TeX Live contrib repository (re)new(ed)

It is my pleasure to announce the renewal/rework/restart of the TeX Live contrib repository service. The repository is collecting packages that cannot enter TeX Live directly (mostly due to license reasons), but are free to distribute. The basic idea is to provide a repository mimicking Debian’s nonfree branch.

The packages on this site are not distributed inside TeX Live proper for one or another of the following reasons:

  • because it is not free software according to the FSF guidelines;
  • because it is an executable update;
  • because it is not available on CTAN;
  • because it is an intermediate release for testing.

In short, anything related to TeX that can not be on TeX Live but can still legally be distributed over the Internet can hav e a placeon TLContrib.

Currently there are 52 packages in the repository, falling roughly into the following categories:

  • nosell fonts fonts and macros with nosell licenses, e.g., garamond, garamondx, etc. These fonts are mostly those that are also available via getnonfreefonts.
  • nosell packages packages with nosell licenses, e.g. acmtrans
  • nonfree support packages those packages that require non-free tools or fonts, e.g., acrotex, lucida-otf, verdana, etc

The full list of packages can be seen here.

The ultimate goal is to provide a companion to the core TeX Live (tlnet) distribution in much the same way as Debian‘s non-free tree is a companion to the normal distribution. The goal is not to replace TeX Live: packages that could go into TeX Live itself should stay (or be added) there. TLContrib is simply trying to fill in a gap in the current distribution system.

Quick Start

If you are running the current version of TeX Live, which is 2017 at the moment, the following code will suffice:

tlmgr repository add http://contrib.texlive.info/current tlcontrib
tlmgr pinning add tlcontrib '*'

In future there might be releases for certain years.


The packages are signed with my GnuPG RSA key: 0x6CACA448860CDC13. tlmgr will automatically verify authenticity if you add my key:

curl -fsSL https://www.preining.info/rsa.asc | tlmgr key add -

After that tlmgr will tell you about failed authentication of this repository.


Taco Hoekwater started in 2010, but it hasn’t seen much activity in recent years. Taco agreed to hand it over to myself, who is currently maintaining the repository. Big thanks to Taco for his long support and cooperation.

In contrast to the original tlcontrib page, we don’t offer an automatic upload of packages or user registration. If you want to add packages here, see below.

Adding packages

If you want to see a package included here that cannot enter TeX Live proper, the following ways are possible (from most appreciated to least appreciated):

  • clone the tlcontrib git repo (see below), add the package, and publish the branch where I can pull from it. Then send me an email with the URL and explanation about free distributability/license;
  • send me the package in TDS format, with explanation about free distributability/license;
  • send me the package as distributed by the author (or on CTAN), with explanation about free distributability/license;
  • send me a link to the package explanation about free distributability/license.

Git repository

The packages are kept in a git repository and the tlmgr repo is built from after changes. The location is https://git.texlive.info/tlcontrib.


3 Responses

  1. Satish Setty says:

    This is great. I’m just wondering about Verdana font. It’s provided by this repo as well as “ttf-mscorefonts-installer”. Will they not conflict ?

    • No, the package in this TeX Live repository does not provide the font, only the support files. The fonts have to be installed separately according to the instructions in shipped with the support files.

  1. 2017/07/15

    […] TeX Live contrib repository (re)new(ed) […]

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