Searching for packages in TeXLive

I recently bought a new ACER netbook which comes preinstalled with Windows 7.  It has been almost four years since I used a windows laptop, so I thought that I will give windows a shot before trying out a linux distro on this guy.

The first difficult question was which TeX distribution to use: MikTeX or TeXlive. In the past I had used MikTeX and was extremely happy with it. However, this time around I decided to check out TeXlive (TL), partly buoyed by my good experience with TL in linux.

Installation, setup, etc was a breeze. I think that I selected the basic setup during installation, and when I tried to compile one of my latex files a few packages were missing–mathtools, calcrsfs, dsfonts. In linux, I usually also install the texlive-math-extras bundle and do not need to worry about math packages. However, in windows, I could not find any such package. So, I tried to install these packages by hand.

TeXlive comes with a nice package manager called tlmgr (Of course, as we are talking about TeX software texlive-manager it had to be abbreviated to tlmgr). This allows one to search the CTAN database for packages. For example, I tried

C:\texlive\2009\bin\win32>tlmgr.bat search --global mathtools
tlmgr: package repository
 mh - The MH bundle


which told me that I had to install the mh package to get mathtools.sty. Installing the package is also easy. To install the mh bundle, I just had to say

C:\texlive\2009\bin\win32>tlmgr.bat install mh
tlmgr: package repository
[1/1, ??:??/??:??] install: mh [2129k]
tlmgr: package log updated at C:/texlive/2009/texmf-var/web2c/tlmgr.log
running mktexlsr ...
done running mktexlsr.


Easy. Well almost. Things were not so simple when I tried to install dsfont

C:\texlive\2009\bin\win32>tlmgr.bat search --global dsfont
tlmgr: package repository


I guess the empty output means nothing was found. I was confused. I knew that dsfont in part of TL because I use it in linux. So where was it lurking.

Searching CTAN gave me a hint. dsfont is part of the doublestroke package. Ah! Installing packages went smoothly from then on.

So, the next time you cannot find a package in TL, try searching CTAN.