CTAN Comprehensive TeX Archive Network

Directory macros/latex-dev/base


The kernel

Release 2024-11-01 pre-release 1


This bundle provides the core kernel. In addition to this bundle, a minimal system also needs the files contained in the

  • L3 programming layer (l3kernel)
  • L3 backend interfaces (l3backend)
  • L3 unicode support (unicode-data)
  • Packages which must be available (required). These are
    • Essential tools (tools)
    • Core graphics and color support (graphics)
    • Key mathematics support (amsmath)
    • First aid for external packages (firstaid)

This file contains a small set of pointers to other more complete documentation on installing and using a system.


Full documentation of the system is provided by

  • : A Document Preparation System; Lamport, Addison-Wesley
  • The Companion, 3ed; Mittelbach and Fischer, Addison-Wesley
  • Guide to , 4ed; Kopka and Daly, Addison-Wesley

The distribution is described in files ending .txt or .md; briefly, the most significant of these files are

  • README.md is this file
  • manifest.txt lists all the files in this distribution, with one line of information about the contents
  • legal.txt and lppl.txt ( Project Public License) describe the copyright, warranty and copying restrictions.
  • bugs.txt describes how to submit a bug report for

Other documentation files include files with names of the form:


You will probably need to update your system before you can typeset these files. Each file needs three runs. Some of these are also available as PDF files on CTAN.

The following files contain further information:

  • ltx3info.tex gives you some historical information about the 3 project
  • lamport-manual.err lists errata in : A Document Preparation System (Lamport)
  • tlc3.err lists errata in The Companion, 3rd edition (Mittelbach and Fischer)

The files ltnews*.tex (part of the doc bundle) contain the newsletters, the highest number being the most recent.


We no longer distribute installation instructions for the various implementations. All modern systems include as-standard, and end users should in general use the release versions supplied in this way.

Release distribution is carried out only through the CTAN archives.


The kernel requires the extensions to , which were finalised in the late 1990s and are available in modern -derived engines. It also requires a set of common post- extensions, generally known as the pdf additions. These are available in all modern engines.


The contents of this bundle are distributed under the Project Public License, version 1.3c or later.

Copyright (C) 1989-2024 The LaTeX Project
All rights reserved.

Download the contents of this package in one zip archive (42.3M).

latex-base-dev – Development pre-release of the kernel

This package provides a testing release for upcoming kernel changes. Testing by the team itself suggests that the code is stable and usable, but wider use by knowledgeable users is required by adding these changes to the release kernel. Typically, the code here will be used by a system to create dedicated formats, for example pdflatex-dev, which can then be used explicitly for testing.

Version2024-11-01 pre-release 1
LicensesThe Project Public License 1.3c
Copyright1993–2024 The Project
MaintainerThe Project Team
TDS archivelatex-base-dev.tds.zip
Contained inTeX Live as latex-base-dev
MiKTeX as latex-base-dev
See alsolatex-base
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