[tex-live] Installing latest TeX Live on Ubuntu

Robin Fairbairns Robin.Fairbairns at cl.cam.ac.uk
Tue Feb 28 08:44:16 CET 2012

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

> Well, I agree that it's not necessary to install TL as root.  I don't
> recommend it either, but actually there is nothing wrong with it.

i'm a sys admin in real life, and for me, there's a positive reason not
to force myself to use root (via sudo) to do _anything_ for which it can
be avoided.

> /usr/local is usually owned by root and I don't understand why one
> wants to change ownership of /usr/local/texlive only, instead of the
> whole /usr/local tree.  Is TeX Live more dangerous than other programs
> you install yourself?  I doubt.  I'm the owner of /usr/local simply
> because I'm too lazy to log in as root again and again.  But I'm
> absolutely convinced that running tlmgr as root is safe.  Even
> installing software with "configure/make/make install" as root never
> caused any trouble, though you have to be more careful about the
> origin of the software.

we actually don't have a root user on any of our machines; you _have_ to
sudo to do anything extreme.

> I personally dislike the sudo command.  It's probably fine for people
> who don't [want to] know much about the operating system they are
> using but have to use the package manager or a configuration tool
> occasionally.  But for those who install their own software, sudo is a
> pain and it's better to run "sudo passwd" and then log in as root as
> usual.

nooo.  far better to bundle the operation in a script.

> Sure, it's better not to be root all the time, but TeX Live is
> certainly reliable enough and there is nothing wrong installing it as
> root.

no.  except you have to keep faffing about with root every time you run
tlmgr.  (i run tlmgr update every day that i'm texing -- as opposed to
mucking about to ctan, which i do a lot more...)

> Regarding symlinks: They are not recommended.  But the TL installer
> adds TL to PATH on Windows already.  This can't be done sensibly on
> Unix for several reasons.  Since we can't expect anymore that Linux
> users know more about the system they are using than Windows users,
> the symlink option of the installer can be regarded as a last resort.



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