update noto package texlive - tar argument list too long

Karl Berry karl at freefriends.org
Tue Dec 17 00:01:43 CET 2019

    It bails on a tar with an argument list of 2.900.000 characters

The limit on my CentOS system is reported to be even less, yet I did not
get an error. Strange.

$ xargs --show-limits
POSIX upper limit on argument length (this system): 2083759
Maximum length of command we could actually use: 2072414

(That command won't work except with GNU xargs. I don't know how to
discover limits on MacOSX, or indeed if the limits above are "really"

    tried using gnutar, bsdtar, no luck
    Can't exec "tar": Argument list too long at
    /usr/local/texlive/2019/tlpkg/TeXLive/TLUtils.pm line 613.

Iny case, I believe it is a limitation compiled into the kernel.  The
tar program is not even getting executed, so changing it makes no

Our code in TLPOBJ.pm:make_container (line 695ff.) tries to "collapse"
the long list of files into their containing directories, precisely to
get around this problem. It seems the collapsing did not work on your
system (while it does for everyone else?), but this is not a simple
thing to debug :(.

What's the result of
ls -a /usr/local/texlive/2019/texmf-dist/tex/latex/noto/

Did the log file actually show the entire cmdline, or was it ellipsized
as in your mail? If it showed the whole cmdline, please send it to me
(off list). There's a reason why we dump it on error :).

    Any ideas how to get around this? Removing noto crashes on the same
    problem (no trying to tar it all into a backup).

You could try disabling backups temporarily. Untested, but I think like this:
  tlmgr option autobackup 0
  tlmgr update noto
  tlmgr option autobackup 1
and see if that gets any further. --best, karl.

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