Friday, June 26, 2009

PGF/TikZ and OpenSUSE 11.1

There are many Unix powerful tools that I love. Linux per-se and LaTeX.
If you're excited to present your technical ideas in a clever and elegant way, I encourage you to use LaTeX. I totally agree that PowerPoint and Impress offer a straight way to develop ordinary presentations. I mean, every one could put some bullets, add graphics, write a fancy title and so on. However, if you are interested to present a more interactive and attractive presentations, LaTeX is an important candidate.

LaTeX offers a wealth ecosystem of libraries to support the creation of elegant presentations such as:  Seminar, Propser, Beamer, and Powerdot, among others. I have not evaluated all of them but my favorite package is Beamer. This package offers interesting features for creating attractive presentations with moderate effort. Aside to those marvelous presentation packages, I found the PGF/TikZ package. It's an amazing library to create awesome diagrams, graphics and interactive presentations.

Nowadays, my laptop distro is OpenSUSE 11.1. I found it quite stable. However, OpenSUSE 11.1 comes with outdated packages for supporting the current PGF/TikZ release (2.00). Thus, I downloaded the PGF source code from sourceforge web site, but I found the installation documents very confuse.

So, I'm describing the steps that I have followed in order to enable the latest stable release of PGF/TikZ on my OpenSUSE 11.1 installment.
  1. Download the PGF/TikZ source code.
  2. Uncompress the downloaded file.
  3. You'll get a directory named 'pgf-2.00'. Inside of this directory you'll find the following directories: context, doc, generic, latex and plain. (As well, the README file). I assumed that you have uncompressed this directory in the ~/src/ directory.
  4. In my OpenSUSE distro, the pgf package is distributed in the following directories:
    • /usr/share/texmf/tex/generic/pgf
    • /usr/share/texmf/tex/latex/pgf
    • /usr/share/texmf/tex/plain/pgf
  5. Now, make a copy of these directories in a safe place.
  6. Erase them.
  7. Move the directories found in the recently downloaded PGF/TikZ package to the standard OpenSUSE LaTeX installation, as follows:
    • mv ~/src/pgf-2.00/generic/pgf /usr/share/texmf/tex/generic/
    • mv ~/src/pgf-2.00/latex/pgf /usr/share/texmf/tex/latex/
    • mv ~/src/pgf-2.00/plain/pgf /usr/share/texmf/tex/plain/
  8. Run the texhash command.
That's it. Now, you can test and enjoy the benefits of this powerful package (Check this link).

Good hack!


grus said...

It was very useful.

Paul said...

Thanks, this was very helpful and easy to follow.