How to install HieroTeX in Linux

To use HieroTeX, you will need a working LaTeX-system. We recommend using tetex or Texlive as we do, because other LaTeX-distributions can use other configuration files and the installation instructions given below maybe won't work.

Install tetex or Texlive

The most widely used LaTeX-distribution on any Linux/UNIX-system has been tetex outlink for years, but its development has ceased since 05/2006. All newer Linux distributions therefore tend to install Texlive outlink instead. When following our installation instructions, choose either tetex or Texlive (depending on which of them is available in your distributions package manager), but do not install both.

In Debian and Debian-based distributions (such as Ubuntu and all its variants), you can do this using apt-get:
For tetex:

sudo apt-get install tetex-base tetex-bin

For Texlive:

sudo apt-get install texlive texlive-base texlive-base-bin texlive-common

If you need support for other languages, you can install texlive-lang-(language).

In Slackware-based distros (e.g. VectorLinux), you can use slapt-get (or gslapt if you prefer a GUI). The packages you need are tetex and tetex-doc.

In SUSE Linux, you can choose to install LaTeX during installation. If you do not, you can install the packages tetex and te_latex through YaST.

In PC Linux OS (and SAM Linux), you have to install a couple of packages using Synaptic. However, a faster method is this apt-get-command to install them all at once (you need to switch to the root-user in the terminal by using the "su" command first):

apt-get install tetex tetex-afm tetex-dvilj tetex-dvips tetex-latex

(You do not need tetex-xdvi as suggested by Synaptic, since you can open dvi-files in Evince, the default document viewer).

In Arch Linux, install the package texlive-most and choose which components you would like to install. If you do not know what you will need, just install everything ;-)

Install LaTeX documentation files

If you're still learning LaTeX, we suggest you install the documentation files too, which is usually available in a package tetex-doc, texlive-base-doc or texlive-doc-(language). You can run LaTeX without these packages, but we highly recommend you install this too, as you will certainly need it if you're not an experienced LaTeX-user. However, if you're running out of diskspace, you could skip the package, since it will vastly increase the installation size of LaTeX.

Install HieroTeX

The installation instructions described in HieroTeX's documentation are a bit outdated for some of the latest Linux distributions (particularly those about the Postscript fonts), so we've tested the installation in several Linux distributions and made changes where necessary. To follow the installation instructions below, copy all commands given on a gray background into a terminal window:

Download and unpack HieroTeX and HieroType (high-quality Postscript hieroglyphic fonts):

tar -xvzf HieroTeX-3.5.tgz
tar -xvzf HieroType1-3.1.4.tgz

Download one of the adapted below to install HieroTeX for all users on your computer (by default, HieroTeX will be installed in your home directory, so only you can use it):

Note: the installation location of LaTeX depends on your Linux distribution and your LaTeX distribution (tetex or Texlive). We have not tested all Linux distributions given at the end of this page with both tetex and Texlive, so you possibly have to try several configuration files. If you've succesfully installed HieroTeX, please let us know which Linux and LaTeX-distribution you use.

Tested in Debian and Ubuntu (tetex/Texlive):


Tested in Arch Linux (Texlive):


Copy the file you downloaded to HieroTeX's installation folder:

mv -f HieroTeX/

Note: you will need root privileges to install HieroTeX. You can switch to the root user in a terminal window by using the command "su". In Ubuntu and other distribution who use "sudo" instead of the root user, you have to add "sudo" before every command below. But it's easier if you switch to the root user, by using the command "sudo su" or "sudo bash".

Install HieroTeX (the sesh executable, documentation, LaTeX- and font-files):

cd HieroTeX; make tetex-install 

Install HieroType

Now you have a working HieroTeX-installation, which uses bitmap fonts. If you want high quality vector (Postscript) fonts, you have to install HieroType too. We absolutely recommend it, because only then the PDF-files produced by LaTeX are suitable for high quality printing (e.g. by using a laserprinter or an inktjetprinter when printing at the highest quality possible).

Note: the $TEXPATH-variable sometimes gets unset after installing HieroTeX. Before running these steps, do


If there is no output, run:
For Debian, Ubuntu, ...:

export TEXPATH=/usr/share/texmf

For Arch Linux:

export TEXPATH=/opt/texlive/texmf

(or the path to the main texmf folder of your Linux distribution).

Copy the font-mapping files:

cd ../texmf/dvips
mkdir -p ${TEXPATH}/fonts/map/dvips/hierotex/
cp -v ${TEXPATH}/fonts/map/dvips/hierotex/

Copy the Postscript Type 1 font files:

cd ../fonts/type1
mkdir -p ${TEXPATH}/fonts/afm/hierotex ${TEXPATH}/fonts/tfm/hierotex ${TEXPATH}/fonts/type1/hierotex
cp *.afm ${TEXPATH}/fonts/afm/hierotex
cp *.tfm ${TEXPATH}/fonts/tfm/hierotex
cp *.* ${TEXPATH}/fonts/type1/hierotex

On Debian-based distros, add the font-mapping files to updmap:

echo "Map" > 10local-hierotex.cfg
echo "Map" >> 10local-hierotex.cfg
sudo cp 10local-hierotex.cfg /etc/texmf/updmap.d/

On other distros, you just need to add:


to the file updmap.cfg, which can be found in:
- Slackware(-based distros): /usr/share/texmf/web2c/
- SUSE Linux: /etc/texmf/web2c/
- Arch Linux: /opt/texlive/texmf/web2c/

On Debian-based distros, run:

update-updmap; texhash; updmap-sys

On other distros, run:

updmap; texhash; updmap-sys

Now you can use Postscript-fonts in HieroTeX!

Clean up temporary files

After installing HieroTeX and HieroType, you can safely remove all files that were used during installation, because they are not needed anymore.

HieroTeX documentation

If you would like to read HieroTeX's documentation, you can find it (if you're using Ubuntu) at:


On our other tested distros, the documentation is not installed. You can find it in the untarred folder HieroTeX/texmf/doc/latex/hierotex and put it anywhere you like.


If LaTeX gives you an error with "Permission denied" when you're using HieroTeX for the first time, enter the following command in a terminal window and rerun LaTeX: sudo chmod -R 755 $TEXPATH

Tested (HieroTeX 3.5 and HieroType 3.4.1) in:

  • Arch Linux (2007-08.2)
  • Debian (4.0r1, 6.0)
  • SAM Linux (2007)
  • SUSE Linux (10.1)
  • Ubuntu (6.06-7.04-7.10-8.04)
  • VectorLinux (5.8 Standard)
  • Xubuntu (6.06.1 and 7.04)