Tuesday, July 03, 2012

LaTeX on Debian

I'm finishing up a BS degree this month by writing two papers for a capstone project. The papers need to be submitted in APA style, so I thought (gearing up for Grad school) that I should use LaTeX and BibTex.

I've used these tools before, but it was a few years ago on a laptop that has since passed on, and I forgot the quirks of setting up the LaTeX build environment. However, Debian has an *awesome* package manager, and I thought it would be one or two simple commands to get all the tools and components installed so I could jump in with vi or Geany.

This was almost, but not quite, the case.

For those who follow after, if you're trying to use APA formatting (manual or journal) for the body of the document and APA citation style for inline citations and the bibliography, you'll probably not be ready-to-go right out of the box after running installing texlive-kitchensink*. Unless you're on unstable or testing. Then you'll have all the software you could possibly want, as fresh as you probably want it, and everything will (mostly) just work.

I'm on Debian Stable, though, and eventually determined that the apa template and apacite style weren't available in the Stable repositories. Fortunately, switching from Stable to Testing is a simple matter of changing a line in /etc/apt/sources.list and running apt-get update.

After switching repositories to unstable, getting the requisite extensions really was a simple matter of running

apt-get install texlive texlive-latex-extra texlive-publishers texlive-bibtex-extra

And everything was installed. I love this system.

PS: Don't forget to switch your repositories back.
PPS: Yes, I use sudo. You should too, if you're on Linux or FreeBSD.
* Not an actual package.