[tex-live] Installing latest TeX Live on Ubuntu

Reinhard Kotucha reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Tue Feb 28 23:24:25 CET 2012

On 2012-02-28 at 07:44:16 +0000, Robin Fairbairns wrote:

 > 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 assume that you are using Linux distributions as they are.  In this
case you don't have to do very much with root privileges.
 > > 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.
I recently installed seven Linux distros under Vmware on a Windows
machine.  There is not so much I can do by scripts.  X11 doesn't
detect the screen size under Vmware properly, so I had to do a lot
manually.  I sometimes have to run two VMs in parallel, hence I had
to change init so that the system boots into runlevel 3 instead of 5
because memory is scarce.  Windows needs abt. 800 MB for doing
nothing.  Since I access one of the VMs via ssh with X11-forwarding
from the other one, I can save some memory if X11 is running only on
one machine.  Furthermore, I'm using Fvwm2.  All distros are using
Gnome by default, some of them even don't support Fvwm at all.  It
would simply take too much time to do all these adaptions with sudo.

 > > 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...)

What I intended to say is that tlmgr is not more dangerous than any
other program.  Everything it does affects only the TeX Live directory


Reinhard Kotucha                                      Phone: +49-511-3373112
Marschnerstr. 25
D-30167 Hannover                              mailto:reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Microsoft isn't the answer. Microsoft is the question, and the answer is NO.

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