TinyTex

14 June 2018

I have had ongoing problems using biber bookdown and laxtex to produce PDFs. So, I decided to throw out the package texlive-full and start again. That didn’t work and I uninstalled it again and went looking for an alternative.

I knew that Yihui Xie had produced a distribution of LaTex called [TinyTex(https://yihui.name/tinytex/). So I thought I’d give it a go.

Well that was journey. Here are some notes for anyone else trying to get this excellent looking package to work under FreeBSD 11.1

First, deinstalling texlive-full (the FreeBSD package) leaves traces all over the system. It’s messy to find the bits. In the end I had to search the ~/.TinyTex tree and delete anything on the rest of the system that matched names (crude but effective).

Secondly, during installation I got a number of errors, e.g.,

fmtutil: running `xetex -ini -jobname=xetex -progname=xetex -etex xetex.ini' ...
Shared object "libfreetype.so.9" not found, required by "xetex"

On this particular installation, l have:

/usr/local/lib/libfreetype.so
/usr/local/lib/libfreetype.so.6

So I cheated and linked libfreetype.so to libfreetype.so.9. That allowed the package to install cleanly.

Finally, to bookdown to compile to a PDF (the whole point of the exercise)

I kept on getting errors about biblatex not finding apa (my referencing style of choice/necessity). Because I erroneously believed it was installed, it took forever for me to figure out I need to do:

tlmgr install biblatex-apa

and then, being British, it was easy to do

tlmgr install babel-english

And now it all seems to work. That said, I’ve not tried producing any PDFs from the other .tex and .md files I have laying around.