[tex-live] More on texlive configuration

Frank Küster frank at kuesterei.ch
Tue Aug 22 09:23:39 CEST 2006

Reinhard Kotucha <reinhard.kotucha at web.de> wrote:

>>>>>> "Ken" == Ken Brooks <kenb at rpath.com> writes:
>   > Now, why the desire for .../texmf-local if /usr/local/share/texmf
>   > is already available?
> There is no UNIX program I know which is provided by the distribution
> and expects any files in /usr/local.

Not expect, but accept.

> /usr/local should be empty after you installed the system and no
> program provided by the distribution should expect any file there.
> /usr/share/texmf-local is similar as /usr/share/emacs/site-lisp or
> /usr/lib/perl5/site_perl.

On a Debian system (and I assume this is the same on most Linux
systems), files in /usr/local/ are also searched for, e.g. by Perl or

$ perl -e 'print "@INC\n";'
/etc/perl /usr/local/lib/perl/5.8.4 /usr/local/share/perl/5.8.4 /usr/lib/perl5 /usr/share/perl5 /usr/lib/perl/5.8 /usr/share/perl/5.8 /usr/local/lib/site_perl .

Emacs also has /usr/local/share/emacs/site-lisp and
/usr/local/share/emacs/<version>/site-lisp in its load-path, besides
/usr/share/emacs/site-lisp and friends.

On a TeX system, it makes sense IMO to have only one local tree, either
SELFAUTOLOC/share/texmf-local or /usr/local/share/texmf.  As far as I
understand the comment in texmf.in, 

| % This definition isn't used from this .cnf file itself (that would be
| % paradoxical), but the compile-time default in paths.h is built from it.
| % The SELFAUTO* variables are set automatically from the location of
| % argv[0], in kpse_set_progname.  
| % 
| % The TETEXDIR stuff isn't likely to relevant unless you're using teTeX,
| % but it doesn't hurt.
| %
| % For security reasons, it is better not to have . part of the path.
| % 
| TEXMFCNF = {$SELFAUTOLOC,$SELFAUTODIR,$SELFAUTOPARENT}{,{/share,}/texmf{-local,}/web2c};$TETEXDIR;$TEXMF/web2c;@web2c@

selfautoloc is mainly used and intended to generate the search path
information for texmf.cnf at compile time.  At runtime, it's probably
more transparent to explicitly configure TEXMFLOCAL in texmf.cnf.

Regards, Frank
Frank Küster
Single Molecule Spectroscopy, Protein Folding @ Inst. f. Biochemie, Univ. Zürich
Debian Developer (teTeX/TeXLive)

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