[tex-live] Where is the root dir of my Tex Live installation

Zdenek Wagner zdenek.wagner at gmail.com
Sun Nov 17 12:04:24 CET 2013

2013/11/17 Gerald Pechoc <ubuntu at pechoc.eu>:
> I want to be compatible with my office computer, where 2013 on a MAC is
> installed.

What do you mean exactly by compatibility? I have LaTeX files written
more than 15 years ago and they were compiled by emTeX in OS/2 Warp
3.0. Now I can compile these files in TeX Live in Linux (I really do
it because the publisher wants to publish some books again without
changes). Sometimes I do not have the sources, I find only DVI and EPS
images. The path to the images is absolute but Linux does not have the
E: drive. Yet it is possible to cope with it using a simple trick. The
incompatibility is the question only if you really need features of a
latest version of a package that was not available in the earlier
version or if you happen to trigger a bug in an older version that has
already been fixed in TL 2013. And if you need XeLaTeX and system
fonts, full compatibility can be achieved with great difficulties

> I am not a beginner in Latex, but I am not a very educated Unix Admin.
If you really are not satisfied with the TeX distribution from your
OS, you should certailny spend a few hours learning the basics of
shell, setting environment variables, basic utilities, and you have to
understand SELinux if you have it active. The incompatibilities will
arise in XeLaTeX when you start using system fonts. A few years ago I
developed a package for a journal and worked as a consultant. They
found that Mac had different version of DejaVu fonts and the whole
journal issue is one page shorter if compiled by XeLaTeX in Linux.
Anothe problem was with fi and fl ligatures that were correctly
created by XeLaTeX in Linux but not by XeLaTeX by Mac. They found that
they have newer version of DejaVu font and this was the source of the
bug on Mac. They downgraded the fonts to my version and thus fixed the
bug. I could continue with the list of OS specific bugs I found during
last few years. They were identified, reported and fixed by the

I am writing this in order to show that according to my experience the
greatest problems with compatibility is outside TeX. If you want to be
compatible and platform independent while using special features, you
must first understand your OS. As Norbert wrote, if you are not a
package developer, you need not bother with the latest version.

> Gerald
> On 2013-11-17 00:46, Norbert Preining wrote:
>>> the sad thing is that ubuntu's current lts release offers tl 2009, only.
>> Umpf, ok, that is bad.
>> But the OP problem I still believe that *this* is not a problem.
>> He seems to be a complete beginner. For those people 2009 vs 2013
>> does not change much.
>> Norbert
>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> PREINING, Norbert                               http://www.preining.info
>> JAIST, Japan                                 TeX Live & Debian Developer
>> DSA: 0x09C5B094   fp: 14DF 2E6C 0307 BE6D AD76  A9C0 D2BF 4AA3 09C5 B094
>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------

Zdeněk Wagner

More information about the tex-live mailing list