The TL pretest is over. See you next year. The final version of this page for the last pretest remains below, for the curious.

Pretesting TeX Live 2024

The entire TeX Live community greatly benefits from all testing before the official release. The more people who test in advance, the better the final release can be. It is also the best opportunity to influence and improve the behavior of TL. Please give it a try if you can.

As distributed, the pretest will not interfere with any existing installations of TeX, either native TeX Live or operating system distributions.

On this page: downloading - installing - testing - updating - reporting - migrating - news.


You can retrieve the pretest files from one of these hosts: copy-paste an https or ftp url when running the installer directly, or use an rsync url for mirroring, as described below. Our thanks to these sites for making their space and bandwidth available. And more mirrors are welcome.

You can do a network installation of TL, or mirror the whole tlpretest directory, or start from an existing up-to-date installation:

For regular installations via download (i.e., not mirroring), we highly recommend installing the LWP Perl package if you don't already have it.

The pretest build runs nightly, ending by 04:00 Copenhagen time unless something goes wrong. The mirror hosts should all be up to date within a few hours after that. (Current time in Denmark: Thursday, 25-Jul-2024 16:11:28 CEST.)


After downloading as above, you can run the script install-tl (Unix) or install-tl-windows.bat (Windows) to perform the installation. We just use install-tl as the command name in these examples:

If you are performing a network installation, the pretest repository location from which to install must be specified, as shown in these examples (see downloading above for the location urls). The location must be an ftp or http url (not rsync).

But in the case of installing from your own mirrored repository, you should omit -repository location from the given command lines.

For information on all of the installer options, run install-tl --help, or see the install-tl documentation page.


After a successful installation, please first try simple test documents, such as latex small2e and pdflatex sample2e. If that works, even more useful is to try your real-life documents, to check that they still work as expected. If third-party packages have changed incompatibly, their maintainers should be contacted directly.


After a successful installation, you can update from the tlpretest repository using tlmgr from time to time, if you wish. In the event of unusually drastic changes during the pretest you may have to reinstall.

Reporting problems

Please email bug reports, suggestions, comments on TeX Live itself (the installation process, tlmgr, etc.) to (archive). Bugs about specific packages should be reported to the package maintainers; TeX Live's basic job is to install (some of) what is on CTAN, not make changes on top of it. Resources for general questions and help using TeX are available.

Migrating from the pretest to the release

The last pretest build is usually close to the official release. If you are using the standard directory setup, you can rename your pretest installation (say, /usr/local/texlive/pretest) to the per-year directory (/usr/local/texlive/2024) and change your search path. The other change you will most likely need to make is to take updates from CTAN again: tlmgr option repo ctan.

Then, after the release is made, a normal update (tlmgr update --self --all) should sync with whatever changes were made after the last pretest. The result should be equivalent to doing a full installation.

Initializing from a current installation

For people comfortable with the command line: if you have an up-to-date TL installation, you can use it as the basis for the pretest installation instead of downloading everything again. In short:

cd /usr/local/texlive  # adjust path as needed if not default
mkdir pretest
ls pretest  # check that you're starting with empty dir

cd 2023     # directory of your current/up-to-date TL installation

# do the big copy, preserving symlinks:
nice -19 cp -ar *.* bin/ README install-tl texmf-{dist,local} tlpkg ../pretest/

cd /usr/local/texlive/pretest
PATH=`pwd`/bin/x86_64-linux:$PATH       # or whatever current platform
wget PRETEST-URL/ # or curl, whatever
tlmgr option repo PRETEST-URL
tlmgr update --self && tlmgr update --all

Then you'll probably want to permanently adjust your PATH so the new binaries are found first, in whatever way you usually do.

The critical thing here is the cp. The -a option to GNU cp preserves symlinks; if your cp doesn't have that, use tar or another method to do the copy instead of cp. Symlinks must be preserved.

The PRETEST-URL placeholder means one of the pretest repositories.

Notable changes

Updates to the main TeX Live documentation and the translations are in progress, as is the list of changes

As always, there are pervasive updates to packages and programs. We can't list them all, but here are the major user-visible changes in the principal programs since the initial TL23 release:

Cross-engine extensions
In engines except for original TeX, e-TeX, and LuaTeX:

luatex (full LuaTeX news)

metapost (full MetaPost news)
The MPFI library now included for interval arithmetic; enabled with --numbersystem=interval.

pdftex (full pdfTeX news)

(e)(u)ptex (full ChangeLog)

xetex (full XeTeX news)
Unicode characters in filenames beyond the BMP are supported.

cweb (full cweb news)

dvipdfmx (full dvipdfmx news)

kpathsea (full Kpathsea news)

tlmgr (full tlmgr news)

MacTeX-2024 contains the latest Ghostscript 10.03.0, updates of all four GUI programs, along with (as always) all new TL changes. The binaries still support macOS 10.14 (Mojave) and later. (As usual, earlier Mac versions are supported by the x86_64-darwinlegacy binaries, which are part of TL, but not MacTeX.)

The iso image again includes binaries for all platforms. For the last several years, some binary sets had been pruned, but this year, we are not creating a physical DVD as a user group benefit, so may as well include everything again. Also, even a maximimally-pruned image is too large to fit on a single-layer DVD, so no benefit for the 2024 volunteer burners. More info.

If you discover other changes that should be noted, please report them. Such documentation improvements are useful for the whole TeX Live community.

$Date: 2024/03/13 22:47:17 $; TeX Live;
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