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✻ LaTeX on DICE SL7

We believe certain common packages were removed from TexLive 2012 by our upstream Linux distribution so we have built an alternative, more fully-featured TexLive 2015 installation in /opt/texlive/2015.

As of November 2016:

  • TexLive 2015 is now available and (as of 2016-11-10) compatible with the Informatics classes (so far as we're aware!). It will be the default on all desktops and most multi-user servers by the end of the month.
  • The faulty TexLive 2012 is still available (via /usr/bin) and in some cases might be the default - see below for how to tell. We intend to remove it completely where possible.
  • A fully-featured TexLive 2007 remains available on the few remaining DICE SL6 machines.
  • We're trialling TexLive 2016 on SL7 (to replace 2015 as soon as possible).

We strongly recommend that all users choose TexLive 2015 where possible.

If 2015 is the default you should also be able to run:

[sl7host]user$ pdflatex --version
pdfTeX 3.14159265-2.6-1.40.16 (TeX Live 2015)
[...]

Otherwise you will see:

[sl7host]user$ pdflatex --version
pdfTeX 3.1415926-2.5-1.40.14 (TeX Live 2013)
[...]

If 2015 has been installed on your machine you should still be able to run:

[sl7host]user$ /opt/texlive/2015/bin/x86_64-linux/pdflatex --version
pdfTeX 3.14159265-2.6-1.40.16 (TeX Live 2015)
[...]

and make it the default for your current session by adding the above directory to your $PATH - or by running

[sl7host]user$ module add texlive2015

in a shell before running LaTeX commands (disable with module rm texlive2015).

If texlive 2015 is not installed, or you'd like it to be the default for all users on a given machine, please contact support.

Types of Support

The use of LaTeX, TeX and associated tools is supported within Informatics.

As well as the generic document preparation environment under DICE, LaTeX and its tools form a key part of several Informatics services. However we cannot provide comprehensive support for LaTeX authors, and this document attempts to explain the extent of support available.

1. Distribution and Tools

DICE desktops and compute servers are provided with a full LaTeX distribution (presently TeX Live, as provided by upstream Scientific Linux) and Informatics provides updates and support for its basic operation. We are able to directly support the production of basic documents in formats such as PDF and PostScript and can provide basic assistance in extending the environment.

We also maintain a set of Informatics-specific classes for use within this distribution and provide the packages required to build them. The Informatics files can be found in /usr/share/texmf/tex/latex/informatics/. Guidance on using these files can be found within the files themselves and the documentation directory, (/usr/share/texmf/doc/latex/informatics/ on any suitable DICE machine). We also maintain a package of resources for use with our classes, such as logos, on the same set of machines.

On DICE machine you you can see the full (long) list of classes and files packaged by Informatics with the following command:

rpm -ql latex.local.informatics latex.local.informatics.defs

In addition to the packages installed, support can generally fulfil requests for updates and additional packages, though this is subject to the usual restrictions on new software. Please see our documentation on software requests for details.

2. Services using TeX

The following Informatics services make direct use of LaTeX:

Computing support covers the distribution, operation and maintenance of the above and will be able to support the generation of documents using the tools (in most cases this is automated), but this support is limited to basic assistance with compilation or system errors. For support beyond this, see below.

3. Document Creation

For those having trouble laying out (or even compiling) your documents, the support we can provide is limited. If the problem is not caused by or related to our environment, it may not be possible for computing support to solve problems with your document (though you should still expect a response, and the usual policies of escalation still apply).

The best way to find LaTeX support in Informatics is from colleagues and peers who have direct experience in writing their own documents. We'd recommend putting your question to our inf-general mailing list, particularly if you're looking for suggestions on how to achieve a particular effect or result. We have started to compile a list of Questions and Answers based on emails sent to this list.

Alternatively, or if you've exhausted our local expertise, there are several popular online resources and indeed communities which might be able to help. A good source of such sites is the UK-TUG website, whose links include:

Last reviewed: 
08/11/2016

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