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. 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 "" not found, required by "xetex"

    On this particular installation, l have:


    So I cheated and linked to 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.

    If you webmention this page, please let me know the URL of your page.

    BTW: Your webmention won't show up until I next "build" my site.

    Word count: 300 (about 2 minutes)


    Updated: 14 Jun '18 11:05

    Author: Peter Smith


    Section: blog

    Kind: page

    Bundle type: leaf

    Source: blog/2018/06/14/tinytex/