the TUG store, without becoming a member.)
Most other TeX user groups also make TeX Live available to their members; please contact whichever you are interested in for details. TUG encourages you to join whichever user group is right for you.
TeX Live has also been repackaged for many GNU/Linux distributions; see the TeX Live and Debian and TeX Jive web pages.
Space limitations of CD-ROM format have forced us to divide TeX Live into more than one distribution. (See the top-level README and the main documentation for more details.)
You can browse the contents of the TeX Live distribution.
You can also download the compressed ISO image file from CTAN for the inst distribution, and burn your own CD. It is a BIG download, but it is available. Please use your nearest CTAN mirror if possible. CTAN sites allow download via ftp, http, and (sometimes) rsync.
The ISO images are also available from tug.org, but please don't download them unless you really need them and will use them. tug.org's bandwidth is provided by the University of Aarhus, and we don't want to abuse their hospitality. Thanks. (And if you do download them, get the .zip or .bz2 compressed files.)
If you do download an image, after uncompressing
you can make it available as a file system, without burning an actual
disc, under capable operating systems. For example, to mount the file
system contained in the file texlive-inst.iso on the directory
/mnt/texlive under GNU/Linux (add ,user to allow
mounting as non-root):
mount -t iso9660 -o ro,loop,noauto /your/texlive-inst.iso /mnt/texlive
For Windows, try the Daemon Tools.
TeX Live is now available via bittorrent, by http or udp. Thanks to Steve Humber for volunteering to make this happen.
Some older releases are available for historic purposes.
The following systems are supported in this year's release:
HP-UX 10.20 binaries and Nokia 770 binaries are available online (they were created after the release). It should work to simply install TL from another system and put these into the resulting bin/ directory.
If you want to redistribute or modify TeX Live, please see the copying conditions. In summary, to the best of our knowledge, all the software in TeX Live meets the requirements of the Free Software Foundation's definition of free software, and the Debian Free Software Guidelines. (Where the two conflict, we generally follow the FSF.)
In essence, this means that all the material in TeX Live may be freely used, copied, modified, and redistributed, subject to the sources remaining freely available. (Note: this is not true of all the software in the CTAN snapshot, which is sometimes distributed alongside TeX Live.)
However, you cannot yourself claim copyright (especially a proprietary copyright) on TeX Live just because you redistribute it! Again, please see the copying conditions.
If you have questions, problems, or suggestions for TeX Live, please send email to the tex-live mailing list. (Mailing list archives are available.) Bug reports are critical, and we always appreciate them. However, if you're reporting problems with a particular program, as opposed to the general TeX Live packaging, then please report it to the maintainers of that program.
If you wish to get your software or package included in TeX Live, please see this advice and requests for contributing packages.
If you are willing to help test TeX Live in advance of a release, please email. We can always use more testers, on any platform. You'll need a good net connection to download the distribution.
If you can contribute new translations or otherwise help with the documentation, please email the doc list, email@example.com (archive).
If you can contribute to TeX Live development, including updating packages, installation improvements, building binaries for other platforms, or anything else (especially on Windows), please email to arrange for access to the source repository. TeX Live is only possible due to the efforts of volunteers worldwide; we welcome all newcomers.
Finally, if you wish to contribute financially :), we ask that
you support your local TeX user group, or perhaps contribute to the TeX Development Fund.
Original perpetrator of TeX Live: Sebastian Rahtz. Present miscreants: Karl Berry, Staszek Wawrykiewicz.