TeXLive — on Android
by Willie Wong
I’ve just done something that is, admittedly, rather silly. And I am somewhat surprised that it actually worked.
I managed to have TeXLive running on my new Samsung Galaxy Tab A, which runs Android.
It is painfully slow (speed is comparable to my old netbook from 2010). But in a pinch, I now know that it works. And that gives me some (minor) peace of mind.
What I did
- First, install Termux from the Play Store. (For those of you FOSS-minded, it is also available on F-Droid.) Termux is a terminal emulator with supports from some Linux Packages. (An alternative is to install GNURoot-Debian, but I’d rather not try to maintain a full Debian installation on a tablet, running on top of Android, if I can help it.)
- Next, fire up Termux. It is very helpful to run as your first command
termux-setup-storageto enable certain symlinks and give access to the external SD card if you have one.
- To install the most basic of TeXLive, you just need to run
pkg install texlive.
Now, the basic TeXLive distribution is missing a lot of useful packages. You can maintain the TeXLive installation via
tlmgr as usual. A few collections that could be good to install are
coreutils: Termux by default use
busyboxto emulate most utils; proper versions of standard Unix commands are useful to have.
neovim: If you need a text editor on the terminal…
If you use additional fonts I would suggest installing them one-by-one (I installed
kpfonts as that’s the one I use almost exclusively); fonts take up a lot of storage space and accounts for, on my desktop, 75% of the on-disk size of TeXLive.
My current installation of Termux uses 600MB, and about 80% or more of that is TeXLive.
Here are some additional Termux packages that can be useful to complete your TeX needs: