[tlbuild] [tex-live] texlive install overwrites /usr/bin/man

Bruce Dubbs bruce.dubbs at gmail.com
Mon Nov 21 04:33:28 CET 2011

Norbert Preining wrote:
> Hi Bruce,
> first of all, it is of *no* use to anyone if you write to me 
> personally. THere is a dedicated list, as clearly indicated
> on the web page I assume you have read:
> 	http://www.tug.org/texlive/build.html

Yes.  And the README files.

> namely the one I am cc-ing this message to. This is the place
> to ask questions, and propose improvemnts.
> On So, 20 Nov 2011, Bruce Dubbs wrote:
>> It fails for me.  I don't have Xorg installed and ./Build does not seem
>> to have a way to work around that without major hacking.  It does appear  
> Could you provide details on where it fails?

When make gets to xdvipdfmx.

./configure --prefix=/usr                  \
             --disable-native-texlive-build \
             --enable-shared                \
             --without-luatex               \
             --enable-mktextex-default      \
             --with-banner-add=" - BLFS"    \

> ANd yes, if you don't have some parts installed, building TeX Live
> will not work.
> Maybe you should first state *WHY* you want to build it? It is a 
> highly NON-trivial thing to build the TL beast, and that is
> the reason we distribute binaries - meticulously prepared
> by a few volunteers - that should run on most archs/oss.

I am trying to update instructions:


It's out of date and probably wrong.  Many places in BLFS, we use TeX to
regenerate user documentation from the source.  It is instructional for 
a user to see how the documentation is created so modifications can be 
made or the package could be used for a model for a new package.

>> OK, I did.  The kindest thing I can say about your install procedure is
>> that it is non-standard.  The vast majority of open source packages are  
>> built with  ./configure && make && make install. Your Build wraps around  
> Agreed, besides the fact that even if you do that, you have by far
> a running system. These are bare bone binaries, without format dumps
> or tex input files you cannot do anything, well, theoretically you
> can do everything, but most people are not able.
>>  --without-x is incomplete.  It does not disable xdvipdfmx which  
>> requires x.  The problem with xdvipdfmx is not identified until well  
>> into the make pahase.
> The problem is the without xdvipdfmx there is no xetex which is an
> integrat part of TeX Live.
> Think about it: You want to compile the new space shooter, but don't
> have the OpenGL libs installed. How should that work? If you want to
> compile TL, then install the necessary dependencies for building.

If I want to build TeX, tangle, weave, mf, etc, why do I need X?

TeX is a tool that I have used to create documents, e.g. TeX -> dvips.
I may want to put this on a website that dynamically generates 
documents, but does not have X installed.

Many times TeX is used by other packages.  For example:


X isn't needed there, but it can be used.

> If you just want to use TeX Live, isntall the binaries we provide, and
> you do NOT need to install X or whatever, as long as you don't use
> the respective programs.
>>   ./configure does not honor many options, for example --datarootdir is   
>> ignored.
> Agreed, and nobody cares for that. The build system comes with several
> README file that you might read.

Discussed above.

>>   The install process puts many files in unexpected places compared to
>> other open source directories.  For example, using --prefix=/usr, the  
> Yes, that is expected. And it *only* happens because you used
> prefix /usr etc. That is not the way you are supposed to use it.
> Please read the README files.
>> /usr/bin directory has many links to ../texmf-dist/scripts/.  That  
>> translates to /usr/texmf-dist/scripts/ which is not in compliance with  
>> the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard.  A more reasonable location for  
>> scripts would be /usr/share/texlive/scripts or /usr/lib/texlib/scripts.
> That is all wrong. You will NOT get a TeX Live installation from that
> source build. You have to use the TeX Live installer, or put the support
> files yourself in the proper places.

What installer?  I don't see it mentioned in the README files.  When I 
run ./configure --help, I get a ton of options, but I don't see any 
mention of an installer there or in the README files.

> What you are looking at is *only* for compiling the binaries and *NOT*
> (I repeat it NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT) for installation of TeX Live.

Let me expose my ignorance.  What is the difference between TeX Live and 
having the binaries and support files in place?

teTeX is obsolete.  TeX Live is the only maintained implementation that 
I know.  How does one install only the essential parts of TeX Live?

LFS has a saying: "Your distro, your rules."  We try to provide guidance 
to others about the implications of their rules.  TeX Live is a huge 
package with many, many programs.  Are you saying that there is only 
'one true way' to build/install it?

>>   ./configure ignores --mandir.  Placing man files (with --prefix=/usr)  
>> in /usr/bin/../texmf/doc/man is not only non-standard, but removes the  
>> /usr/bin/man executable program.  The man program cannot find the tex  
> Because you build it it the wrong way.

But the documentation is insufficient for building it the "right" way. 
Actually, it's not really the build process that is a big problem, it is 
the install.  It puts things in non-standard places and overwrites 
/usr/bin/man.  Why are man files not just placed in /usr/share/man?

>>      bdubbs at linuxfromscratch.org
> I would have expected a user/admin/dev of linuxfromscratch to actually
> *READ* the documentation that comes with the TL before blindly running
> configure/make/make install?
> Next time we put a root shell into that and overwrite /bin/sh? Are
> you blindly trusting everything you download?

Of course not.  Exploring the source tarball and testing the build is 
how I found the problems.

BYW, I'm not ignorant about TeX.  I first used it in 1991 and have all 5 
of the TeX/MF books.  Read them too for the most part.  :)  I just 
haven't kept up with TeX Live.

   -- Bruce

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