[tex-live] Using tlmgr/TeXLive utility to install local versions of a package

Victor Ivrii vivrii at gmail.com
Sun Aug 7 13:17:54 CEST 2011

On Sun, Aug 7, 2011 at 6:40 AM, Norbert Preining <preining at logic.at> wrote:
> Hi Alan,

> On Fr, 05 Aug 2011, Alan Munn wrote:
>> For complex packages like pgf and beamer, for example, or some of the things that now depend on latex3, it's sometimes useful to keep the old version in the main tree and test out the newer version separately.  Installation for small packages is obviously quite easy, but for larger ones with dependencies it would be nice to use tlmgr for the task.
> You can alway make a manual backup before updating with tlmgr, and then
> revert to the previous version.
> I see that it might have usage patterns, but the problem is that it opens
> a can of worms, because then sometimes the package in TEXMFHOME will be
> much older than the one in main, but we cannot report on that.
Norbert, there is a rather old question:

How one can modify tlmgr.pl so it can install in the local or private directory?

I noticed that tlmgr.pl defines
chomp (my $TEXMFLOCAL = `kpsewhich -var-value=TEXMFLOCAL`);

If I understand correctly $TEXMFLOCAL is not actually used. Is it correct?

 Is it true that if some brave soul modifies tlmgr.pl (to mytlmgr.pl)
and redefines

chomp (my $TEXMFSYSVAR = `kpsewhich -var-value=TEXMFLOCAL`)

(and may be some other variables) then mytlmgr will install packages
into local directory.

Similarly with $TEXMFHOME (it is not defined in tlmgr.pl but it could
be defined in the similar way.)

Disclaimer: This suggestion is taken from the chapter "How to screw up
your TeX" of the book "Bad advices" :-)

Victor Ivrii, Professor, Department of Mathematics, University of Toronto

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