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Since April 2019, there is a new implementation of ConTeXt, named ConTeXt LMTX. It is tuned for LuaMetaTeX, the lean and mean successor of LuaTeX TeX engine (see article).


You can read the licence (Creative Commons GNU GPL for program code, and Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike for documentation).


The general steps to install ConTeXt LMTX are as follows:

  1. Create a directory for ConTeXt.
  2. Download the platform-specific archive file into the ConTeXt directory.
  3. Unpack the archive.
  4. Execute the install program, which downloads the distribution.
  5. Update the PATH environment variable.
  6. Generate cache
  7. Optionally, delete the archive file.

See the next sections for instructions specific to various platforms.


The steps in this section show how to download and install ConTeXt for a 64-bit Linux system. Change the archive file download link as needed for your target platform. Open a new terminal then run the following commands:

  1. mkdir $HOME/context
  2. cd $HOME/context
  3. wget
  4. unzip
  5. sh

Update the PATH environment variable by using the path instructions displayed when the install program finishes. The instructions will vary depending on the type of shell being used:

  • Bash: echo 'export PATH=...instructions...:$PATH' >> ~/.bashrc
  • Zsh: echo 'export PATH=...instructions...:$PATH' >> ~/.zshenv
  • Sh/Ksh: echo 'export PATH=...instructions...:$PATH' >> ~/.profile
  • Tcsh/csh: echo 'set path = ($path ...instructions...)' >> ~/.cshrc

For example, if ConTeXt was downloaded into $HOME/context on a system running bash, then the following line would update the PATH environment variable:

echo 'export PATH=$HOME/context/tex/texmf-linux-64/bin:$PATH' >> ~/.bashrc

Then generate the cache with mtxrun --generate.


The instructions for MacOS are the same as for Unix, but note that:

  • MacOS versions from Catalina (10.15) and newer use Zsh by default.
  • MacOS versions before Catalina use Bash by default.


Complete the following steps to set up ConTeXt on Windows:

  1. Create a directory for ConTeXt, such as C:\context.
  2. Download the architecture-specific version into the ConTeXt directory.
  3. Extract the archive.
  4. Run: install.bat
  5. Run: setpath.bat

Installation is complete.

First Run

This section describes how to run ConTeXt to transform your first TeX document into a PDF.

  1. Download the tex input file Hello-World.tex from our Detailed example.
  2. Run context Hello-world.tex in your terminal (or command prompt).
  3. Check the PDF output Hello-world.pdf.

Additional tutorials include:

See the Sample documents page for even more examples.


Re-run the install program to upgrade, which will update the distribution incrementally:

  • Windows: install.bat
  • Unix: sh

Running MkIV

The new distribution has all the files to run the previous version of ConTeXt.

  • Run context --luatex Hello-world.tex to use the luatex binary and MkIV.

Further installation instructions