[pdftex] pdtex + latex + cygwin (or linux)

Kewley, J (John) j.kewley at dl.ac.uk
Mon Jul 23 18:52:08 CEST 2007

> > I am keen to try out the various typgraphical extensions and
> > justification  alternatives that I have read are available 
> with pdftex.
> >
> > I write in LaTeX, mainly under cygwin.

Thanks for the prompt reply
> Disclaimer: I gave up on Cygwin a while ago.  I get similar 
> performance
> using linux in a virtual machine, but without the minor 
> incompatibilities
> and glitches in Cygwin, so what I say may be outdated.

I have cygwin on all my machines and am very happy with the environment
it provides.
> Cygwin provided a port of the unix teTeX system, which did include
> an early version of pdftex, but is no lnger being maintained upstream.
> You would do better to work with a current version of pdftex 
> as provided
> by a mainstream TeX system (TeX Live, MikTeX, Win32TeX, etc.).

Yes, I couldn't get that to work with the new contructs I was trying out.

> It is really quite simple to get linux going in the free 
> VMware player.
> ...
> If your workplace is like mine, you can find very robust PIII machines
> (Dell OptiPlex GX1) gathering dust.  For someone working mostly via
> the command-line, linux on a PIII is more usable than command line
> (Cygwin or linux in a VM) tools running on a P4.

I haven't looked into VMware yet. Our machines are centrally administered and 
we haven't rolled out virtualisation for Windows yet. I did have dual boot at one
point, but find it is far easier to copy files from Windows to cygwin to
remote linux machines to USB memory sticks all trivially.
> I would not recommend trying to install pdftex outside any 
> distribution.

Oh, thats a shame.

> Pdftex isn't much use without the texmf trees.  There have been some
> significant and incompatible changes, so you can't just drop a current
> pdftex into an old tetex system, and there have been many improvements
> to the macro packages, fonts, etc. in the standard trees.

I have the old texmf trees from the cygwin implementation, but apart from
executables don't know where to "drop stuff".
> > Does anyone know the easiest way to install pdftex so it doesn't
> > interfere with the existing [La]TeX installation that is 
> already there for cygwin.
> > This would probably mean installing it within my own space, i.e. a
> > non-root build  and install.
> Both tetex and tex live take the approach that everything should go
> in a self-contained tree.  Some linux distributions don't do this, but
> instead mix the tex configuration into the other configuration files.
> This has advantages in terms of package management, and does not
> make it impossbile to install a self-contained TeX Live or 
> other system
> on a linux system than uses the merged configuration approach.
> I prefer to install the self-contained tree as a regular 
> user, so root is
> not needed to do maintenance.

Thats sounds like what I want - self contained, local version.

> Unlike tetex (which was really unix-centric) TeX Live does try to
> support a wide range of platforms.   If you don't like my approach
> (debian linux "unstable" distro has texlive packages) then you will
> have to build TeX Live  in cygwin (assuming someone hasn't done
> it already), and contribute any needed patches to upstream
> maintainers.

I have been trying TeTeX, but haven't worked my way through all the installation yet.
> > I have a full installation of cygwin. I am familiar with writing and
> > using LaTeX, but not the vagaries of how fonts are installed.
> >
> > In the past I have used dvips followed by ps2pdf on cygwin
> With a modern TeX, many people can work without ever
> encountering a .dvi file.   While you loose the ability to use
> arbitrary PostScript code (e.g., things like pstricks),
> you are able to use .ps figures that don't meet the EPS
> constraints (just convert to  pdf figures).

I don't need the dvi nor the ps file. I am happy with pdf only which
I have been getting for the past couple of years using the old
tools that come with cygwin.

One final requirement is that I need to produce LaTeX files that others can
edit, compile and proof-read without neccessarily having pdftex.



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