[tex-live] TL on windows - mashine dependent parts

George N. White III gnwiii at gmail.com
Tue Nov 13 13:07:26 CET 2012

What problem are you trying to solve?  I suspect early adopters of your
WinTeX will be mostly people who weren't able to make the standard
installer work, so you may end up having to address issus that might better
be handled in the standard installer.  Are hoping to reduce administrator
workloads for mass installs in an environment with a controlled
configuration, or
are you hoping for a more MacTeX-like experience for masses of users?

I used to do this for Windows for Workgroups back in the days when TL on
Windows was fptex, but I was dealing with a "corporate standard"
configuration, and I could rely on some 3rd party tools (perl, a
command-line zip archiver, ghostscript, and emacs or WinEDT).   When we
moved to Windows XP I would install TL on IRIX64 or Solaris and include
Windows in the list of archs.
There was always a bit of a struggle to get things working on Windows due
mainly to "left-over"
environment cruft with settings for TEXINPUTS, etc.

These days our TeX users on Windows want MiKTeX and the others have MacTeX,
so TL only exits for linux.

There is a big difference between MacOSX and Windows: with MacOSX, many
configuration details are well known and easily determined (e.g., location
of a user's home directory, standard directory hierarchy with /usr/local/,
etc).  With windows, especially "corporate standard" configurations, %HOME%
may or may not be defined, and users may or may not be allowed to make
changes to the system drive.  In the latter case, user configuration data
generally goes to some network location.   MacTeX takes advantage of the
more predictable environment to support things like switching between
different TL versions.  It also adds some 3rd party tools
(ghostscript, etc.) which have been known to create some conflicts.

On Tue, Nov 13, 2012 at 5:26 AM, Lars Madsen <daleif at imf.au.dk> wrote:

> Hi TL'ers
> For a while I've been wondering about the idea of making a TL install for
> Windows in a similar fashion as MacTeX. That is, install TL on one windows
> computer (in the standard location), zip it, move it to another windows,
> unzip it in the same location, and run some scripts to integrate it into
> the new Windows.
> Now I'm wondering a bit about parts of a TL installation on Windows, that
> are specific to that Windows computer.
> Is there more than the font cache to worry about? I was thing about
> deleting the font cache and rebuilding it on the receiving computer.
> NB: we are talking non specialized installations here. As if one had
> started the advanced installer and just hit 'Install' without changing any
> of the defaults.
> /Lars Madsen
> Institut for Matematik / Department of Mathematics
> Aarhus Universitet / Aarhus University
> Mere info: http://au.dk/daleif@imf / More information:
> http://au.dk/en/daleif@imf

George N. White III <aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca>
Head of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia
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