One of the big advantages that Tectonic offers compared to the traditional TeX stack is that all of Tectonic’s functionality is delivered in a single executable file — not the usual tree of thousands of interlocking data files and binary tools.
The Tectonic Book provides detailed instructions for installing the Tectonic executable. The short version is:
- Click here to find the latest released binaries on GitHub, and read the book for guidance if you’re not sure what to do with those files
- Many package managers provide Tectonic, often in a package simply named
tectonic— see the book for details
- If you want or need to, you can compile Tectonic yourself using the Rust package manager Cargo
The GitHub download method should cover most use cases, but if you want better integration with your operating system or computing environment, packaged versions might make more sense. There should be no need to compile Tectonic yourself unless you want to, or you’re hoping to run it on an unusual platform.