Manual Install

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This guide is only tried and tested on GNU/ Linux, but should (hopefully) work on the other platforms. It is adjusted to some of the heuristics that context standalone uses. Words in brackets (i.e. {word}) have to be substituted by your username or similar unique identifier. Note that this is NOT a system wide install, but if you are reading this guide you probably know how to generalize this.


  1. Create install directory (recommended name: tex): mkdir /home/{user}/tex
  2. Create the directory that houses the binaries: mkdir -p /home/{user}/tex/texmf-linux-64/bin
  3. Add /home/{user}/tex/texmf-linux-x64/bin to your PATH. This depends on the specific shell you are using, for bash use the .bashrc. Make sure the open a new shell (or logout and login again) for the change to take effect.

Fetch the files

  1. Clone the context archive from github into the texmf-context folder i.e. git clone /home/{user}/tex/texmf-context
  2. Clone the font files into the fonts folder from github git clone /home/{user}/tex/texmf/
  3. In order for the configuration to work: cp /home/{user}/tex/texmf-context/web2c/contextcnf.lua /home/{user}/tex/texmf-context/web2c/texmfcnf.lua. Check out /home/{user}/tex/texmf-context/web2c/readme.txt to see why this is neccesary.


Execute --native in texmf-context/source/luametatex. The luametatex binary will appear in the build folder.

Install the Binary

  1. Copy the luametatex binary to /home/{user}/tex/texmf-linux-64/bin
  2. Symlink context and mtxrun to this binary:
    • ln -s /home/{user}/tex/texmf-linux-64/bin/luametatex /home/{user}/tex/texmf-linux-64/bin/mtxrun and
    • ln -s /home/{user}/tex/texmf-linux-64/bin/luametatex /home/{user}/tex/texmf-linux-64/bin/context.
  3. Copy the context.lua and mtxrun.lua files from /home/{user}/tex/texmf-context/scripts/context into the /home/{user}/tex/texmf-linux-x64/bin directory. Make sure they are executable (i.e. chmod +x /home/{user}/tex/texmf-linux-x64/bin/mtxrun.lua)

Finish the install

Run mtxrun --generate. After that try to compile a test document to make sure it works.