[tex-live] Installing on Windows from UNC

Reinhard Kotucha reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Mon Mar 28 16:29:23 CEST 2011

On 2011-03-28 at 14:44:53 +0200, Zdenek Wagner wrote:

 > 2011/3/28 Martin Schröder <martin at oneiros.de>:
 > > Hi,
 > > the installer on the DVD refuses to work from UNC paths.
 > >
 > > Could this be fixed, please?
 > >
 > > Best
 > >   Martin
 > >
 > I am afraid that this can only be fixed by rewriting the Windows
 > kernel. When I install antivirus SW from a network drive in our
 > institute, it does not work from UNC either, I have to map the
 > drive to a letter. The problem is that it requires a batch running
 > form a current directory and "cd" does not accept UNC.
 > Anytway, I am not a windows expert, I just know that certain things
 > do not work.

If you copy a program to a UNC path and try to invoke it from the
command line, you'll get an error message saying that UNC paths are
not supported by cmd.exe.

Perl's system() function calls cmd.exe in order to run external
programs, hence there is no solution in sight.

I also encountered similar problems with

  start "" \\server\path\to\foo.pdf

I suppose that cmd.exe doesn't map the remote file system to the local
one.  One could regard a UNC path as a symbolic link to an FTP server.
You can't execute programs or view PDF files directly on FTP servers
either.  If you assign a remote file system to a drive letter, the
remote file system is actually mounted on the local machine and you
can execute programs as if they were installed locally.

However, the Exploder supports UNC paths differently, maybe it mounts
the remote file system temporarily.

Martin, did you get a reasonable error message from cmd.exe at least?


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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