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How to correctly install LyX on Ubuntu. (Debian users should check LyXOnDebian.)


Ubuntu official repos

The version of LyX in Ubuntu 12.04 is 2.0.2, already out-of-date. You can install it via Synaptic. Additionally, it is strongly recommended to install the package texlive, and not the package tetex since the latter is not maintained any more.

For Hebrew issues, see Hebrew On Linux.

Ubuntu PPA

There are two Ubuntu PPAs. Most users will only want to install from one of these, but a user may have reasons for installing from both. These PPAs were set up by Liviu Andronic and Rob Oakes.

stable PPA

The stable PPA contains the latest stable release of LyX for the Ubuntu distributions. This PPA should be used if you want the most recent official release of LyX.


If you already have a repository version of LyX installed, you will have to remove it:

  1. sudo apt-get remove lyx (remove your repository version)
  2. sudo apt-get autoremove (remove repository dependencies)

If you don't do this, the fourth step that follows may fail.

Do the following:

  1. sudo add-apt-repository ppa:lyx-devel/release (add the PPA for the 'release', i.e. stable, compilation)
  2. sudo apt-get update (update so that apt is aware of the new PPA)
  3. sudo apt-get install lyx (install from the PPA)
  4. lyx (run LyX)

You will probably have to press "Enter" after step 1 (adding the PPA).

daily PPA

The daily PPA contains snapshots of the development versions of LyX. These packages for LyX are not official releases. The package lyx2.0 contains the version of LyX which will be developed into the next minor release (2.0.6 at time of writing). The package lyx2.1 contains the version of LyX which will be developed into the next major release (2.1 at time of writing). In general, lyx2.0 should be stable (probably more stable than the current official release of LyX because it contains various bug fixes, but perhaps less stable in the sense that it could contain regressions) and lyx2.1 is probably unstable until getting close to its release date. This PPA should normally be used if there was a bug fix or feature enhancement that was recently committed that is of particular interest to you. Note that significant feature enhancements only go into major releases (in this case LyX 2.1), so you need to install the lyx2.1 package and thus should be prepared for experimental features, regressions and an unstable code base.


For the example case of adding 2.1 do:

  1. sudo add-apt-repository ppa:lyx-devel/daily (add the PPA for the 'daily' compilation)
  2. sudo apt-get update (update so that apt is aware of the new PPA)
  3. sudo apt-get install lyx2.1 (install from the PPA)
  4. lyx2.1 (run e.g. LyX 2.1)

Note that the package names are lyx2.0 and lyx2.1. These names are also the names of the commands used to run LyX. The reason is so that there are no conflicts with other versions of LyX that you have installed on your system.

Special note for version 2.1

If you have problems after upgrading to version 2.1 from a previous version, try deleting the configuration folder ~/.lyx . It will be regenerated next time you run LyX. (ref)


To uninstall the package, do as you would for any package with apt-get.

You may want to stop using a PPA for various reasons. For example, suppose you installed lyx2.1 to get support for a feature and you do not want any more updates because you like how it is working and you are (1) tired of downloading and installing a new package whenever you update with apt-get and (2) you understand that future commits could break something. One way to "pause" the PPA is to do the following:

Open Ubuntu Software Center and go to Edit > Software Sources > Other Software and uncheck the two entries corresponding to the PPA of interest.

Manual compilation

As a last resort, you can always compile LyX from source. Simply:

  1. Get the sources either as a tarball (see http://www.lyx.org/Download) or fresh from the SVN.
  2. Use this amazing facility to get all the right dependencies for development: Build dependencies do not change that quickly, so you will meet most (or all) of them with sudo apt-get build-dep lyx
  3. Follow instructions in the folder you downloaded (i.e. "./configure" then "make" then "sudo make install")



LyX 1.5.3 from Ubuntu/hardy doesn't work here. What now?

In most cases you've just installed Qt 4.4 packages from hardy-backports which are incompatible with LyX prior to the 1.5.5 release. You should read https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/lyx/+bug/228067 and then decide if you want to read on here to install LyX 1.5.5 or stay with the packaged 1.5.3 version and Qt 4.3.

Find extra packages to install using Synaptic

Daniel wrote the following:

Only recently I found that under Synaptic, the LyX package being selected, you could right-click and "select recommended/suggested packages for installing". A fairly large list in the first case, even larger in the second.
I have not installed all of them. Instead, I compiled my (not-so-long) own list of useful packages. I could post it here if someone asks, or maybe it could go to the Wiki page Peleg Michaeli has started.
It's true that some of these packages are almost mandatory...

After I copied Daniel's advice to this page, I (Christian) followed his advice by doing the following steps:

  • Start Synaptic
  • Search for LyX
  • Select the LyX package and 'right-click' the entry Mark recommended for installation. You will find a bunch of useful packages here.
    The pop-up menu also has an entry Mark suggested for installation where you'll find more useful packages.

Here's a few command lines that installs a few packages:

sudo aptitude install texlive-latex-recommended texlive-fonts-recommended 
sudo aptitude install preview-latex-style dvipng imagemagick 
sudo aptitude install psutils latex-xft-fonts gv 
sudo aptitude install chktex dvipost texlive-latex-extra 

Or as a single command (one-line):

sudo apt-get install texlive-latex-recommended texlive-fonts-recommended preview-latex-style dvipng imagemagick psutils latex-xft-fonts gv chktex dvipost texlive-latex-extra

In addition, I installed a font (?) package that texlive recommended:

sudo aptitude install lmodern

Hope this helps, Christian

A few more remarks:

1. You should not add blindly all of the "recommended" packages, as some of them obviously dupicate each other (e.g. xpdf and evince);

2. Here are some more packages NOT listed as "recommended" or "suggested" that you might want to add:

  • qt4-qtconfig (allows customizing menu font/size and other parameters in LyX GUI)
  • texlive (meta-package including the most common texlive packages),
  • texlive-extra-utils,
  • texlive-fonts-extra,
  • texlive-formats-extra,
  • texlive-generic-extra,
  • texlive-latex-extra (here is the wrapfig latex package),
  • texlive-math-extra (D. Knuth's beautiful Concrete font is here),
  • texlive-science (if you use algoritm(ic) packages)
  • texlive-lang-xyz (xyz is your local language which you can get from LANG)

Hope this helps, Daniel

Linux, packages

Locally installed LaTeX files


  • If you place your additional LaTeX class and style files in
    LyX (and LaTeX) should be able to find them automatically.

Tip: Use MPM with Ubuntu

MPM is the MiKTeX Package Manager (MiKTeX being the most popular LaTeX distribution for the Windows platform). It has been ported to Unix and descendants, albeit command-line only (so far). One nice feature of MiKTeX is that LaTeX packages are provided for download individually, rather than in large bundles.

A blog entry by Stefan Kottwitz gives concise instructions on how to install MPM in Ubuntu Hardy. Once it's installed, you can easily download and install individual LaTeX packages. For instance, I installed xypic.sty using the line

 sudo mpm --install=xypic


Creating documents in other languages


Please follow guide at http://wiki.lyx.org/UbuntuLinux/Hindi Linux, packages



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Page last modified on 2016-07-31 03:21 CEST