TeX Live is designed for shared use: you can install TeX Live on a network for use on client workstations. All it takes is adding TeX Live to the searchpath.
On Windows, a bit more is expected: double-clicking a file should open it in the right program, and there should be menu shortcuts. There should also be an installer which takes care of this, and an uninstaller.
From this page you can download such a client installer and uninstaller.
The installer makes use of building blocks which are already present in the TeX Live installation, viz. the TeX Live Perl libraries and the built-in hidden Perl installation.
The current installer should work with the 2011- and later editions of TeX Live.
The zipfile w32client.zip contains the following:
All changes are made for the user, not for the workstation. This implies that in a roaming profile setup the configuration is available from any computer on the network, and that the user needs no particular rights on the workstation.
Although it should work as-is, the file w32client offers some customization options:
postactionsare not defined, the script will quietly skip that package.
You can also still download zipfiles for 2010 and for 2009.
The prototype script assumes a standard directory layout:
parent---YYYY | | | +---bin---win32 | +---texmf (not for 2013 or later) | +---texmf-dist | +---texmf-config | +---texmf-var | +---tlpkg | +---texmf-local
parent | +---bin---win32 +---texmf (not for 2013 or later) +---texmf-dist +---texmf-config +---texmf-var +---tlpkg | +---texmf-local
The w32client scripts assume that they are in the root of the installation, i.e. in parent\YYYY or in parent if there is no year component.
Sticking to such default directory layouts minimizes configuration hassles: all files can be located relative to the binaries, without environment variables beyond the searchpath.
The 2013 version of w32 client scripts mostly work from a UNC path. However, when double-clicking the batchfile you will get a warning such as
'\\server\share' CMD.EXE was started with the above path as the current directory. UNC paths are not supported. Defaulting to Windows directory.
However, installation will proceed as intended. You can avoid
this warning by providing a shortcut to w32client.bat which
Start in: directory with a drive letter.
PS_View currently does not work if TeX Live is installed on a UNC path. This is not specific to a w32client installation.
If a workstation already has a locally installed TeX and if its binaries are on the system path, then the locally installed TeX will be found first. This cannot be fixed by only changing the user path.
Even if the searchpath cannot be fixed generally, it can be fixed for individual shortcuts, by prepending its searchpath with the TeX Live binaries. E.g. the TeXworks shortcut will always find our TeX Live first. The installer also creates a shortcut for a command prompt with such a modified searchpath.
Windows system administrators have a rich array of tools for restricting user's rights. Check whether everything works, not just for yourself, but also for the target group.
Dviout help may be inaccessible because of restrictive internet permissions. Users can copy TeX Live Root\tlpkg\dviout\dvioute.chm to their local harddisk and open this copy, or you can ask the sysadmin to do something about it.
Windows does not include every piece of user configuration in the roaming profile. In particular, file associations are only stored on the workstation itself. Possible workarounds:
If different clients have different fonts, you may consider letting users have individual font caches. See the README in the zipfile for details. Be aware that generating a font cache can be a time-consuming process. If you specify the generation of a per-user font cache while XeTeX is not installed, this action will be quietly skipped.
Copyright (C) 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 Siep Kroonenberg
s i e p o _ at _ c y b e r c o m m _ dot _ n l
Last revised on June 15 2014