[XeTeX] "Minimalist" TeX?

George N. White III gnwiii at gmail.com
Wed May 16 17:52:43 CEST 2012

On Wed, May 16, 2012 at 1:38 AM, C Y <smustudent1 at yahoo.com> wrote:

> I have compiled xetex from the latest Git sources on sourceforge, and the
> build appears to have been successful.
> Does the sourceforge Git repo of xetex produce a working (albeit minimal)
> TeX once compilation is complete?  (It didn't seem to in my quick test, but
> it's quite possible I didn't do something right environment wise...)  If
> not, is there documentation anywhere of what constitutes the minimal set of
> files that will allow an average LaTeX document to be typeset?
> My interest is in building a "Minimalist" subset of TeX in situations where
> a system installation isn't present, but I've not had much luck locating
> documentation describing what constitutes a minimal-yet-functional subset of
> the TeX Live distribution.  Has anybody documented such a subset?

There have been various attempts in the past, but to succeed you need pretty
tight control over the documents (macro packages and fonts required).  If done
this a few times for "production" systems that needed to format a known set
of documents.  I just used the TL installer and selected the only the
few packages
I knew I needed, then added the few more that were required.
Occasionally someone
makes a change and I have to add another package, and I'm sure there
is stuff that
is never used.   There is some overhead to using the TL package manager,
but that is outweighed by the advantage of being able to easily make
It is not so easy to discover that some previously required package is
no longer being used.

George N. White III <aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca>
Head of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia

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