[tex-live] tlmgr --help

Victor Ivrii vivrii at gmail.com
Sun Sep 21 22:14:18 CEST 2008

On Sun, Sep 21, 2008 at 3:34 PM, Norbert Preining <preining at logic.at> wrote:
> On So, 21 Sep 2008, Victor Ivrii wrote:
>> So, if collection is new it is not installed? Say, mathabx was
>> installed by tlmg update --all because it was part of fontsextra (sp?)
>> collection but intro-scientific was not because it was not part
> Right. And that is good so.
>> Still: it should be
>> tlmgr update --all
>> Update all collections (including new packages which are parts of
>> these collections)
> THat is done. All collections which are installed are updated, and on
> that way all new packages included in one of the installed collections
> will be installed.
> Do I miss something?

Not you: documentation. I checked with 10628 the latest in SVN
  update [option] [pkg...]
           Updates the packages given as arguments to the latest version
           available at the installation source. Options:

               List the packages which would be updated or newly installed.

               Update all packages.

               Nothing is actually installed; instead, the actions to be per-
               formed are written to the terminal.  (A more verbose report
               than "--list".)

So, it says "Update all packages". At least it should say that it
updates all installed collections which includes installing new
packages belonging to these collections.

Most of the people believe that "update --all" ONLY updates existing
packages and wonder how they should know which are new packages to
install. Then they observe that new packages are installed (not
realizing that they are installed because they belong to existing
collections) and relax.

So they miss new collections (may be with one package in it). Then
later they will learn that tlmgr cheated them not installing some

Such behavior of tlmgr is not very intuitive. Not that such behavior
is taboo but it must be explained in details in --help what exactly is
installed by update --all.

What about new collections? IMHO they should be either installed by
default or user should be prompted: Do you want to install a new

Finally there should be a way to learn which packages (available
through tlmgr) I miss without looking through 3000+ lines of %tlmgr
list or piping through grep


TeXLive 2008 is a huge leap forward in comparison with TL2007, tlmgr rocks.
However documentation should be more complete, leaving no ambiguity at
least in the most crucial task



Victor Ivrii, Professor, Department of Mathematics, University of Toronto

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