Pretesting TeX Live
We, and all TeX Live users, greatly appreciate all testing of TeX
Live before the official release. The more people who do so, the better
the final release can be. It is also the best opportunity to influence
and improve the behavior of TL.
Please try it if you like, but not with the expectation that
“everything should work perfectly” (it won't), but rather
“I'll try this out and see if I can help improve it”.
On this page: downloading
You can retrieve the pretest files from one of
these hosts: copy-paste an http 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
You can either do a network installation of TL or mirror the whole
- To do a network installation, download either
install-tl-unx.tar.gz (Unix) or install-tl.zip
(larger; Windows or Unix), unpack it, and run the included
install-tl script, as described below. (To reiterate: you must
use install-tl from the pretest; trying to work with a TL installation
from previous years will fail completely.)
- To mirror the whole directory, rsync is the most efficient method:
rsync -a --delete --exclude="mactex*" rsync://somemirror/some/path/ /your/local/dir
After mirroring the directory, run the install-tl
script, as below.
You can use wget or other tools to mirror via http or ftp if rsync is
not available. Regardless of the method used, do not fail to exclude
the mactex* file or you will be doubling the (already large)
On the other hand, if you are only interested in MacTeX, you might choose just to mirror/download
that one mactex* file, which is self-contained.
The pretest build runs nightly, ending around 5am Denmark time (+0200
UTC) unless something goes wrong. The mirror hosts should all be up to
date within a couple of hours after that.
After downloading as above, you can run the script
install-tl (Unix) or install-tl.bat (Windows) to
perform the installation:
- install-tl -repository location -gui text for text
(command line) mode; this is the default on Unix.
- install-tl -repository location -gui wizard for a
maximally simplified GUI installation asking only the minimal
questions; this is the default on Windows.
- install-tl -repository location -gui perltk for
advanced/expert GUI installation with the usual array of options;
requires Perl/Tk (shipped with TL
on Windows, must be installed independently on Unix).
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
finding the value for location), and 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
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. If that works, even
more useful is to try your real-life documents, to check that they still
work as expected.
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.
Please email bug reports, suggestions, comments on TeX Live itself
(the installation process, tlmgr, etc.) to email@example.com (archive). Bugs about
specific packages should be reported to the package maintainers; TeX
Live's 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 separately.
TeX Live documentation and translations are not
yet fully updated. Meanwhile, aside from the pervasive updates to new
releases of packages and programs, here is a terse list of major
- This release of TeX Live includes Knuth's TeX tune-up of 2014; the only
visible change likely is the restoration of “preloaded
format” on the banner line. Per Knuth, this reflects the format
that will be loaded by default, rather than an undumped format
that is actually preloaded; and it may be overridden in various
- pdftex (full pdfTeX
- Sync with Knuth TeX 3.14159265 and e-TeX 2.6; new
warning-suppression parameter \pdfsuppresswarningpagegroup; new
primitives for fake interword spaces: \pdfinterwordspaceon,
- luatex (full LuaTeX
- Notable changes and fixes were made to font loading and
hyphenation. The biggest addition is a new engine variant luajittex (and
its siblings texluajit[c]). This uses a just-in-time Lua compiler (detailed TUGboat article); it
is still in development, is not available on all platforms, and is
considerably less stable than luatex. Neither we nor the developers
recommend using it except for the specific purpose of experimenting with
jit on Lua code.
- xetex (full XeTeX
- Same image formats now supported on all platforms (including Mac);
avoid Unicode compatibility decomposition fallback (but not other
variants); prefer OpenType to Graphite fonts, for compatibility with
previous XeTeX versions.
- metapost (full MetaPost
- A new numbersystem decimal is available, and a new
companion internal numberprecision; new definition of
drawdot in plain.mp, per Knuth; bug fixes in SVG and
PNG output, among others.
- has been substantially revised by a new maintainer. As a result,
several seldom-used utilities (fix*, getafm, psmerge, showchar) are now
just in the scripts/ directory rather than user-level executables (this
can be changed if it turns out to be problematic). A new script
(psjoin) has been added.
- The MacTeX redistribution of TeX Live no longer includes the
optional Mac-only packages for Latin Modern and TeX Gyre (easy enough
for users to install them if they want them), or the convert
program from ImageMagick since tex4ht.env now uses Ghostscript
directly. The included Ghostscript is now at version 9.10.
If you discover other important changes we should note, please let us
$Date: 2014/04/23 18:21:56 $;