[tex-live] Report on packaging TeX Live for linux

François Charette firmicus at ankabut.net
Mon Mar 5 23:15:14 CET 2007

Dear TeX Live users and developers,

First of all, as a TeX Live user for the past four years, let me express 
my sincere thanks to Karl, Norbert, Staszek and all others for your 
dedicated work and the excellent 2007 release!

There are two issues I would like to raise.

First, I have recently packaged TeX Live for Arch Linux, which is the 
distribution I use daily. (Just in passing: Arch is a relatively 
marginal yet excellent system for intermediate to advanced users who 
enjoy simplicity.  Arch packages are nothing but *.tar.gz archives that 
can be quite easily generated by means of bash scripts.) Anyway, I have 
succeeded in this respect, of course not without some effort. My 
packages are currently being reviewed by the maintainer of tetex on Arch 
Linux and should be made available soon (whatever that means). In the 
meanwhile any interested user can contact me directly. Packagers of TeX 
Live for other distributions might also be interested, though I am 
certain that Norbert and Frank's work for Debian is much more detailed 
and careful than what I have done. Note that my install scripts do not 
require the ISO file. It makes use of rsync to fetch the appropriate 
files from the tug.org server directly. [Karl: I did this a few days 
BEFORE the official release of TL2007 was announced, so if I abused your 
bandwidth I did so before your problems became acute :-)]

In the course of my packaging efforts I have encountered a few really 
minor problems that I would like to report here.

First little things that relate to building from source:

- In the Makefiles of lcdf-typetools and texi2html, the variable 
$pkgdatadir should IMHO be $datadir/share/{lcdf-typetools,texi2html} 

- The problem with dynamic compilation of lcf-typetools has already been 

- in Makefile of ps2eps: datarootdir should be $prefix, not $prefix/share

- The general configure option --without-texinfo did not have any effect.

- "make install" puts files under $DESTDIR/texmf/bibtex/csf/*.csf
    instead of $DESTDIR/texmf/bibtex/csf/base/*.csf

Other minor points:

- Package chemarrow contains a type1 font but a map file is apparently 
Solution is to create it with
echo "arrow arrow <arrow.pfb" > chemarrow.map

- The package "glyphlist" does not belong to any collection or scheme. I 
guess it should be part of any basic installation, no?

- Some packages in texlive-humanities (bigfoot, ednotes) depend on 
packages in  texlive-latexextra (ncctools), but this dependency is not 

The second issue has to do with redistribution of TeX Live.

- Is it considered "appropriate" to split collections of packages so 
that documentation is separated from the rest? Since most Arch Linux 
users have a fast internet connection, a majority will presumably prefer 
to consult documentation online.
- And is it OK to exclude the {texmf,texmf-dist,texmf-doc}/source/ 
branch from a distribution? AFAIK TeTeX used to do that, so I guess it 
is unproblematic, but I prefer to be sure.

I have some more to say but I'll post it separately.

Thanks in advance,



More information about the tex-live mailing list