[tex-live] Issues with tlmgr and failed downloads

Norbert Preining preining at logic.at
Tue Sep 9 17:27:05 CEST 2008

First thanks for your comments, I add some remarks which I consider

On Di, 09 Sep 2008, N Shah wrote:
> As pointed out by Victor, tlmgr, by default, does in fact go to  
> different CTAN mirror each time it needs to download something.   

That is a problem and the our repositry already contains a fixed version
and we are testing it. If anyone wants to help, please get it from
svn/http (tlmgr.pl and tlmgrgui/tlmgrgui-real.pl) and report the test

> When this situation occurs (or if the download fails for some other  
> reason) bad things happen.  When updating a package, tlmgr first  
> removes the old package and then downloads and installs the new one.   
> Perfectly sensible unless the download fails.  When the download  
> fails, the old package is not restored -- it simply disappears  
> (having been removed as the first step in the update).  This is the  
> likely cause of the various cases of disappearing files and programs  
> reported in this thread.  I had my updmap and texdoc disappear due to  
> failed download.  This is really bad behavior on the part of tlmgr  
> and hopefully will be fixed in an update soon.

Yes, you are right, that is bad behaviour. Still, someone (me probably)
has to write a better way and I cannot work full time on TeX Live
(although I am close to that). You might ask some local Perl guru to
help us ...

> To (mostly -- downloads can still fail) avoid this situation you need  
> to tell tlmgr to not use the CTAN mirroring system, rather to  
> download from a specific mirror.  This can be accomplished by using  
> the --location command line option to tlmgr, e.g. your update command  
> will be:
> tlmgr --location http://ctan.math.utah.edu/tex-archive/systems/ 
> texlive/tlnet/2008 update --all

That is good to do until we have updated tlmgr(gui) to fix on one mirror
like it is done with the installer. THe code is there, it needs testing


(etc) easier: run wget http://mirror.ctan.org > /dev/null
and look into the output for
	Location: http://ftp.uniRoma2.it/TeX/ [following]
(what I get ATM). That is what our mirror fixing thingy is doing.

> After implementing the above, I was able to get reliable updates to  
> my MacTex installation.  Yeah, it's complicated, but that fact that  
> automated mirroring works at all is a minor miracle.

Thanks to let us know, and good to hear that with the mirror fixed for
one session it should help.

Note that you could change the default location permanently with
	tlmgr option location http://ftp.uniRoma2.it/TeX/tex-archive/systems/texlive/tlnet/2008
for example. Then you don't have to do anything else!

Best wishes


Dr. Norbert Preining <preining at logic.at>        Vienna University of Technology
Debian Developer <preining at debian.org>                         Debian TeX Group
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