TexLive Binaries for OpenBSD
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tlobsd: better handling of 'no '
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You can also use your local clone with git send-email.

#TeX Live for OpenBSD


#2024 Release

[Updated April 6, 2024] TeX Live for OpenBSD is meant for the 2024 release of TeX Live, and will always run on both -stable and -current versions of OpenBSD.

The TeX Live 2024 binaries are available for the following versions of OpenBSD:

  • 7.4 (frozen as of April 6)
  • 7.5
  • 7.5-current

#Running TeX Live in OpenBSD

There are two ways of using TeX Live in OpenBSD.

  1. From ports. TeX Live is available in variety of “schemes” to wit different sets of package collections, of which a list can be found on openports.pl.[^1]

  2. By installing the “native” TeX Live over the internet, as described on its home page. This latter method facilitates the installation of new packages and the updating of existing ones. However, the binaries for OpenBSD are not currently part of the official TeX Live distribution. The reason for this is that the TeX Live binaries are published once a year while the OpenBSD system undergoes two updates a year.

This page provides an easy way to build one's own TeX Live binaries for OpenBSD—either -stable or -current—through a simple script which is nothing but an adapted version of the one used to build TeX Live for the supported systems.[^2]

Furthermore, TeX Live for OpenBSD provides ready-to-use binary sets for those who do not wish to compile their own.

In addition to the standard binaries supported by TeX Live, TeX Live for OpenBSD provides the following:

  • xindy
  • LuaMetaTeX (ConTeXt)
  • asymptote

biber will soon be added to this list.

#TeX Live for OpenBSD at Utah

By far the most abundant source of documentation on TeX Live builds for a large number of systems is Nelson Beebe's work at Utah. It can be found here: https://ftp.math.utah.edu/pub/texlive-utah.

From this url, the binaries for OpenBSD are located in the bin/ subdirectory. Look for amd64-openbsd*.tar.xz. the build for 7.4 was done with the gcc-11 compilers. The one for 7.5 is done with the gcc-8.4.0 compilers which are widely used to build most OpenBSD ports.

The binaries available here are made with clang, which is the base system compiler.

#Installing TeX Live on OpenBSD with ready-to-use binaries

Please read first the reference page on this matter: https://tug.org/texlive/custom-bin.html.

  1. Requirements:

    • curl
    • gpg
    • xz
    • p5-Tk
  2. Acquire install-tl-unx.tar.gz from CTAN as described on this page.

    • do:

      zcat < install-tl-unx.tar.gz | tar xf -
    • do: (Replace with the actual date.)

      cd install-tl-<yyyymmdd>
  3. Import the public key used to sign the archive:

    gpg --keyserver hkps://keys.openpgp.org --recv 1773E9248085C8C7

    The GPG public key used to sign the archives can also be retrieved here. (You can view the contents with gpg --show-keyring, or gpg --list-options show-keyring depending on your gpg version.)

  4. Clone this git repository and fetch the binaries:

    git clone https://git.sr.ht/~ralessi/texlive-openbsd
    cd texlive-openbsd
    make fetch


    git clone https://git.robertalessi.net/texlive-openbsd
    cd texlive-openbsd
    make fetch
  5. TeX Live can be installed as root or as a normal user. Make a decision, then do:

    cd ..

    and proceed with the installation, as per the instructions displayed on the terminal.

    Make sure the create symlinks to standard directories option in the options section of the installation program is not selected.

  6. Post-install actions. (What follows assumes that the installation has been performed as root. Adapt.) At the end of the installation, the script offers to create environment variables. Say no, then:

    1. Edit root's .profile file and add the path to the binaries, like so (replace here and below <yyyy> with the actual year):

      # insert this line:
      # modify this line like so:

      Make sure to insert $TLBIN before /usr/local/bin. Then do the same in other users' .profile files.

    2. Edit /etc/man.conf (copy /etc/examples/man.conf to /etc if this file doesn't exist) and add the manpath to TL man files, like so:

      manpath /usr/share/man
      manpath /usr/X11R6/man
      manpath /usr/local/man
      manpath /usr/local/texlive/<yyyy>/texmf-dist/doc/man
    3. Symlink texlive-fontconfig.conf file to /etc/fonts/conf.d/09-texlive.conf and update the font cache:

      cd /etc/fonts/conf.d
      ln -sf /usr/local/texlive/<yyyy>/texmf-var/fonts/conf/texlive-fontconfig.conf 09-texlive.conf
      fc-cache -fsv
    4. Symlink /usr/local/texlive/<yyyy>/bin/custom to /usr/local/texlive/<yyyy>/bin/amd64-openbsd:

      cd /usr/local/texlive/<yyyy>/bin/custom
      ln -s custom amd64-openbsd
  7. Reboot and enjoy TeX Live on OpenBSD!

#All by hand

Direct link to the binaries: https://www.ekdosis.org/texlive.

#Updating the binaries over the course of the year

The requirements are the same as above. (Make sure you already have imported the public key used to sign the archives.)

  1. Go to the directory where the texlive-openbsd git repository was cloned, then do:

    git pull
  2. Proceed as per the instructions displayed on the terminal.

Alternatively, the direct link to the binaries provided above can be used.

#Package installation and updates

To install new packages and to update already existing ones, do:

tlobsd tlmgr update --all

This command requires the subversion package.

In TeX Live for OpenBSD, tlobsd tlmgr replaces the standard tlmgr command which is the command name of TeX Live package manager. tlobsd tlmgr can be used with the exact same options and arguments as tlmgr.

More information can be found on this page or in the full tlmgr documentation.

tlobsd tlmgr updates the links to a number of scripts that are shipped within TeX Live and are found in the texmf-dist/scripts/ directory. Most of them can be invoked by users from symlinks installed along with the usual TeX Live binaries. As OpenBSD is not officially supported by TeX Live, it is important to note that the standard tlmgr update --all does not update these links, especially in the case of scripts that come with new packages.

Users who for some reason wish to continue using tlmgr are advised to update all existing links and install new links after using tlmgr, like so:

tlobsd mksymlinks

Just as tlobsd tlmgr, this command requires the subversion package.

#More information on tlobsd:

tlobsd help

#Building the sources



  • For texlive
    • git
    • gmake
    • rsync
    • subversion
    • wget
    • curl
  • For context:
    • cmake
    • ninja
  • For asymptote:
    • readline
    • freeglut
    • eigen3
    • py3-cson, py3-qt5 and py3-numpy (run dependencies for xasy)

#Getting the sources





Special thanks go to the following people for their work and kind advice: Karl Berry, Nelson H. F. Beebe, Norbert Preining and Mojca Miklavec.


[^1]: More information on how TL is built for OpenBSD here: https://cvsweb.openbsd.org/cgi-bin/cvsweb/ports/print/texlive

[^2]: See https://tug.org/texlive/build.html. The Build script can be found here: https://tug.org/svn/texlive/trunk/Build/source.