TeX Live support for custom binaries
It is possible to install and use TeX Live with binaries that are not
in the original distribution. The most common case for this is when you
are on a platform which the original TL distribution did not support.
- Binaries for some less-common platforms are omitted from the DVD to save space, but
they are available normally in a network install. So they aren't
considered “custom” binaries in the sense of this page.
- A subset of TL18 binaries for x86_64-linux-glibc2.12 are available—those that
can be compiled without ICU or poppler (build script,
This omits luatex, xetex, dvisvgm, upmendex, bibtexu, and thus there
will be errors on installation and updates, but the traditional TeX
system remains usable. We suggest omitting the context package from the
install, since it will not be usable.
- TL18 binaries for
powerpc-linux are available.
- Nelson Beebe has made TL binaries for a large
collection of platforms, mirrored in Slovenia and
via ftp and
The sets are available as compressed tar files. The parent README there
gives details and scripts used.
Given a set of binaries, here are the steps to use it:
- Acquire the “foreign” binaries and put them
(unpacked) in, say, /tmp/foobin:
mkdir /tmp/foobin && cd /tmp/foobin
tar xf ...tar.gz
- Run install-tl --custom-bin=/tmp/foobin.
- Add TLROOT/bin/custom to PATH. The
“/custom” there is literal, and TLROOT is
wherever you installed TeX Live,
Regarding subsequent TL package updates from the net: ensure that you
have wget, xz, and xzdec available in your PATH; otherwise, TL will have
no way to download or decompress packages. Also, there will be no
updates to the platform-specific packages in TL, since the custom
platform doesn't exist in the canonical TL repository.
Therefore, you may have to manually adjust symlinks in your custom
dir. Symlinks (on Unix) in the binary directories point to scripts that
can run on any platform. When and if the target of a symlink changes
location for whatever reason, you would need to update the symlink in
your own directory.
If you want to install a second set of custom binaries (from, say,
/tmp/barbin), you first have to manually rename the first set,
- mv TLROOT/bin/custom TLROOT/bin/custom-foo
- mkdir TLROOT/bin/custom
- cp /tmp/barbin/* TLROOT/bin/custom
- Switch your PATH between TLROOT/bin/custom and
custom-foo to control which set is current.
$Date: 2018/07/30 17:28:50 $;