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I'm creating a relatively small console program which will be used by some other people as well. As part of its output it will be creating a tex file which will contain some two tables, a few rows of text and one plot.

Not, my program is pretty small - under a Mb. The problem is I can't count on my users to have latex installed, so I'd like to include the very bare minimum required files to create it (pdf). What would be a good place to start searching on that topic, or even better, does anyone know what I would need to include with it to accomplish that ?

I remember my last latex install being pretty ... well, gigantic.

Kind regards !

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See also:… Not sure that it helps much, though. – dmckee May 12 '10 at 22:34
@dmckee - dm, thanks for that one. I saw it before (quite a few others actually as well; some on SO) but none of them came with some final answers. If I can't put the distro below 20mb or somewhere there, I'll maybe take a different route (plot to png ...). Sure would hate that. – Rook May 12 '10 at 22:41
Does this belong in SO? – Javier May 12 '10 at 23:01
@Javier Badia - I don't care. Move it to wherever makes you happy. I've long since past the point of hoping that maniacs ( honorable exceptions excluded(!) ) on these sites will ever come to an agreement about what belongs where (and stick to it). – Rook May 12 '10 at 23:13
Well, I posted the comment because I don't have the necessary powers to vote to move it. Also, I think this question would get more attention in SO. – Javier May 13 '10 at 18:36

You could try one of the obsolete MSDOS distributions. Some of them are pretty small, like the base emtex (plus its fonts). From 1998.

Installation is documented in Norm Walsh's Making TeX Work, which is even more obsolete, from 1994, but it should be enough to tell you which bits of that you can throw away, conveniently summarised in the Making emTeX smaller section. He estimates that you can slim the distribution down to 5.5Mb.

But be warned: such a tiny distribution won't have staples such as pdftex, Metapost or TikZ, although there was already graphicx and Pstricks back in those days...

Cutting more means cutting fonts: maybe if you used Xetex's ability to support OS fonts, that would help? But I don't think emtex has Xetex...

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You haven't said why you must have a PDF, so may I suggest the alternate solution of having the program output HTML and using gnuplot (which if I'm reading the license correctly, you can redistribute with your program) to create the plot? You can't assume people will have TeXLive (or whatever) installed, but I think you can assume they'll have a web browser.

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Sorry, it's gotta be PDF. HTML just doesn't cut it in terms of page display and user friendlyness, not to mention that in half the cases the printout depends on the printer drivers. – Rook May 21 '10 at 16:06

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