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Setup notes for installing and operating on Windows XP

After getting Lyx 1.3.3 up and running on Windows XP following a successful Ruurd's installation I encountered some minor difficulties. These notes are a condensed form of the many hints and tips I've found that helped me out. Many of these regularly appear on the Lyx user mailing lists. At the bottom are a few extras to compliment a Win version of Lyx.


  • Mainly as an "aide memoir" for myself they have all well worked for me, others may find them of help.
  • They may not be complete.
  • Some require OS system awareness; Path editing, script editing etc.

/Rob S, 2004-04-29 17:00 GMT

Essential Bits

  1. Download and install all packages from Ruurd's page ? link found at http://www.lyx.org/
  2. Install Miktex (follow Ruurd's link)
    Note: My 'Rule of Thumb' from here on is: Install all direct onto a root directory and ensure all folders holding the_program.exe are in my path. It's possibly over the top doing this but it works.
  3. Install the latest version of sed from the sed.exe setup file which is found here [sourceforge.net].
Rename the old version of sed found in C:\????\lyx\bin (to e.g. 'oldsed')

A few "optional extra" things to install

  1. Install Ghostscript and Ghost view. You might need them for ps files and viewing .eps images.
  2. Install Acrobat Reader if you need to read pdf files. Most will have this installed anyway so just make sure the .exe is in the path.
  3. Install the latest version of Image magick; At the moment I cannot access the Image Magick site below (for v 5.5.7)??? download link.
    so instead I downloaded v 5.5.6 from here [meadowy.org] and it works just fine.
Image Magick installation should place itself in the Path. Once installed check this though and NOTE: The directory holding convert.exe NEEDS to be in your path IN FRONT of any Windows directories (amend/add to Path as required)

Ok, that should be the basics and options in place.

Prepare for first run

Now create a shortcut to lyx.exe and place one on each users desktop. Start Lyx. Lyx should run configure and create .lyx folders in C:\Documents and Settings\username holding each users preferences.

With lyx running you can now setup your own preferences from within.


From Edit→Preferences→Paths

Set your own working directory etc.

If you choose to keep the default "use temporary directory" note that this directory will require a regular cull of temp files as these do build up. (I choose to keep them whilst working on reports/chapters since they hold backups if anything goes wrong ? not that I've needed them yet though!)

Leave all other settings just as they are until you understand what each does! You DO NOT need to adjust any converters.

For most that is as far as you need go. You are more than likely to be up and running now.

What follows is extra which some might find of use:

Language Issues

(This section is a useful addition from Uwe ? thanks!)

"When you want LyX to appear with menu names in your language, download the file lyx_intl.rar from Ruurds page and unpack it in the folder where LyX is installed.
After starting LyX, you will have menus in the Win-system language. To change the menu language, define a new environment variable 'LANG'. E.g. you are working with an Italian Windows, but want basque menues, define 'LANG=eu_EU'. How to define environment variables is explained here [vrjuggler.org]:"

Fine tuning

Note: Below is how I go about it! This can also be done after installation from within Lyx.

Configure script changes (for at least lyx up to 1.3.3)

At the moment the Lyx configure script does not find native windows versions of programs such as AcroRd32 for example.

I have edited the configure script to do this. You can try my version by saving/downloading it from


and use it to replace "Configure" in C:\????\lyx\share\lyx

Make a back-up copy first and tuck away safely!

Now run Edit→Reconfigure.

Other minor Fixes

Listed in this section are fixes from other authors which may help you solve that niggling little bug. They are as received (or found). Some Iíve tried, some I havenít. Iíve titled each with a question and thus the fix provides an answer.

Lyx installed on one drive (e.g. D:/) and user's /on another (e.g. C:/) ??

(Fix kindly supplied by Milos K)

In this scenario Reconfigure fails with ďcannot find specified pathĒ although a pop up tells you all has been reconfigured!

Try this version from:


Save as configure.bat in ?:/??/lyx/share/lyx,thus replacing the existing one.

Now Edit→Reconfigure

Problem with Acrobat Reader (AcroRd32.exe) not being found?

(Again thanks go to Milos K for this one)

Not sure if there is still a problem with spaces in address i.e Program_files but this batch file should sort the problem for Arobat which by default always ends up with spaces in the path.

Copy and paste the following code (amend path to where AcroRd32 resides if reqd) into a text editor (e.g. Notepad, Wordpad) and save as AcroRd32.bat to a location as suggested in the code.

@echo off
rem Launcher for Acrobat Reader
rem M. Komarcevic 2003 
rem Place in a regularly named directory without spaces,
rem e.g. C:\LyX or D:\Acro and use as PDF viewer in LyX preferences.
rem Change the full path to AcroRd32.exe below if necessary.
start "C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 6.0\Reader\AcroRd32.exe" %1

That should do it!

Extra bits and bobs;

If you need a good .bib file editor then I have found Tkbibtex to be ideal.

It produces clean .bib files that lyx has no problems with - unlike some converted Endnote files.

I, and others, have found if you export from Endnote ensure you filter out all unnecessary Fields since there is a lot converted by default that lyx/latex chokes on.

History of this page

Added links for image magick and environment variables ? thanks Uwe. Also changed the layout to reflect comments.
Added section from other authors noting minor fixes
Brought "almost" up to date with my web page notes
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Page last modified on 2005-12-02 00:20 CET