Installing Tectonic

There are several options for installing Tectonic. The best choice depends on your computing environment.

If unsure, try the Anaconda method. It involves a few steps in the command line and a few downloads, but it is straightforward and reliable.

We’re actively working to provide additional methods to install Tectonic! If there’s a new method that you would like to see or can help provide, please mention it on the forums.

If any of these instructions don’t work for you or can be clarified, please file an issue on this website’s GitHub issue tracker.

Installing Tectonic on Windows

Tectonic does not yet support Windows, though work is underway to rectify this. In the mean time, if you install the Windows Subsystem for Linux, you get a complete Ubuntu installation, and the instructions for Ubuntu work.

Pre-built binary packages

These are specific to your operating system. We only provide a few right now.

Arch Linux:

There is a tectonic package in the AUR. Follow The instructions on the Arch Wiki to download and install it.

First, make sure you have the prerequisites installed. Download the build files using

git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/tectonic.git

It is good practice to carefully check the PKGBUILD and any .install files for malicious commands. Then install the package and any dependencies by running makepkg in the package directory

cd tectonic
makepkg -si

Homebrew on macOS/OS X

There is a tectonic package in Homebrew. If you already have Homebrew installed, installing Tectonic should be as simple as:

brew install tectonic

The cargo install method

If your system has C++ and Rust compilers installed, you can install Tectonic using Rust’s packaging tool, cargo. Make sure that Rust’s bin folder ($HOME/.cargo/bin by default) is in your $PATH. Tectonic currently requires various system support libraries to be installed, so you must do some setup before attempting the installation. The various steps are broken out by operating system below.

Debian and Ubuntu Linux:

Ensure that the requisite packages are installed with the following command:

sudo apt-get install libfontconfig1-dev libgraphite2-dev libharfbuzz-dev libicu-dev zlib1g-dev

Once that is done, the following should be sufficient to download and install the latest Tectonic release:

cargo install tectonic

You can then run Tectonic with:

tectonic

RHEL, CentOS, or Fedora Linux:

Ensure that the requisite packages are installed with the following command:

sudo dnf install fontconfig-devel graphite2-devel harfbuzz-devel libicu-devel openssl-devel zlib-devel

Once that is done, the following should be sufficient to download and install the latest Tectonic release:

cargo install tectonic

You can then run Tectonic with:

tectonic

macOS / OS X with Homebrew:

The recommended way to install the required dependencies is with Homebrew. The following commands will install the required formulae:

brew install --only-dependencies tectonic
brew install pkg-config

If you’re not using rustup you should also

brew install rust

The cargo invocation is then as normal, but requires some auxiliary environment variables as well:

export DEP_OPENSSL_INCLUDE=$(brew --prefix openssl)/include
export PKG_CONFIG_PATH=/usr/local/opt/icu4c/lib/pkgconfig
cargo install tectonic

Alternatively, you can build tectonic from source by running

brew install --build-from-source tectonic

You can then run Tectonic with:

tectonic

The Anaconda method

If the other installation methods do not or cannot work for you, another reliable installation method is based on Continuum Analytics’ Anaconda Python framework, even though nothing in Tectonic uses Python.

This method works for Linux and macOS computers.

If you already have Anaconda Python installed:

The support libraries that we use are only provided through conda-forge, a community-led project that emulates and updates the official Anaconda system. To use Tectonic you must start using conda-forge packages. The packages from conda-forge will replace nearly all of the ones from a stock Anaconda installation, but that’s OK. The replacement packages aim to be drop-in replacements for the standard distribution.

If you are already using conda-forge, you don’t need to change anything. Otherwise, run this command to enable conda-forge in your installation:

conda config --add channels conda-forge

The pre-compiled Tectonic installation is distributed through a separate “channel” that provides the necessary dependencies. To complete the installation, run these commands:

conda config --add channels pkgw-forge
conda update --all
conda install tectonic
tectonic --help # test that the program works

If you need to install both Tectonic and Anaconda Python:

We recommend that you use Continuum’s “Miniconda” installer to get set up quickly. First, install Miniconda according to these official instructions.

Once Miniconda is installed you may need to open a new terminal in order for its changes to take effect. If all went well, the command conda will now be available in your terminal. Proceed using the instructions given in the previous section.