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Download & Installation

There is neither a xindy distribution for Windows nor for Mac OS X. We would like to have one, but nobody has done the port yet.

For Linux, there is the new LaTeX Companion Release that has both an easy installation and is easy to use.

For other Unix systems, there is a source-based distribution that is described below, beneath the horizontal rule.

On Linux

The Download Area is at SourceForge.

Unpack the archive in /opt or any other directory. Add /opt/xindy-2.2/bin to your $PATH, and /opt/xindy-2.2/man to your $MANPATH.


Three user commands have been installed, texindy, xindy, and makeindex4.

texindy and xindy are described in the LaTeX Companion, 2nd ed. They have man pages as well. texindy processes LaTeX indices and uses standard modules. xindy is for those who need or want to write their own xindy style files. For them, tutorial and reference documentation is available.

makeindex4 comes with an associated man page. It is superseded by texindy. If you think you need to use it because it does something that you cannot realize with texindy - please address that issue in the mailing list. makeindex4 is good at emulating standard MakeIndex behaviour, but has no module or language support. Therefore its usage is depreciated.

Installation on Other Unix systems

You will compile xindy kernel source code during installation. But you will download and use a binary distribution of the compiler to do that.

So, let's start...


The Download Area is at SourceForge.


  1. xindy-2.1.tar.gz
  2. xindy-2.1-platform.tar.gz, where platform is appropriate for your system.
  3. xindy-make-rules-0.2.tar.gz

If you want to use xindy on HP-UX or SunOS 4, you'll have to fetch the 2.0 release. Current compiler distributions don't exist for these platforms.

If you want to use xindy on Windows or OS/2, you'll have to fetch the 2.0 release, too. The rest of this installation instructions won't work under these operating systems, though. Your best bet is getting GNU make (e.g., from Cygwin) and adapting the Makefiles. Your help to improve that miserable situation would be really welcome.

  1. Unpack xindy-2.1.tar.gz. The directory xindy is created.
  2. Change current directory to xindy.
  3. Unpack xindy-2.1-platform.tar.gz.
  4. Unpack xindy-make-rules-0.2.tar.gz.
Create xindy format
  1. Create a symlink current:
      ln -s xindy-2.1 current
  2. Change current directory to binaries/platform.
  3. xindy will be installed in /usr/local. If you don't like this, change it in Makefile.install.
  4. Create the format:
      make all
      make gzipped
    During make all, there will be warnings about an unspecified installation directory. Ignore them.
  5. (Optional) Run tests:
      make testsuite
    This will end with the message that tests ex1 and ex2 have failed. That is a known problem with the tests, not with xindy.
Install xindy
  1. By default, the xindy command will be installed in /usr/local/bin and auxiliary files in /usr/local/lib/xindy. You might have changed these directories, as explained above.
      make install
    Most probably, you can only do this as root.
  2. (Optional) You might want to copy the man pages to appropriate directories, e.g.,
      cd /usr/local
      cp lib/xindy/doc/*.1 man/man1
      cd -
Install language modules
  1. Change your current directory to ../../xindy-make-rules-0.2.
  2. If you don't have GNU make, get it and install it. (Linux users have it by default, the others should know.)
  3. If you have changed the installation directory of xindy, you need to adapt the settings in Makefile.
  4. Install with
      make install

Three user commands have been installed, makeindex4, makeindex.sh and xindy.

makeindex4 comes with an associated man page, makeindex.sh has a good usage message, and tutorial and reference documentation exist for xindy.

The best way to learn about xindy usage before the LaTeX Companion Release is to copy an example index style, and change it. A good one is in xindy-make-rules-0.2.

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