[tex-live] 8.3 file name restrictions

gnwiii at gmail.com gnwiii at gmail.com
Fri Sep 15 13:57:55 CEST 2006

On 9/13/06, Zdenek Wagner <zdenek.wagner at gmail.com> wrote:

> Anyway, live CD with just the most important packages would be a good
> idea. Similarly, it might be useful to prepare so called virtual
> appliance, i.e. an image of some Linux distribution with TeXLive
> already installed which could be downloaded and run as a virtual
> machine in VMWare. There are several appliances on www.vmware.com

I can recommend debian etch, which provides TL2005, in a VMWare
player.  At work  (where Win32 is the "corporate standard") I use
VMWare player in Win XP on a 2Ghz P4 with 1G RAM and two disks (mostly
so the Windows paging file can be on a separate disk).   One of our
"mission critical" apps runs on Fedora Core, so I also have a VMWare
player running FC5 that gets TL2005 from an NFS share.  Clock time for
typical jobs is about 5x that of a native install, which gives me time
to read error messages before they fly off the top of the screen.

If you can't find a suitable appliance you can create one yourself using QEMU
to create the initial (empty) virtual disk file, or install debian
into another player's virtual disk.  For best performance, however,
you need to install VMWare modules for disk, network, and video  The
appliances I tried from www.vmware.com don't do this (I think it was
unclear whether the files could be distributed), but there are
instructions on the web.  The modules have to be rebuilt each time you
update the kernel, which is a bit of a nuisance.

This is beyond what can be expected from most Win32 users.   My
players have site-specific customizations, so are not suitable for use
outside my workplace.  The total size of the debian player files with
texlive, compilers, and a reasonable set of tools was about 7G last
time I checked, while my FC5 player has grown to 14GB.

I'm not sure if there is a need to distribute a VMWare player with TL
pre-loaded.   In my case, VMWare is necessary for a few specific apps
that don't run on Win32.  TL in linux is needed to build (literate)
programs and program documentation.     So linux in a VMWare player on
Win32 provides access to a toolset that includes TL as just one part
of the overall environment.

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

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