[tex-live] Messed up TL installation
Axel E. Retif
axel.retif at mac.com
Thu Oct 20 00:40:46 CEST 2011
On 10/19/2011 02:22 PM, Haines Brown wrote:
> I read it to
> mean remove texlive 2009, which as you surmise did mess a lot of
> things up so badly that perhaps the only way out is to reinstall
> debian from scratch.
Maybe. But try reinstalling first TeXLive from Debian and see if your
system returns to a stable condition; otherwise, yes, do a reinstall.
> When you say "prepend to PATH", do you refer to the point at which the
> CTAN install-tl asks for TEXDIR etc. directories?
No, what he meant is this: read
Make sure your path is set up correctly and points to the TeX
Live binaries (regardless of whether you are in a shell, a X
session, etc.) You can set it system-wide in /etc/profile and
That's what I did in Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE) and it worked fine
(now I'm back to Ubuntu [11.10], where I use /etc/environment).
Be careful when setting the path: the best is to drag the directory
containing the binaries to a terminal window, and then copy the path:
In /etc/login.defs you'll see something like this:
Prepending your path means putting the TeXLive binaries path *before*
/usr/local/sbin (in ENV_SUPATH) and /usr/local/bin (in ENV_PATH). *Don't
forget* to put a colon (:) *after* /usr/local/...-linux:
The same with /etc/profile, but the respective lines don't start with
ENV_SUPATH and ENV_PATH (unfortunately, Ubuntu's /etc/profile is
different from Debian's, and I can't remember exactly how those lines
are, but you'll find them really easily. (In fact, I tried and just
setting the path in /etc/profile is enough, but I ended adding it to
/etc/login.defs as well.)
Restart for the changes to take effect.
I don't recommend changing the ownership of /usr/local/texlive to you
---I always leave it as root.
Now ---in Debian use
su - <enter> and your password when prompted
to be able to use tlmgr.
So, my advice is this:
1) Reinstall Debian's TeXLive (use Synaptics), and even if something is
marked as installed, mark it for reinstall. If your system returns to a
stable state, fine; otherwise, reinstall.
2) If TUG's TeXlive (2011) is properly installed, prepend it's path as
3) Restart. To check that TeXLive 2011 is really the one that will be
used, try in your terminal
which pdftex (it should reply something like
Use su - to be able to use tlmgr as root. Try, for example,
tlmgr update --self --all --dry-run
With --dry-run it will tell you what it *would* do without actually
performing any action.
Read the tlmgr documentation ---in your terminal
(texdoc opens any documentation available in TeXLive).
*Always* make a backup of your files before attempting any changes in
your system. *Really.*
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