[tex-live] Installing latest TeX Live on Ubuntu

Zdenek Wagner zdenek.wagner at gmail.com
Mon Feb 27 10:36:42 CET 2012

2012/2/27 Axel E. Retif <axel.retif at mac.com>:
> On 02/26/2012 09:04 PM, George N. White III wrote:
> [...]
>> I recommend against asking TL to create symbolic links to permit
>> using the binaries via some default path entry (/usr/bin or
>> /usr/local/bin) because it is more difficult to debug problems and is
>> not easily reversed.
I think that tlmgr can reverse them but I agree that it may cause
problems and I do not use them. RH based distros do not contain dummy
TeX packages as can be created for Debian. When installing Linux I
select not to install TeX. Dependencies then force installation of the
minimum TeX packages. The disks are large enough so I do not care.
> I completely agree.
> [...]
>> I also keep TeXLive on a separate partition. /usr/local/texlive is a
>> symbolic link to the actual location.
> Ah! I will take note of this and will also consider John Minter's advice,
> because taring and untaring back texlive takes, with my machine, at least 30
> minutes, and the system is meanwhile almost unresponsive for any other task
> (presently my /usr/local/texlive has TL 2010, TL 2011 and a very populated
> texmf-local.)
I have separate partition for /usr/local. Of course, my /usr/local
contains programs that will need recompilation when I reinstall Linux
but I need not touch /usr/loca/texlive. Remember, that tl-install
looks where you want to install TL and writes tha absolute paths to
certain files, not the symlink. Thus if you move the TL tree to a
different location and modify the symlink, TL will not work properly,
you will have to fix the paths. I did it two weeks ago, I found it
quite quickly.

> (I don't mind having a TeXLive installation owned by me as long as it
> resides in /home ---I have some applications in ~/bin---; what I don't want
> is to change permissions in system-wide directories.)
The default permissions are not unchangable dogma, the authors of the
Linux distro just have a good reason to set the permissions in some
way. Of course, they cannot know what every user needs. Of course, I
do not change ownership of /usr/local, therefore I must be root to
create /usr/local/texlive and change its ownership. Now suppose that
you wish to instll TL to your $HOME. It can easily be done, it is just
one setting in tl-install. However, the $HOME directory may have for
security reasons permissions 700. Even if you allow access to
$HOME/texlive to everybody, it may not work. It is also strange to
define a system-wide PATH containing a directory under someone's
$HOME. Most admins will consider it a security hole.

Thinking about permissions is important. I know what I am talking
about. I managed to erase the whole disk by mistake (once due to a
hidden Windows misfeature, twice due to a bug in my Rexx script in
OS/2). Linux offers protection by permissions and this saved my disk
when I did a bad bug in my bash script running from cron.

> Best
> Axel

Zdeněk Wagner

More information about the tex-live mailing list