texconfig - configures teTeX or TeX Live

texconfig-sys - configures teTeX or TeX Live system-wide



texconfig [ commands ...]



texconfigallows one to configure and maintain TeX in an easy and convenient manner, offering a series of dialog boxes to the user. After choosing settings or options, the appropriate files are changed automatically and the new settings are applied for the user. If needed, copies of files in TEXMFDISTor TEXMFMAINwill be made in the user's TEXMFCONFIGtree.

texconfiguses either the whiptail (1) or dialog (1) program to communicate with the user, so must be run in a terminal.

For making system-wide changes, which will apply to all users of TeX (for example, default paper size and so on), run texconfig-sysinstead. Changed or generated files will be placed in TEXMFSYSCONFIG.(You may need to be root to do this.)

Note that on a Debian system, changes to formats, font setup, hyphenation for different languages, etc. should not be done with texconfig, because

fmtutil.cnf(5), updmap.cfg(5), texmf.cnf and

language.dat are generated files in Debian. See TeX-on-Debian.pdf, TeX-on-Debian.txt.gzor TeX-on-Debian.html/index.htmlin /usr/share/doc/tex-common/for alternatives.

texconfigalso offers a non-interactive batch mode which can be accessed with the following commands


Commands that accept further options usually display available options if called without them. For example,

texconfig dvipdfm paper will inform about valid paper settings.

conf Display the system configuration.

dvipdfm paper [letter|legal|ledger|tabloid|a4|a3]

    Set up dvipdfm to use papersize PAPER by default.


    Create a new (empty) configuration file TEXMFCONFIG/dvips/config/config.PRINTERNAME.This file can later be filled with the

mode, offset or

printcmd options


    Remove config.PRINTERNAME

dvips mode

    List available MetaFont modes.

dvips [-P PRINTER] mode MODE

    Change the MetaFont mode to MODEfor PRINTERor for all output files (config.ps),if no

-P option is given.

dvips [-P PRINTER] offset x-OFFSET,y-OFFSET

    Set printer offset for PRINTERor for all output files (config.ps),if no

-P option is given. Offsets must be given with units, e.g. 0pt,10ptYou can use testpage.tex from the LaTeX distribution to find these numbers.

dvips [-P PRINTER] printcmd CMD

    Set the printing command for PRINTERor for all output files (config.ps),if no

-P option is given. Commands might be

lp or

lpr. See the description of the ooption in

info dvips or the -Ooption in



    Display the list of Frequently Asked Questions about

teTeX (and their answers).

font vardir DIR, font ro, font ro

    These options should not be used on a Debian system unless you really know what you are doing. For details, look at the output of

texconfig fonts and read section 2.5, font caching, in the TeX-on-Debian documentation in /usr/share/doc/tex-common/.


    This command allows to edit

fmtutil.cnf(5) and (re)creates any new or changed formats afterwards. It should not be used on Debian systems, unless you want to temporarily create and test a specific format, because

fmtutil.cnf(5) is a generated file in Debian, and changes will be overwritten. See

update-fmtutil for details.

hyphen FORMAT

    This command allows to edit the hyphenation configuration file for formats that support this, and recreates the formats afterwards to enable the new languages. Available formats are shown when no FORMATis given.

Note that for formats that use LaTeX's language.dat, e.g. (pdf)jadetexand latexitself, this change is not persistent, since this file is a generated file. You should not use this command in these cases, read

update-language(1) for alternatives.

init [format]

    Recreate formator all formats if none is given, and the font information. This is the same as calling

fmtutil --byfmt format or

fmtutil --all, respectively, followed by



    List available printer modes, together with the printers they were developed for, and their DPI resolution

mode MODE

    Set the default printer mode in /etc/texmf/web2c/mktex.cnfor the respective user file in $TEXMFCONFIG/web2cto


paper [a4|letter]

    Set the default papersize for

dvips, dvipdfm, pdftex and

xdvi. The set is restricted because not all programs understand all sizes.

pdftex paper [a4|letter]

    Set the default paper size for





xdvi paper PAPER

    Set the default paper size for

xdvi. The (long) list is available with

texconfig xdvi paper.


To let you change files,

texconfig will open the editor specified in the VISUAL or EDITOR variables, or

sensible-editor if both are unset.


whiptail (1), dialog (1), tex (1), mf (1), vi (1), EDITOR environment variable.


Thomas Esser <>