[tex-live] texlivetest2008 comments

George N. White III gnwiii at gmail.com
Mon Jun 30 15:00:51 CEST 2008

On Sun, Jun 29, 2008 at 11:08 PM, Richard David Sherman
<rdsherman at adelphia.net> wrote:

> Downloaded the texlivetest2008.iso.lzma, decompressed it, modified my
> bash build script for the new menu scheme, and built a Slackware package.
> Could not find any 'AddPackage' utility, so just copied the extras
> needed, oberdiek and revtex, to the build directory. (What happened
> to that feature?)
> Everything works fine plus the new package is 1/2 the size of 2007.
> (Must have had a lot of unncessary cruft before.)
> Installed minimal scheme plus basic latex. Result is a 12 MB tl.tgz
> file. No complaints.
> However, I am using a little over 1% of the texlive distro, so why
> pull down the full shebang? I then spent lots of time with the online
> installer. Total failure!
> On each attempt to download the 92 essential packages after some
> random number, but, never all, the executable, install-tl, would
> quit indicating a failure to install that file package. I do not
> know perl so I can not go further to help.

Were the failures due to download problems, as in:

$ ./install-tl --gui --url=ftp://ctan.cms.math.ca/systems/texlive/tlnet/tldev
Tk::Error: Downloading
did not succeed, please retry! at tlpkg/TeXLive/TLUtils.pm line 732.

> I wrote a custom $HOME/.wgetrc, actually several versions, but the
> perl script never saw it. I think it's a wget issue, but, I can not
> track it down.

The installer provides a wgetrc, so it never looks at ~/.wgetrc.

> Last year I sent an email hoping you would provide a xdvik-motif
> binary as an option to the ugly xaw version. Do you want my custom
> build? It is actually a lesstif build, but, it works great and
> looks heaps better than xaw.

Most distros do have dvi viewers built with motif or gnome or kde.
There is some advantage to having basic statically linked versions
in TL that should work reliably on most linux systems.   What are the
issues with a viewer from the linux distro?   I know some people
are nervous about installing both "real" TL and a distro's TL.
In practice they can coexist, but will use different texmf trees so
fonts installed in "real" TL may not be available to the distro's
dvi viewer.   Some systems will allow you to install a
.dvi viewer without the full tex system, but I imagine they
would install some texmf tree for fonts.

On my Fedora 8 with TL2008, /usr/bin/kdvi first looks in
fc-cache but eventually loads fonts from the TL2008 tree
to display .dvi files. kdvi is not part of any TeX distro on

$ which tex
$ strace kdvi story.dvi

It would be nice if there were mechanisms to ensure
that other dvi viewers get fonts from the tex system
that is currently being used.   It is probably easier
to do this than to ensure that TL viewers will be
compatible with the different GUI environments, but
it might require some cooperation from the various

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

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