Lyx: the document processor

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LyX is a document processor that encourages an approach to writing based on the structure of your documents (WYSIWYM) and not simply their appearance (WYSIWYG).

Check your TeX install

If you have installed Texlive from the Void repo, you will need some additional packages to be able to run Lyx properly. Install them by entering the following commands in a shell. You can copy & paste, but don't copy the initial # symbol:

# tlmgr install algorithm2e algorithms apacite bbding bezos algorithm2e
# tlmgr install bibtopic breakurl covington csquotes diagbox endnotes
# tlmgr install enumitem epstopdf esint eurosym feyn fragments framed
# tlmgr install frankenstein harvard hyphenat jurabib lettrine luainputenc
# tlmgr install marginnote mathdesign mathdots mhchem multirow nicefrac
# tlmgr install nomencl picinpar pict2e prettyref preview rotfloat rsfs
# tlmgr install shapepar sidecap splitindex symbol tex-gyre ulem undertilde
# tlmgr install units wasy wasysym wrapfig xargs


During the first run, LyX will check that one of these editors is present in the system:

  • xemacs
  • gvim
  • kedit
  • kwrite
  • kate
  • nedit
  • gedit
  • notepad
  • geany
  • leafpad
  • mousepad

If none is found, you will need to reconfigure Lyx after the installation of the editor.

PDF and PS viewing

Lyx will look for these executables to visualize PostScript or PDF and show the corresponding item in the menu:

PDF viewer:

  • kghostview
  • okular
  • evince
  • gv
  • ghostview
  • pdfview
  • kpdf
  • xpdf
  • acrobat
  • acroread
  • mupdf

Postscript viewer:

  • kghostview
  • okular
  • evince
  • gv
  • ghostview

If you are using qpdfview (the only "Pure Qt" PostScript and PDF viewer installable in Void) you have to make some symlinks to have Lyx detect and work with it:

# ln -s /usr/bin/qpdfview /usr/bin/pdfview
# ln -s /usr/bin/qpdfview /usr/bin/kghostview</pre>

Obviously you must not have the corresponding package installed.


Void Linux Lyx is compiled with the support for hunspell (and the legacy aspell too). There are many places where Lyx searches for a dictionary.

# lyx -dbg files

is your friend for debugging.

Check if hunspell is the spellchecker engine in tools→preferences→language settings→spellchecker. It is also useful to check "spellcheck continuously" to check as you write.

Dictionaries for hunspell may be obtained from various sources, the most common sources are the dictionaries for OpenOffice/LibreOffice as they are updated frequently. Once you get the container you have a normal zip file, so unzip it with your favourite extractor (or by hand) and search for two files with extensions .aff and .dic, for example it_IT.aff and it_IT.dic for italian.

Note: Openoffice/Libreoffice version 4 files for italian are broken, they throw error: line 1784: multiple definitions of an affix flag. Use the files for version 3 instead.

Now create the dicts directory (/home/<your_username>/.lyx/dicts) and copy the two files of the dictionaries into it.

Check correctness with

# lyx -dbg files

and open a file in the desired language (for which you have installed a dictionary) and check that Lyx detects correctly your dictionaries, since there are many other places where you can put the dictionaries.

Note: There are many other ways to get it working, other paths are listed in the dbg output where you can put the dictionaries. This is the quick and dirty way because if you reinstall the entire distribution by copying your $HOME elsewhere, this brings most of the settings as they were in the old installation.

Enjoy spellchecking.