[tex-live] Installing TeX Live via Windows deployment

Lars Madsen daleif at math.au.dk
Wed Feb 4 11:07:36 CET 2015

Our IT department would like to be able to provide LaTeX via their windows deployment system (currently Win7)

I've been thinking a bit about this. Of course they can just run the installer. But I think they'll like something unattended and the net installer may fail. They could manage their own mirror (or I could do that for them, but again it installation is often very slow and might fail).

I've been considering transplanting TL instead. That is, prepare the entire TL tree on a donor windows (we could do this say every 4 months or so). Add a few scripts. ZIP the tree, let the deployment copy and unzip the file on the recipient and run the scripts to integrate it into windows.

It is very similar to Sieps w32client script. 

(I would have liked a system where TL lives on a network share that we could continuously update, but I don't think the IT department it up for that, plus it will be problematic for laptops vs working somewhere there is no internet connection)

I've messed with this before and got working results. So I'm looking into it again, so far it works ok, however I need to go more into details.

I have a few questions (since I'm not that well known on windows system details).

There are two types of systems at play here

(1) Lab computers, i.e., multiusers, thus changes to c:\texlive only allowed by admins
(2) PCs with only one expected user, thus changes to c:\texlive should be allowed by the user

(1) Seems fairly easy to do, do the integration as admin, don't integrate the manager into the windows menu (admins can use tlmgr from dos prompt) and lock down c:\texlive via AD policies (I've manually tested the later as described in another thread, it works well)

(2) SInce the system is most likely using roaming profiles (is that the right word?), it would be best to add the PATH to SYSTEM PATH, not USER path as it may not be known at the time of deployment [1]. Add all menu items but without locking the manager as admin only.

Does this sound reasonable? And is this so what doable using the tools in TLWinGoo? 

I have not yet been through all the details of TLWinGoo so I don't quite know where the menu items and file associations go, are they added to USER or SYSTEM?

Any comments?

[1] I think one of the goals with the new system is to enable users to pick deployment items manually after they have received their PC. Such that they can say to the system, please also install MatLab, LaTeX and ....

/Lars Madsen
Institut for Matematik / Department of Mathematics
Aarhus Universitet / Aarhus University
Mere info: http://au.dk/daleif@imf / More information: http://au.dk/en/daleif@imf

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