[tex-live] Live CD

Siep Kroonenberg siepo at cybercomm.nl
Wed Dec 14 17:23:05 CET 2005

On Wed, Dec 14, 2005 at 11:25:43AM -0400, gnwiii at gmail.com wrote:
> On 12/13/05, Peter Flynn <peter at silmaril.ie> wrote:
> >
> > I have had a number of enquiries from users with older equipment
> > (no DVD drive) about whether it is possible to extract and burn a
> > Live CD because their admins have the machines locked down tight
> > and they can't install MikTeX -- but they could run from CD.
> >
> > Failing that, has anyone done a run-from-USB distro? Or tested
> > having a complete system installed on a USB drive?
> >
> The problem of systems locked down by uncooperative and unsympathetic
> admins is not restricted to Windows.  With teTeX it has always been
> possible for a user to put the texmf trees and binaries in a user disk area
> (USB, network, CD, etc.) and run TeX after adjusting the PATH variable.
> I think this still holds for TL2005 on unix/linux and on Win32.
> I don't know MikTeX well enough to know if there is a way to work around
> user privilege constraints, but certainly for TL2005 you can generate a tree
> with Win32 binaries using a personal system or even linux, copy the tree to
> another system, arrange to add the bin/win32 directory to the path in a
> shell window, and run TeX.  You may need to adjust texmf.cnf.
> --
> George N. White III <aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca>

MikTeX uses registry settings. These don't have to be HKLM (local
machine) settings, but KHCU (current user) settings work just as
well. You could create these settings with a little vbscript on the
cd or usb drive. This script would also have to create a user tree
and a filename database. If anybody is interested, I'll have a go at

Siep Kroonenberg

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