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< Installation hints | TeX Distributions >

NOTE: The officially recommended way of installing ConTeXt on all platforms is using ConTeXt Suite


Look before you leap

Most TeX Distributions include an installation of ConTeXt already. To see if it's installed on your system run

context --version

If it is not installed, there are two important considerations.

If you are on a Linux system, there is also a third consideration:


select your operating system

Unix (linux/bsd/...)

In decreasing order of simplicity, here are a few options:

If you will use TeX Live, you have to delete the distribution-provided teTeX packages (if they exist).

If you are running an rpm-based distribution (RedHat, Fedora, Mandrake, Mandriva etc.), then you can most easily uninstall them like so:

  rpm --qa | grep tetex
  rpm --erase <package-names>

rpm's dependencies will tell you what other TeX-related packages are installed but don't have 'tetex' in their names!

FreeBSD also still contains teTeX in its ports distribution (with many dependencies). These packages can be deleted as follows:

  pkg_info | grep tetex
  pkg_delete tetex\*

Note, however, that teTeX will again be pulled-in by other packages, for example if options installing formatted documentation are activated.

Debian / (K)Ubuntu

Debian_TeXlive_install (Debian/linux and Debian/kfreebsd)


Detils for Fedora version 11, 12 and 13 are at Fedora Project Wiki TeX Live page maintained by Jindrich Novy. The repository provides a snapshot of TeX Live 2010 tlpretest, and it includes very new ConTeXt packages and requires absolutely no manual configuration to get working Mk II and Mk IV. Highly recommended.


If you are using funtoo there are ebuilds that will make an installation as easy as installing any other package from portage. Take a look at the ConTeXt Standalone Funtoo Howto. This might also work for gentoo, but is untested right now.


OpenSUSE (starting from 10.3beta3) comes with TeX Live and offers also XeTeX. 10.3b3 contains ConTeXt 2007.01.12.

You can search for OpenSUSE packages online In OpenSUSE 11.3 there are two packages available.


FreeBSD still relies on teTeX in the ports collection. Alternately, TeXlive is now available as a branch extension, see [1] and [2], until migration to the main ports branch is completed.

TeX Live as a standalone installation will run "out of the box" on all recent versions of freeBSD (7, 8, 9) and extended support is available for earlier versions; The ConTeXt Standalone installation is compiled for the latest stable release (currently 8.2).


Mac OS X


There are two main TeX distributions for Windows wich contain a stable context

Use ConTeXt Suite, if you want up to date ConTeXt.

Installation from source

external manuals on installation


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