Problems with foreign languages in texlive (babel package)

To my great surprise I’ve found that ‘texlive’ suite (TeX, LaTeX) in 8.x (be it Rocky or CentOS) apparently lacks full support for languages other than English and German. If I put
into my document, LaTeX fails to find polish.ldf file. No package seems to provide it unless I miss something important. In 6.x, it is a part of the general “babel” package and it works fine. In 7.x, the file is still in the babel but LaTeX reports no hyphenation patterns for any language but english (although the package texlive-hyph-utf8 contains several files hyph-pl*.
I tried to use tlmgr install babel-polish but it gave a warning that this would ruin the RHEL texlive installation so I gave up.
Ubuntu and other debian-like distros provide texlive-lang-XXXX packages which contain all needed data for TeX/LaTeX internationalization.
The decline of support in subsequent versions of RHEL/CentOS/RL seems to me so absurd that I suspect I may be really missing something important.
Any hints would be very appreciated.

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I’ve stumbled upon the exact same problem (just with Spanish) and my bewilderment is as great as yours.

The info part for the texlive-babel package does say:

The package manages culturally-determined typographical (and
other) rules, and hyphenation patterns for a wide range of
languages. A document may select a single language to be
supported, or it may select several, in which case the document
may switch from one language to another in a variety of ways.
Note that the package has contributions for several languages
that remain to be incorporated. Examples are: Arabic; Magyar
(Hungarian); Serbian written in cyrillic; Spanish; and Spanish,
using Mexican conventions. Users of XeTeX are advised to use
polyglossia rather than Babel.

The question is whether some of the the babel packages were so ill-maintained that polyglossia was deemed the future? Still weird, Polish and Spanish are hardly niche languages…

RH only ships a stripped-down (actually a crippled) version of TeX Live. It only includes the basics and what they need to build other packages in RHEL. EPEL has a few additional packages (texlive-babel-german is one of these).


  • Make EPEL build texlive-babel-polish
  • Install the original TeX Live distrubution from
  • Switch to another distro
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