[tex-live] report: testing installation on windows vista

Reinhard Kotucha reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Sun Apr 12 02:24:29 CEST 2009

-- On 11 April 2009 Stephan Lukasczyk wrote:

 > quoting Reinhard Kotucha, [11.04.2009 01:13]:
 > > No no no, if the installer can't deal with spaces in filenames, it's
 > > clearly a bug which has to be fixed.  Can you help me to reproduce
 > > the problem on Unix?
 > Perhaps you try to install to something like "/usr/local/tex live" and
 > break your internet connection during netinstall. I don't know if this
 > reproduces the problem because as far as I remember the error appeared
 > because of broken tar-archives (maybe download errors). This happend
 > with using different mirrors, so I think they are download errors.

Hi Stephan
you are the hero!  I did exactly what you proposed and could
re-produce this error on my Linux machine.  However, short
interruptions in internet connections didn't cause any problems.  I
had to wait until the installer aborted when the connection timed out.

I experienced exactly what Andreas reported a few weeks ago.  After
resuming an aborted installation, it installed to "/usr/local/tex"
instead of "/usr/local/tex live/2008".

Well, Andreas and me assumed that it has something to do with quoting
filenames with spaces.  This was not the case here, but something very
similar.  The installer usually creates a file called
tlpkg/texlive.profile.  You can use it if you want to install TeX Live
on an other machine with exactly the same settings.  If the installer
aborts, it creates a similar file, called installation.profile.

Internally, all configuration variables are stored in a so-called
"associative array".  This is a list of key-value pairs.  For

  "TEXDIR"     -> "/usr/local/tex live/2008"
  "TEXMFLOCAL" -> "/usr/local/tex live/texmf-local"

The string to the left is the key, the string to the right is the
associated value.  There are no problems with spaces in filenames
because keys and values are different strings.

Not so in *.profile files.  There we have
  TEXDIR /usr/local/tex live/2008
  TEXMFLOCAL /usr/local/tex live/texmf-local

The problem occurred when *.profile files had been read.  The lines
(each line is a string of characters) have to be converted to an
associative array.  The installer converted each line to a list, using
the space character as a delimiter:

  ("TEXDIR", "/usr/local/tex", "live/2008")

Then, it assigned the first element of the list to a key, and the
second one to a value:

  "TEXDIR"     -> "/usr/local/tex"
  "TEXMFLOCAL" -> "/usr/local/tex"

The third element of the list had been ignored.

The latest version of the installer (revision 12694) now reads the
*.profile files differently.  Everything before the *first* space
character is regarded as a key.  Then, all following spaces and tabs
are ignored, and the rest of the line is regarded as a value.

With this change I had been able to start installation, pull out the
jack, as you proposed, and finish the installation using the file

If you are impatient, please download


and tell me whether it works better for you now.

Stephan, your advice had been extremely helpful.  Since Andreas
reported this problem, I had been thinking about how to simulate a
corrupted download.  I had no idea how to do this.

However, your idea is so simple.  Allegedly, Johann Wolfgang von
Goethe (1749-1832) already said: "Willst du immer weiter schweifen?
Sieh, das Gute liegt so nah!"

BTW, software could be much better if developers obey this phrase.

Stephan, thank you very much again for your advice.  It had been
extremely helpful.


Reinhard Kotucha			              Phone: +49-511-3373112
Marschnerstr. 25
D-30167 Hannover	                      mailto:reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Microsoft isn't the answer. Microsoft is the question, and the answer is NO.

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