[tex-live] config files read-only on Windows

gnwiii at gmail.com gnwiii at gmail.com
Tue Feb 28 18:14:47 CET 2006

On 2/28/06, Harriet B Borton <bortonh at rpi.edu> wrote:
> Robert Fuster wrote:
> >
> > Missatge citat per gnwiii at gmail.com:
> >
> > > On 2/27/06, Harriet Borton <bortonh at rpi.edu> wrote:
> > > > Hi,
> > > > I've installed TL2005 on my own WinXP machine and I'm encouraging faculty,
> > > > staff, and students at RPI to do so.
> > > > But I found something that is an inconvenience and causes many
> > > > inexperienced users to get stuck.
> > > >
> > > > The config files for dvips and pdftex under the texmf-var tree are
> > > > read-only, which means users can't edit them to change the paper size for
> > > > letter size. The solution is to change the Windows properties of these
> > > > files before trying to edit them, but this is an annoying extra step. I
> > > > don't know how many of our users just gave up on making the changes and now
> > > > their margins will be wrong when they print.
> > > >
> > > > I don't see how this can be changed at this point, but perhaps in the next
> > > > TL distribution?
> > > > Any other reports of this?
> >
> > Open a DOS window, go to the base directory of your Texlive (perhaps
> > C:\Texlive2005) and enter
> >
> > attrib -R texmf-var\*.* /S
> >
> > this change the attributes of all files in the texmf-var branch to writable.
> >
> > Robert
> Thank you, Robert and George, for your helpful comments and
> suggestions.
> Robert's suggestion works great; I'll incorporate his attrib command
> in my local instructions for changing the paper size.
> George, I understand your thoughts on not changing the original
> config files, but the files under texmf-var are not the originals
> (which are in the texmf tree). For years, the official instructions
> have been to change the config files in the texmf-var tree, and this
> year's TeXLive instructions still say to change these files. This is
> the first year that the texmf-var tree has been read-only. So I
> think it's reasonable to change this attribute.

Yes.  The texmf.cnf for windows puts texmf-var this before the $HOME/texmf.
On linux, TEXMFVAR=$HOME/.texlive2005/texmf-var.

I haven't given out the TL2005 install CD very widely, in part because
the people who have problems with TL2003 need some updates that didn't
get into TL2005, and there seem to be problems with WinDVI and user
fonts so now I'm testing a mixture of Win32TeX (by Kakuto), dviout,
and TL2005 (and using linux for real work!).

> Do the people who put together TeXLive see these emails? I do think
> the read-only permissions on texmf-var were unintended this year.
> Thanks again for your help,
> -Harriet

TL gets put together into a test versions and fixed only as far as
testers report problems.   I did most of my testing using the linux
installer and copying the tree over to Win XP, but I had my own
texmf.cnf for our particular situation (user home dirs on a network

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

More information about the tex-live mailing list