I need to install pdflatex on my Linux powered machine (Amazon EC2 instance, didn't decided yet which distribution would be the best so also feel free to give a hint) because I want to connect pdflatex & PHP to produce rendering of LaTeX code to PDF on my website (so user could type in LaTeX, click render and download a PDF, like http://www.scribtex.com). Can you give me some directions?

  • Did you build this system? Do you start a new pdflatex process each time you make changes? – Lord Loh. Mar 4 '14 at 5:50

Depending on your instance, you might already have a lot of tex tools installed. So when you get it, first check if they're there.

That being said, you can grab the pdftex source from the net using wget, and then compile it from there (assuming Amazon gives you compilers, I've never used their service). Something like this:

wget http://sarovar.org/frs/download.php/1292/pdftex-1.40.10.tar.bz2
tar xf pdftex-1.40.10.tar.bz2
cd pdftex-1.40-10
make install

Those commands will probably be different based on what kind of environment they give you. Just remember that you can download any file from the net using wget or curl. Once you've got that down, downloading source and packages is a breeze. Good luck!


This question would possibly be on-topic on TeX Stack Exchange. If you are using Linux, you probably want to use TeX Live. Specifically, two reasonable choices are:

1) Use Debian (or Ubuntu) TeX Live packaging. The Debian TeX Packaging is quite good. It is also, mostly a one man effort, unfortunately, by Norbert Preining.

2) Use upstream TeX Live. Norbert describes how do this on Debian.


You can install the texlive-pdftex from any repository. For instance in current Amazon Linux (based on redhat) this appears:

$ yum search pdftex
Complementos cargados:priorities, update-motd, upgrade-helper
992 packages excluded due to repository priority protections
====================== N/S matched: pdftex ======================
texlive-pdftex-bin.x86_64 : Binaries for pdftex
texlive-pdftex-def.noarch : Colour and Graphics support for PDFTeX
texlive-pdftex-doc.noarch : Documentation for pdftex
texlive-iftex.noarch : Am I running under pdfTeX, XeTeX or LuaTeX?
texlive-pdftex.noarch : A TeX extension for direct creation of PDF
texlive-thumbpdf.noarch : Thumbnails for pdfTeX and dvips/ps2pdf

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