[tex-live] tlmgr query

Rowland McDonnell rjmmnet-lists at yahoo.co.uk
Tue Jul 21 23:02:26 CEST 2009

I've got tlmgr -gui to run (MacTeX 2008, MacOS X 10.4.11 inc X11).

The MacTeX 2008 files READ ME FIRST.pdf and TeX Live Manager.pdf were
both quite helpful - at least until TeX Live Manager.pdf got on to:
`Like any good GUI app,the program which appears is mostly self

Unfortunately, I do not find it so and I daren't press any buttons for
fear of what might happen.

I'd like to find out how to get tlmgr -gui to generate a configuration
information listing as:

texconfig conf

I would also like to know what exactly tlmgr -gui does when the
`Re-create all formats' button is pressed.  I have some custom formats
that I generate with a local fmtutil.cnf file, using this incantation
(suggested on the TeX on MacOS X mailing list, IIRC):

sudo -H fmtutil-sys --all --cnffile

The file fmtutilviii.cnf contains all the standard stuff for all the
standard formats, plus a few local ones I added (nothing special - just
versions of pdfLaTeX and XeLaTeX built without Babel so I can have UK
English hyphenation as the default).

Obviously, tlmgr -gui won't be using that fmtutil file - so which file
/does/ it use and what's the approved method of adding formats to those
that are built using the tlmgr -gui mechanism?

(I have other questions that I cannot find answers to in the available
documentation.  Less pressing, but here they are:

What does `Re-initialize file database' mean?

I see a setting for `Default backup directory' (and `Auto backup
setting).  What exactly does tlmgr do by way of backing things up?

What's `the installation's TeX Live Package Database' and how can it be
used to generate language.dat, language.def, fmtutil.cnf, and

Thank you,

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