[tex-live] So far.....expensive failure

Reinhard Kotucha reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Sat Feb 16 11:57:59 CET 2013

On 2013-02-16 at 11:14:26 +0100, Denis Bitouzé wrote:

 > Le samedi 16/02/13 à 10h50,
 > Reinhard Kotucha <reinhard.kotucha at web.de> a écrit :
 > > An up-to-date installer is at
 > > 
 > >   CTAN/tex-archive/systems/texlive/tlnet/
 > > 
 > > You just have to copy the tlnet directory.
 > With rsync for instance?

Yes, or wget.  You only have to copy it once for each LaTeX course,
presumably once a year.  Rsync is useful if you update regularly.
 > > The default behavior of the TeX Live installer is to install the
 > > files in tlnet/archive/ if this directory is present and perform a
 > > network installation otherwise.
 > > 
 > > This means:
 > > 
 > >   1. If you copy the tlnet directory to a local machine, then users
 > >      have to download and extract tlnet/install-tl.zip on their
 > >      machines and change the repository so that files are downloaded
 > >      from your machine rather than from a CTAN mirror.
 > OK but still has the inconvenient of local network install already
 > mentioned and needs this "change the repository" step that should
 > be revert afterwards.

Yes, but it's one option, at least.

 > >   2. If you copy the tlnet directory to a USB stick, then users
 > >      have to move into this directory and call the installer directly.
 > >      Since the tlnet/archive directory is present, the installer will
 > >      extract the files therein and no attempt is made to install
 > >      anything via the network.
 > Does this need to change afterwards the repository to CTAN mirror for
 > later updates?

No, after installation the default repository is still


but it's recommended to select a reliable mirror nearby.

 > > This works on all systems, though Mac users might prefer MacTeX.
 > > I don't know much about MacTeX, but if it can be installed from a DVD
 > > I suppose that it can be installed from a USB stick as well, at least
 > > if the directory layout is the same as on the DVD.  
 > Some of my students have succesfully installed MacTeX I provided on an
 > USB stick.

If they copied the content of the ISO image to a USB stick, they
certainly installed the old stuff.  What one could try is to replace
the content of the texlive directory by the content of tlnet.  I would
expect that the MacTeX installer will use the up-to-date files in
texlive/archives then.

 > >  > (I specified a /complete/ installer because I personally
 > >  > prefer the students to run "install-tl-advanced" than
 > >  > "install-tl", as they are default options I wouldn't recommend
 > >  > to beginners.)
 > > 
 > > Which options do you have in mind?
 > As already answered to Lars, I always recommend to run the
 > install-tl-advanced as an administrator and change the two options:
 >   1. "Install for all users" from "No" to "Yes".

Ok.  The default is "No" because one can't know in advance whether a
user has the necessary permissions for a system-wide installation.

 >   2. Install TeXworks (I don't remember the exact label of this
 >   option). I explain myself: though I am an Emacs user, I know
 >   TeXworks is very powerful but, IMHO, it is not very helpful for
 >   beginners as it requires them to know and remember macro and
 >   environment names (TeXstudio, for instance is easier for
 >   beginners).

I usually recommend TeXworks to beginners *because* they have to
remember macro and environment names.  Former or later it's
advantageous to have them learned.  There must be a reason that we
both are using Emacs...

Using TeXworks means to learn LaTeX as it's described in the
literature.  This is a big advantage, especially in the long term.
Admittedly, there's a lot to learn at the beginning, but it's easy
enough once one have understood the concepts.  Furthermore, there is
a lot of stuff which is not accessible from IDEs, hence I wouldn't
rely on them at all.

 >   Well I could let TeXworks be installed but, often, it becomes the
 >   default program for .tex files even if another preferred TeX IDE
 >   is installed afterwards.

I think that it's easy enough to change the file name associations
manually if necessary.


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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