[tex-live] Live CD

Siep Kroonenberg siepo at cybercomm.nl
Thu Dec 15 09:22:14 CET 2005

On Wed, Dec 14, 2005 at 10:27:58PM +0000, Peter Flynn wrote:
> Siep Kroonenberg wrote:
> >On Wed, Dec 14, 2005 at 11:25:43AM -0400, gnwiii at gmail.com wrote:
> [...]
> >>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.
> Yes, creating the tree isn't the problem: I just wanted to know if
> anyone had done it already for a run-from-CD TL2005 instead of a DVD.
> Extracting the binaries and a suitable subset ("recommended") is
> straightforward: it's making the setup suitably foolproof which takes
> the time.
> >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
> >it.
> I don't know anything about Registry settings, but the users in question
> say they can't do anything which involves creating or changing the
> Registry (ie install software). Understandably system-wide settings
> would be locked (are those HKLM?) but can users normally do things to
> KHCU settings?
> If they use TL (teTeX) instead of MikTeX, my understanding is that they
> don't need to tinker with the Registry; is that correct? If so, then
> something somewhere is going to have to set the path to whatever disk
> letter the CD or USB ends up at, and somehow make that path propagate
> to whatever editor interface the user runs.
> In Wignornance :-)
> ///Peter

I have done something like it with a run-from-the-network install,
for users with minimal privileges. I managed to avoid system-wide
HKCU settings.

I used the open source NSIS installer, but I think now that vbscript
would also work. Vbscript is part of w2k en xp. It can detect its
own location and has some support for regular expressions, so this
would give you your disk letter.

TeXnicCenter and WinEdt will pick up the MikTeX registry
settings when they are started up for the first time.

Siep Kroonenberg

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