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TeX Systems

(La)TeX for different machines

We list here the free or shareware packages; another question addresses commercial TeX vendors' products.
Instructions for retrieving the Unix TeX distribution via anonymous ftp are available in the document systems/unix/unixtex.ftp, though nowadays the sensible installer will take (and possibly customise) one of the packaged distributions such as teTeX , or the TeX Live CD-ROM (see TeX CD-ROMs).

For teTeX, browse systems/unix/teTeX/1.0/distrib/sources for relevant files: you need at most one each of the .tar.gz files for teTeX-src, teTeX-texmf and teTeX-texmfsrc

Sets of binaries for many common Unix systems are to be found as part of the teTeX distribution, or on the TeX Live CD-ROM. For teTeX binaries, browse systems/unix/teTeX/1.0/distrib/binaries - there's a compressed .tar archive for each supported architecture in the directory. In default of a precompiled version, teTeX will compile on most Unix systems, though it was originally developed for use under Linux (see below).

There are at least two respectable implementations of TeX to run on Linux, NTeX (available as systems/unix/linux/ntex) and teTeX (browse systems/unix/teTeX/1.0/distrib/sources).

Beware the Slackware '96 CD-ROM distribution of NTeX: it includes a version of the CM fonts that has deeply offended Don Knuth (since it contravenes his distribution conditions). The Slackware updates now offer teTeX, as do most Linux distributions.

The emTeX package for PCs running OS/2, MS-DOS or Windows includes LaTeX, BibTeX, previewers, and drivers, and is available in systems/msdos/emtex as a series of zip archives. The package was written by Eberhard Mattes, and documentation is available in both German and English. Appropriate memory managers for using emTeX with 386 (and better) processors and under Windows, are included in the distribution.

A second package, gTeX, runs under MS-DOS or Windows (and its users speak well of it). It is available from systems/msdos/gtex

The most recent offering is an MS-DOS port of the Web2C 7.0 implementation, using the GNU djgpp compiler. It is available from systems/msdos/djgpp

PC: Win32
fpTeX, by Fabrice Popineau, is a version of teTeX for Windows systems. As such, it is particularly attractive to those who need to switch back and forth between Windows and Unix environments, and to administrators who need to maintain both (fpTeX can use the same texmf tree as a teTeX installation). fpTeX's previewer (Windvi) is based on xdvi, and takes advantage of extra facilities in the Win32 environment. Printing is available via dvips only. fp\TeX is available from systems/win32/fptex

MikTeX, by Christian Schenk, is also a comprehensive distribution, developed separately from the teTeX work. It has its own previewer, YAP, which is itself capable of printing, though the distribution also includes a port of dvips. See http://www.tex.ac.uk/tex-archive/systems/win32/miktex/ for downloading details.

Windows NT, other platforms
A Power PC port of MikTeX is available from systems/win32/miktexppc, and an AXP port is available from systems/win32/miktex-AXP
OzTeX is a shareware version of TeX for the Macintosh. A DVI previewer and PostScript driver are also included. It should run on any Macintosh Plus, SE, II, or newer model, but will not work on a 128K or 512K Mac. It was written by Andrew Trevorrow, and is available in nonfree/systems/mac/oztex

UK TUG prepays the shareware fee, so that its members may acquire the software without further payment. Questions about OzTeX may be directed to oztex@midway.uchicago.edu

Another partly shareware program is CMacTeX (available as systems/mac/cmactex), put together by Tom Kiffe. This is much closer to the Unix TeX setup (it uses dvips, for instance). CMacTeX includes a port of the latest version of Omega.

TeX for OpenVMS is available as systems/OpenVMS/TEX97_CTAN.ZIP

Standard tape distribution is through DECUS (see sources of software).

TeX is available for the Atari ST in systems/atari

If anonymous ftp is not available to you, send a message containing the line `help' to atari@atari.archive.umich.edu

Full implementations of TeX 3.1 (PasTeX) and METAFONT 2.7 are available in systems/amiga

You can also order a CD-ROM containing this and other Amiga software from Walnut Creek CDROM, telephone (+1) 510-947-5997.

TeX was originally written on a DEC-10 under WAITS, and so was easily ported to TOPS-20. A distribution that runs on TOPS-20 is available via anonymous ftp from ftp.math.utah.edu ( in pub/tex/pub/web

TeX-friendly editors and shells

There are good TeX-writing environments and editors for most operating systems; some are described below, but this is only a personal selection:

Try GNU emacs, and the AUCTeX mode (support/auctex). This provides menu items and control sequences for common constructs, checks syntax, lays out markup nicely, lets you call TeX and drivers from within the editor, and everything else like this that you can think of. Complex, but very powerful.
An lsedit mode for editing TeX source is available from TUG as TeXniques 1, VAX Language-Sensitive Editor, by Kent MacPherson (1985).
There are several choices: You can also use GNU emacs and AUCTeX under MS-DOS.
Windows 3.1
Your best public domain bet is probably to use MicroEmacs as an editor and control centre for TeX programs. The gTeX package (systems/msdos/gtex) comes with MicroEmacs ready to go, integrated with TeX, previewer, dvips and Ghostscript.

TeXtelmExtel (systems/msdos/emtex-contrib/TeXtelmExtel) is a Shell for emTeX or WTeX and related tools under Windows. It includes a simple multiple-document editor, a built-in spelling checker, automatic OEM/ANSI character conversion, user-definable point-and-click Templates, support for the forward and inverse search mechanism of DVI driver for Windows and for automatic font generation. Besides the predefined tools, up to 10 user-defined tools can be set up.

On a PC with large enough memory, a version of GNU emacs, that will run under Windows, is available; thus you can also use AUCTeX under Windows.

Y&Y's commercial (and high-quality) Windows previewer, dviwindo, can be used as a good TeX shell, calling programs such as TeX, drivers, and editors (Y&Y supply the public domain PE, and recommend the commercial Epsilon) from customisable menus (see commercial vendors for details of Y&Y).

Scientific Word is a WYSIWYG editing program, strong on maths, which uses LaTeX for output (see vendors for contact address).

Windows '9x, NT
Winedt, a shareware package (systems/win32/winedt/winedt32.exe), is highly spoken of. It provides a shell for the use of tex and related programs, as well as a powerful and well-configured editor.
Eddi4TeX works under OS/2; look also at systems/os2/epmtex for a specific OS/2 shell.
The commercial Textures provides an excellent integrated Macintosh environment with its own editor. More powerful still (as an editor) is the shareware Alpha (systems/mac/support/alpha) which is extensible enough to let you perform almost any TeX-related job. It works well with OzTeX.
Atari, Amiga and NeXT users also have nice environments. LaTeX users who like make should try support/latexmk

There is another set of shell programs to help you manipulate BibTeX databases.

Commercial TeX implementations

There are many commercial implementations of TeX. The first appeared not long after TeX itself appeared. Of the vendors, ArborText (formerly Textset) and Personal TeX are those who have survived longest (since the mid or early 80s).

What follows is probably an incomplete list. Naturally, no warranty or fitness for purpose is implied by the inclusion of any vendor in this list. The source of the information is given to provide some clues to its currency.

In general, a commercial implementation will come `complete', that is, with suitable previewers and printer drivers. They normally also have extensive documentation (i.e., not just the TeXbook!) and some sort of support service. In some cases this is a toll free number (probably applicable only within the USA and or Canada), but others also have email, and normal telephone and fax support.

Unix; TeX
Silicon Graphics Iris/Indigo, Solaris 2.1, IBM RS/6000, DEC/RISC-Ultrix, HP 9000. ``Complete TeX packages. Ready to use, fully documented and supported.''
ArborText Inc
1000 Victors Way
Suite 400
Ann Arbor MI 48108
Tel: (+1) 313-996-3566
Fax: (+1) 313-996-3573
Source: TUGboat 15(1) (1994)
VAX/VMS; Convergent TeX
Complete system for VAX/VMS machines (a version for Alphas is in preparation); includes LaTeX, multinational typesetting support, METAFONT and Web.
Northlake Software, Inc.
812 SW Washington, Ste 1100
Portland, OR 97201
Tel: (+1) 503-228-3383
Fax: (+1) 503-228-5662
Email: rau@nls.com
Source: Email from Pat Rau, November 1994
PC; TrueTeX
Runs on Windows 3.1, Window NT and Windows 95.
Richard J. Kinch
6994 Pebble Beach Court
Lake Worth FL 33467
Tel: (+1) 561-966-8400 Fax: (+1) 561-966-0962 Email: kinch@holonet.net
Web: http://idt.net/~truetex
Source: News posting from Richard Kinch, October 1997
``Bitmap free TeX for Windows.''
Y&Y, Inc.
45 Walden Street
Concord MA 01742
Tel: 800-742-4059 (within the USA)
Tel: (+1) 508-371-3286
Fax: (+1) 508-371-2004
Email: sales-help@YandY.com and tech-help@YandY.com
Web: http://www.YandY.com/
Source: Y&Y announcement, February 1995
Long-established: pcTeX32 is a Windows implementation.
Personal TeX Inc
12 Madrona Street
Mill Valley, CA 94941
Tel: 800-808-7906 (within the USA)
Fax: (+1) 415-388-8865
Email: texsales@pctex.com and texsupp@pctex.com
Web: http://www.pctex.com/
Source: Mail from Personal TeX Inc, September 1997
DVI, PDF and HTML backends, Visual Tools and Type 1 fonts
MicroPress Inc
68-30 Harrow Street
Forest Hills, NY 11375
Tel: (+1) 718-575-1816
Fax: (+1) 718-575-8038
Email: support@micropress-inc.com
Web: http://www.micropress-inc.com/
Source: Mail from MicroPress, Inc., July 1999
PC; microTeX
MicroTeX and TeX tools.
Micro Programs, Inc.
251 Jackson Ave.
Syosset, NY 11791
Tel: (+1) 516-921-1351
Email: sales@microprograms.com
Source: AMS listing, November 1994
PC; Scientific Word
Scientific Word and Scientific Workplace offer a mechanism for near-WYSIWYG input of LaTeX documents; they ship with TrueTeX from Kinch (see above). Queries within the UK and Ireland should be addressed to Scientific Word Ltd., others should be addressed directly to the publisher, MacKichan Software Inc.
Dr Christopher Mabb
Scientific Word Ltd.
49 Queen Street
Aberdeenshire, AB42 1TU
Tel: 0845 7660340 (within the UK)
Tel: +44 1779 490500
Fax: 01779 490600 (within the UK)
Email: christopher@sciword.demon.co.uk
Web: http://www.sciword.demon.co.uk
MacKichan Software Inc.
600 Ericksen Ave. NE, Suite 300
Bainbridge Island WA 98110
Tel: (+1) 206 7802799
Fax: (+1) 206 7802857
Email: info@mackichan.com
Web: http://www.mackichan.com
Source: Mail from Christopher Mabb, May 1999
Macintosh; Textures
``A TeX system `for the rest of us'''; also gives away a METAFONT implementation and some font manipulation tools.
Blue Sky Research
534 SW Third Avenue
Portland, OR 97204
Tel: 800-622-8398 (within the USA)
Tel: (+1) 503-222-9571
Fax: (+1) 503-222-1643
Email: sales@bluesky.com
Web: http://www.bluesky.com/
Source: TUGboat 15(1) (1994)
A full implementation for the Commodore Amiga, including full, on-screen and printing support for all PostScript graphics and fonts, IFF raster graphics, automatic font generation, and all of the standard macros and utilities.
Radical Eye Software
PO Box 2081
Stanford, CA 94309
Source: Mail from Tom Rokicki, November 1994

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