LaTeX in Gitpod

This tutorial will demonstrate how to configure Gitpod to work with LaTeX files. You can find a complete example repository at the end.

Installing LaTeX

First, you will probably want to install LaTeX in Gitpod. To do this, add a new file to your repository called .gitpod.Dockerfile, and add the following content to it:

language icon dockerfile
FROM gitpod/workspace-full

# Install LaTeX
RUN sudo apt-get -q update && \
    sudo apt-get install -yq texlive && \
    sudo rm -rf /var/lib/apt/lists/*

Next, create a file called .gitpod.yml and add the following to it:

language icon yml
    file: .gitpod.Dockerfile

Now commit both files into source control, and push them to your GitHub or GitLab repository.

This will be your base configuration for LaTeX in Gitpod — from now on, every time you create a new Gitpod workspace for your repository, it will be configured as specified in your .gitpod.yml and .gitpod.Dockerfile.

Automatically compiling LaTeX files on save

One way to achieve this is to install inotify-tools by modifying your earlier .gitpod.Dockerfile like so:

language icon dockerfile
FROM gitpod/workspace-full

# Install LaTeX
RUN sudo apt-get -q update && \
    sudo apt-get install -yq texlive-full inotify-tools && \
    sudo rm -rf /var/lib/apt/lists/*

Next, modify your .gitpod.yml like so:

language icon yml
    file: .gitpod.Dockerfile

    - name: LaTeX auto-rebuild
      command: >
          while find . -name '*.tex' | xargs inotifywait -qqre modify .; do \
            latexmk -pdf ; \
    - name: Terminal

This will start a watcher process that automatically recompiles your *.tex files when they are changed. Note: The watcher process will start in a separate Terminal on every workspace start.

VS Code Extensions


This extension provides rich editing support for the LaTeX typesetting system powered by the TexLab language server.

To install it in Gitpod, simply download the corresponding *.vsix file Open VSX, and then drag-and-drop it into Gitpod’s Extensions view (which can be found in the left vertical menu bar).

This will automatically append something like this to your .gitpod.yml file:

language icon yml
        - efoerster.texlab@1.10.0:/Vq+k9Ug/81LYWajjTgMpA==

(Note: You can also append these lines yourself if you don’t want to download & re-upload the *.vsix file.)

LaTeX Workshop

Another great LaTeX extension is LaTeX Workshop:

Boost LaTeX typesetting efficiency with preview, compile, autocomplete, colorize, and more.

It is also available on Open VSX.

LaTeX Snippets

There is also LaTeX Snippets:

This extension includes a variety of snippets for LaTeX including making environments and plotting images for functions, etc.

Try it!

To see a complete minimal example repository with a Gitpod configuration for LaTeX, including most of the tools we’ve covered, see ptrottier/latex. You can try it in your browser:

Open in Gitpod

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