[tex-live] Basis of TeX distributions on Linux (was: Perl for Windows)

Frank Küster frank at kuesterei.ch
Wed Jun 21 21:54:41 CEST 2006

Hans Hagen <pragma at wxs.nl> wrote:

>> There could be some benefits to people trying to put together new
>> linuix distros -- rather than deciding what to include on the basis of
>> user requests, the distro can
>> provide a really minimal texmf tree (e.g., using system fonts) and
>> suggest to people who want more that they install the TL tree.
> but don't most linux distributions base their tex stuff on debian then? 

For sure most linux distributions base their TeX stuff on teTeX; whether
the rpm-based distros borrow from us (Debian) I do not know.  I've heard
rumors, but I guess this means more something like "take the things that
seem to fit, leave the rest", and not that Redhat or SuSE rpms are based
on Debian work.

> (i dunno how standardized tex is among linux distributions, mayb eonly 
> differences in what gets installed, not so much the locations)

The locations should be pretty much the same, except that there are
different numbers of TEXMF trees:  In sarge (released one year ago),
Debian had a TEXMFMAIN and a TEXMFVAR tree, plus support for TEXMFLOCAL
and TEXMFHOME trees.  The next release will have TEXMFDIST (teTeX or
TeXlive, depending on the admin's choice, or even both combined),
TEXMFMAIN (other TeX packages in deb format), TEXMFVAR, TEXMFSYSCONFIG,
plus support for TEXMFLOCAL and the user trees.

Placement of binaries, manpages etc. is standardized by the Linux FHS.

Regards, Frank
Frank Küster
Single Molecule Spectroscopy, Protein Folding @ Inst. f. Biochemie, Univ. Zürich
Debian Developer (teTeX)

More information about the tex-live mailing list