[Tex/LaTex] download CTAN packages from the command-line? (Ubuntu)


I'm reading this, where one of the respondents says to "get a package from CTAN". There are no installation instructions in the package mentioned.

I've installed texlive-full and use the long-term support version of Ubuntu precisely so I won't have to deal with this stuff, so everything will "just work".

Is there a command I can run from the terminal, like ctan-install or latex-install, that will find the packages I need, update them, etc.?

(sudo apt-get upgrade doesn't show that texlive-full needs updating.)

update: Thank you for the help, everyone. I think this is going to work (eventually). However as I keep downloading iso's, the synaptic package for texlive-full, and install-tl, my hard drive is now close to full with all of these TeX libraries! What should I delete after this is all over, and how? (I tried to remove the texlive-full meta-package in Synaptic and it said it would remove teXmacs as well.) Also: how am I ever going to keep this up to date and working with other programs I may install in the future?

Best Answer

Another solution is to download TeX Live 2011 from here. After having installed it, and having performed the post-installation step, you can then use tlmgr to list the packages that are available for download or have been updated as follows:

sudo -i tlmgr update --list

You can also use the following command, for example, to get all the packages available for download/update:

sudo -i tlmgr update --all

To select a particular package for download/update, type the following command:

sudo -i tlmgr update <package-name>

This requires you to know the name of the package you want to download/update.

Alternatively, you may run the tlmgr in GUI mode by typing the following command:

sudo -i tlmgr --gui

This will allow you to select the packages that you want to install/update/remove.

Note that, in order to run tlmgr in GUI mode, you will need to install perl-tk.

P.S. Yes, I am using Ubuntu, and have not had a problem thus far....

P.P.S. The post installation step requires that you add the path to your TeXLive 2011 binaries in $PATH. To do this for all users, create a file called zzz-texlive.sh in /etc/profile.d/:

export PATH=/usr/local/texlive/2010/bin/`uname -i`-linux:$PATH
export MANPATH=/usr/local/texlive/2010/texmf/doc/man:$MANPATH
export INFOPATH=/usr/local/texlive/2010/texmf/doc/info:$INFOPATH

Note that you will have to be logged in as root to do this. If you can't log in as root, create the file using the following command:

sudo vi zzz-texlive.sh

vi is a text editor that will allow you to create the file. You may, however, use other editors if vi is not your thing. Once you set up the paths correctly, and reboot your system, you can then run tlmgr as indicated above.

Note that the above post-installation solution was proposed by @Herbert here.