[tex-live] TeX Live virtual machine

Skip Collins skip.collins at gmail.com
Tue Apr 1 00:03:20 CEST 2008

I was thinking about the possibilities for building a VMware virtual
machine around TeX Live. The idea would be to use a stripped down
Ubuntu (jeOS) as a base operating system, and install TeX Live on top,
with several bells and whistles such as vim, emacs/auctex, a pdf
viewer, and browser. The end result would be a completely functional,
highly integrated TeX environment that would work identically on
windows/mac/linux. This would go a long way toward making an easy
out-of-the-box TeX experience. All of the somewhat delicate glue
between operating system, TeX, fonts, emacs, etc. could be tweaked to
work together seamlessly in a kind of "canonical" TeX system that
everyone could easily download and quickly use. To minimize size, the
virtual machine could be built to mount the texlive iso image in its
virtual dvd-rom. I expect that a complete, uncompressed virtual
machine could be fit into less than 1GB, but I have not yet built a
jeOS VM with xorg, xfce, emacs, etc.

If there is interest and willingness to make this available as a TeX
Live download, I would be happy to build the vm. Of course,
suggestions for making it more useful are welcome. It would make sense
to work on this once Ubuntu jeOS 8.04 is released in a few days.

Skip Collins

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