Pretesting TeX Live 2020

The entire TeX Live community greatly benefits from all testing of TeX Live before the official release. The more people who test in advance, the better the final release can be. It is also the best opportunity to influence and improve the behavior of TL.

So please try it if you have a chance. As distributed, the pretest will not interfere with any existing installations of TeX, either native TeX Live or operating system distributions.

On this page: downloading - installing - testing - updating - reporting - news.


You can retrieve the pretest files from one of these hosts: copy-paste an http or ftp url when running the installer directly, or use an rsync url for mirroring, as described below. (Our thanks to these sites for making their space and bandwidth available.)

You can either do a network installation of TL or mirror the whole directory:

64-bit Windows binaries are not included in TL this year. You can get them as either the natively-compiled binaries from Akira Kakuto (has its own instructions), or the mingw-compiled binaries from Luigi Scarso plus his auxiliary programs (install as a custom binary set).

The pretest build runs nightly, ending by 4am Paris time unless something goes wrong. The mirror hosts should all be up to date within a few hours after that.


After downloading as above, you can run the script install-tl (Unix) or install-tl-windows.bat (Windows) to perform the installation. We just use install-tl as the command name in these examples:

If you are performing a network installation, the pretest repository location from which to install must be specified, as shown in these examples (see downloading above for the location urls). The location must be an ftp or http url (not rsync).

But in the case of installing from your own mirrored repository, you should omit -repository location from the given command lines.

For information on all of the installer options, run install-tl --help, or see the install-tl documentation page.


After a successful installation, please first try simple test documents, such as latex small2e and pdflatex sample2e. If that works, even more useful is to try your real-life documents, to check that they still work as expected. If third-party packages have changed incompatibly, their maintainers should be contacted directly.


After a successful installation, you can update from the tlpretest repository using tlmgr from time to time, if you wish. In the event of unusually drastic changes during the pretest you may have to reinstall.

Reporting problems

Please email bug reports, suggestions, comments on TeX Live itself (the installation process, tlmgr, etc.) to (archive). Bugs about specific packages should be reported to the package maintainers; TeX Live's basic job is to install (some of) what is on CTAN, not make changes on top of it. Resources for general questions and help using TeX are available.

Notable changes

The main TeX Live documentation and translations are not yet fully updated.

As always, there are pervasive updates to packages and programs. We can't list them all, but here are the major user-visible changes in the principal programs:

Nothing major other than the above; see full Kpathsea news for details.
eptex, euptex
New primitives \Uchar, \Ucharcat, \current(x)spacingmode, \ifincsname; revise \fontchar?? and \iffontchar. For euptex only: \currentcjktoken.
luatex (full LuaTeX news)
Nothing major; see full MetaPost news for details.
pdftex (full pdfTeX news)
ptex (full pTeX news)
New primitives \ifjfont, \iftfont. Also in eptex, uptex, and euptex.
xetex (full XeTeX news)
Fixes for \Umathchardef, \XeTeXinterchartoks, \pdfsavepos.
dvips (full dvips news)
Output encodings for bitmap fonts, for better copy/paste capability.
tlmgr (full tlmgr news)
MacTeX and x86_64-darwin now require macOS 10.13 or higher (High Sierra, Mojave, and Catalina); x86_64-darwinlegacy supports 10.6 and newer. MacTeX is notarized and command line programs have hardened runtimes, as now required by Apple for install packages. BibDesk and TeX Live Utility are not in MacTeX because they are not notarized, but a README file lists urls where they can be obtained.

If you discover other changes that should be noted, please report them. Such documentation improvements are among the most important things pretesters can help with.

$Date: 2020/03/26 17:56:28 $; TeX Live;
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