[tex-live] More on texlive configuration

gnwiii at gmail.com gnwiii at gmail.com
Sat Aug 5 13:44:00 CEST 2006

On 8/3/06, Ken Brooks <kenb at rpath.com> wrote:

> The picture has become clearer in the past few days:  I'm integrating
> texlive into a distribution, and I will not be allowed to set any
> environment variables (that would thus have to be set for every user of
> the distribution).  And I am told to put binaries in /usr/bin and data in
> /usr/share, because that is how our distro does things.

These rules seem reasonable.  Other distros also but binaries in
/usr/bin and texmf trees in /usr/share, so this isn't anything that
hasn't been done before.   For testing and special projects it has
been important that TeX systems support a self-contained configuration
with everything sitting under one directory (e.g., /usr/TeX or
/usr/share/texlive/2005), but with virtual machines we now have other
ways to support testing, etc.

How would users/admins customize texmf.cnf to add texmf trees?
ConTeXt, in particular, changes early and often, so it is helpful to
provide /usr/local/share/texmf-cont for ConTeXt users, which makes
/usr/local/share/texmf much more stable.   I hate to see anything that
wants edits in /usr/share, as it has to be done again for each
workstation and each reinstall/upgrade, and makes it tricker to share
/usr trees on a network.  In the past I have arranged to have users
set TEXMFCNF to a tweaked texmf.cnf (e.g., when there are conflicts
between the configuration needed for that unending book project and
the versions needed by some publisher's style).

> Please check me on my thinking:
> 1. I'll have to use a parameter to "configure" at build time to tell
> kpathsea to look for texmf.cnf under /usr/share/texmf.  It appears that
>    --prefix=/usr
> is the best approach.

along with the switch to drop the platform-specific subdirs.

> 2. SELFAUTO* won't work for any purpose at all, so I should customize
> texmf.cnf and change every SELFAUTO entry therein, to something more
> definite.
> Does this sound right?

Well, SELFAUTO* could be used.  RH Fedora Core 5 teTeX uses (the
redundantly redundant) compile-time default:

TEXMFCNF = {$SELFAUTOLOC,$SELFAUTODIR,$SELFAUTOPARENT}{,{/share,}/texmf{-local,}/web2c};$TETEXDIR;/usr/share/texmf/web2c;/usr/share/texmf/web2c

which seems to miss /usr/local/share/texmf/web2c.   There aren't any
uses of SELFAUTO* in the effective parts of the texmf.cnf

Something like:

TEXMFCNF = {$SELFAUTOLOC,$SELFAUTODIR,$SELFAUTOPARENT}{,{/local/share,/share,}/texmf{-local,}/web2c}

would support a site-specific "/usr/local/share/texmf/web2c/texmf.cnf".

George N. White III <aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca>
Head of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia

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