Yihui Xie

TinyTeX Users can Install the Full TeX Live Now (It's a few Gigabytes)

Yihui Xie / 2022-05-19

As I mentioned in the previous post, we planned to move the tinytex-related repositories from my personal account on Github to rstudio, which is done now. In this post, I want to mention one thing that has actually existed for a long time but never been publicly mentioned: the full TeX Live bundle, as one of the variations of TinyTeX.

As you may know, TinyTeX was originally created as a lightweight LaTeX distribution. That means we only include a small subset of LaTeX packages in it, just enough to compile most R Markdown documents and projects to PDF. If any LaTeX packages are still missing, the R package tinytex will try to automatically install them on-the-fly. This approach has one significant problem—it will not work when you do not have an Internet connection. For example, you may be working on your flight (come on, why torture yourself like that), or in a corporate environment that restricts your Internet connection.

To avoid the hassle, you (or your sysadmin) can install all possible LaTeX packages, which will definitely take much more disk space, but you may prefer the peace of mind. We have been building this “HugeTeX” for a while (known as the TinyTeX-2 bundle), which is currently a little less than two Gigabytes when compressed and contains over 4000 packages. To install it via R:

# requires a version tinytex >= 0.40

# increase the download timeout to 2 hours just in case the
# default 1 hour is not enough (you can further increase it)
options(timeout = 7200)

tinytex::install_tinytex(bundle = 'TinyTeX-2')

To install it via shell and batch scripts, you can set the environment variable TINYTEX_INSTALLER=TinyTeX-2 before running the script.

Happy TeXing with these 4000 packages!