TeXLive and Asymptote on CentOS 5

Tex Live

For reasons unknown, a TeX Live package is not available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux/Centos 5 from the major repositories (EPEL or DAG).  I consider this to be a glaring omission, since TeXLive is a great improvement upon teTeX.  Since I don’t have time right now to package it myself, I installed TeX Live manually in my user directory and it’s working fine.  I used the network install process, which starts with downloading a command-line installer and then following the detailed installation instructions with the base path set to $HOME/texlive/2011.


The binary version of Asymptote installed with TeX Live didn’t run on my system, so I installed the Asymptote vector graphics language manually.  As root, I used yum to install the gc and gc-devel packages to provide the Boehm garbage collector that Asymptote uses.  I also had to install the package texinfo-tex from the CentOS base repo to provide the texindex utility that Asymptote uses to build its documentation.  Once the dependencies were in place, I downloaded the Asymptote source archive and unpacked it.  I used the following commands to build Asymptote in my user directory:

./configure --prefix=$HOME/asymptote
make install

Finally, I set up up the path environment variable in my .bashrc so that the copy of Asymptote I just built will run instead of the binary that comes with TeX Live and my locally installed TeX Live will run instead of the system installation of teTeX:

export PATH=~/asymptote/bin:~/texlive/2011/bin/x86_64-linux:$PATH

If you are doing this from scratch, you should check whether there is a away to prevent the TeX Live installer from installing Asymptote.
Technically, I could remove the system installation of teTeX at this point, but the LyX package depends on teTeX and I’ll have to see if there’s a way to tell yum to keep LyX and get rid of teTeX.

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