What is LyX?
LyX is a document processor that encourages an approach to
writing based on the structure of your documents, not their
appearance. It is released under a Free Software / Open Source
LyX is for people that write and want their writing to look great,
right out of the box. No more endless tinkering with formatting
details, 'finger painting' font attributes or futzing around with
page boundaries. You just write. In the background, Prof. Knuth's
legendary TeX typesetting engine makes you look good.
On screen, LyX looks like any word processor; its printed output
--- or richly cross-referenced PDF, just as readily produced ---
looks like nothing else. Gone are the days of industrially bland
.docs, all looking similarly not-quite-right, yet coming out
unpredictably different on different printer drivers. Gone are the
crashes 'eating' your dissertation the evening before going to
LyX is stable and fully featured. It is a multi-platform, fully
internationalized application running natively on Unix/Linux and
the Macintosh and modern Windows platforms.
What do I need to run LyX?
* a Unix-like system (including Windows with Cygwin)
* Windows 2000 or newer
* Mac OS 10.4 or newer
A decent LaTeX2e installation (e.g. TeX Live for Linux, MikTeX for
Python 2.7 to convert old LyX files and for helper scripts.
Note: Python 3 (3.3 or later) support is work in progress.
How does the LyX version scheme work?
LyX uses a contiguous numbering scheme for versions, where a
number "2.x.y" indicates a stable release '2.x', maintenance
release 'y'. In other words, LyX 2.2.0 was the first stable
release in the 2.2-series of LyX. At the time of writing, the
latest maintenance release in the 2.2-series is LyX 2.2.4.
Please note that maintenance releases are designed primarily to
fix bugs, and that the file format will _never_ change due to a
In addition to the stable releases and maintenance releases, some
users may want to give a ''release candidate'' a try. This is a
release that should be stable enough for daily work, but yet may
be potentially unstable. If no major bugs are found, the release
candidate is soon released as the first stable release in a new
series. To summarize, there are three possible types of file names
that are of interest to normal users:
lyx-2.3.0.tar.gz -- stable release, first in the 2.3-series
lyx-2.2.4.tar.gz -- fourth maintenance release of LyX 2.2
lyx-2.4.0rc1.tar.gz -- potentially unstable release candidate
Note that the goal is not parallel development as for the Linux
kernel --- the team is too small to afford that --- but rather to
include all the simple and safe bug fixes. This is so that the
maintenance burden on us is not too high, and so that system
administrators can install new releases without fear. Experience
shows that these releases will contain a few new features, and
that the bulk of the patches will be documentation updates.
If you get the source from Git, the version string will look like
2.3.1dev -- this is the stable branch on which maintenance
release 2.3.1 will eventually be tagged.
2.4.0dev -- this is the main branch on which stable
release 2.4.0 will eventually be tagged.
How do I upgrade from an earlier LyX version?
Read the file UPGRADING for info on this subject.
What do I need to compile LyX from the source distribution?
* A good C++ compiler. Development is being done mainly with
gcc/g++, but some others work also. As of LyX 2.3.0, you need
at least gcc 4.6.x.
* The Qt library, at least version 4.8.0. For all features
newer versions (e.g. Qt 5.6) are recommended.
Read the file "INSTALL" for more information on compiling.
Okay, I've installed LyX. What now?
Once you've installed it, and everything looks fine, go read
the "Introduction" item under the Help menu. You should follow
the instructions there, which tell you to read (or at least skim)
the Tutorial. After that, you should also read "Help>LaTeX
configuration" which provides info on your LaTeX configuration
as LyX sees it. You might be missing a package or two that you'd
like to have.
User-level configuration is possible via the Tools>Preferences menu.
Does LyX have support for non-English speakers/writers/readers?
Yes. LyX supports writing in many languages, including
right-to-left languages like Arabic or Hebrew.
Menus and error messages have been translated to many languages.
For the status of the different translations, see
Keymaps can ease typing in many languages.
Internet resources of relevance to LyX
The LyX homepage contains valuable information about LyX and the
various LyX mailing lists, as well as links to mirrors and other
LyX homepages around the world:
The LyX Wiki is the place where users can share information on
setting up and using LyX.
The main LyX archive site:
The LyX Development page has information about the development
effort. LyX is under Git version control, so you can get the very
latest sources from there at any time.
How do I submit a bug report?
If possible, read the Introduction found under the Help menu in LyX.
You'll find detailed info on submitting bug reports there.
If you can't do that, send details to the LyX Developers' mailing
list, or use the LyX bug tracker at
Don't forget to mention which version you are having problems with!
How can I participate in the development of LyX?
Any help with the development of LyX is greatly appreciated ---
after all, LyX wouldn't be what it is today without the help
of volunteers. We need your help!
If you want to work on LyX, you should contact the developer's
mailing list for discussion on how to do your stuff. LyX is being
cleaned up, and therefore it's important to follow some rules.
Read about those rules in development/Code_rules/.
If you don't know C++, there are many other ways to
contribute. Write documentation. Help to internationalize LyX
by translating documentation or menus/error messages, or by
writing a new keymap. Write a new textclass. Find bugs (but
please read the list of known bugs first). Contribute money.
Or just offer feature suggestions (but please read the online
TODO list first).
Thank you for trying LyX. We appreciate your feedback in the mailing
The LyX Team.