[tex-live] kpsewhich search order and how to change it

George N. White III gnwiii at gmail.com
Fri Nov 16 19:32:12 CET 2007

On Nov 16, 2007 12:07 PM, Philip K.F. Hölzenspies
<p.k.f.holzenspies at utwente.nl> wrote:

> [...]
> This led me to my /etc/texmf/web2c/texmf.cnf, which shows:
> and
> TEXINPUTS.pdflatex      = .;$TEXMF/tex/{latex,generic,}//
> Because TEXMF is a {...} list and {latex,generic,} is a list too, the first is
> iterated over first. This means that my ~/texmf gets interwoven with the
> global texmfs in the search list (i.e. in the kpsewhich output
> above, /home/aid/holzensp hits are not grouped together). Should this be
> considered a bug?
> Anyway, when I move ~/texmf/tex/pgf to ~/texmf/tex/latex/pgf it all works
> fine.
> The reason that I have a single directory for the entire pgf package
> (including the generic, context, tex and latex parts) is that it makes it so
> much easier to do manual package maintenance. Putting this pgf directory in
> the latex part of my texmf means plain tex and context won't be able to find
> it.
> Norbert, I would suggest to either find a different format for the texmf.cnf,
> such that these directories are grouped by locality, or to make an explicit
> note about this behaviour somewhere.
> I have a workable solution and my understanding of TeX (Live) has increase. As
> such, I'm as happy as can be ;)

In summary, when installing a newer version of a package (perhaps to a
user or to a local texmf tree),  the directory layout of the original
installation should be followed.  I think we are getting to the point
where package maintenance has to be automated.

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

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