[tex-live] "why is tex live so big"

Zdenek Wagner zdenek.wagner at gmail.com
Tue Oct 23 00:01:22 CEST 2012

2012/10/22 Reinhard Kotucha <reinhard.kotucha at web.de>:
> On 2012-10-22 at 12:25:51 +0100, Robin Fairbairns wrote:
>  > a speaker at the uk tug meeting on saturday (talking about tex-on-
>  > raspberry-pi[*]) had a moan about the size of tex live.  not
>  > unreasonable in that context, really...
> Hi Robin,
> first a remark regarding the Raspberry Pi.  I only have a 4GB SD card,
> which isn't sufficient for TeX Live.  However, "disk" size can easily
> be extended with USB sticks.  They should contain an ext2 filesystem
> at least in order to support symlinks.  An 8GB stick is sufficient,
> TeX Live consumes 5.4GB.  The stick is permanently mounted here, just
> like a hard drive.  If both USB ports are needed for keyboard and
> mouse (I'm using ssh instead), a USB hub is necessary.  The package
> leaflet recommends not to power the device from a USB port of a PC
> because the PC can be damaged.  So I suppose that a USB hub with
> built-in power supply is already available.
Yes, they exist. Even some modern monitors contain such hubs built in.

>  > thinking about it on my way home (a slow journey) i decided it
>  > might be useful to provide an answer in the faq (ignoring the fact
>  > that no newbie is likely to look at the faq, but at least it would
>  > be a useful link to give to people who were having trouble).
> Maybe the Raspberry Pi web site could explain how to extend disk
> space.  I suppose that most people don't consider USB sticks because
> they are shipped with an unsuitable file system, but with mke2fs(8)
> it's easy enough to make a USB stick behave like a Unix hard drive.
I regularly use ext3 on USB sticks and USB hard disks. I have been
doing it for years.

>  > in the discussion in the meeting, several "obvious" things were
>  > touched on: don't retain the package files, don't keep a source
>  > tree.  some suggested not to retain the documentation, though that
>  > (imho) is a dangerous.
> The TeX Live installer has options for disabling the doc and source
> tree.  tlmgr has an option to turn autobackups off.  An unfortunate
> thing is that the .tar.xz are retained until installation is complete.
> The solution is to install TL on a PC and then copy the tree to the
> Raspberry.
> BTW, there was a discussion some time ago on de.comp.text.tex when
> someone intended to write a book about the new engines (XeTeX, LuaTeX)
> which should be accompanied with a CD containing a minimal subset of
> TeX Live.  It turned out that it's extremely difficult to decide what
> can be omitted.  I played with the collections menu of the installer
> but I didn't find out what safely could be omitted in order to
> decrease the size significantly (or even noticeably).
>  > does anyone here have any other tricks.  for example, is the
>  > auto-downloader texliveonfly a reasonable recommendation, in the
>  > sense of "install a minimal tl, and populate it as you go along"?
>  > (the corresponding thing is quite a good answer for miktex users,
>  > but i've no experience of texliveonfly.)
> I don't have any experience with texliveonfly either, but I already
> found MiKTeX's auto-downloader a bit annoying when I tried to
> demonstrate people something and many packages had to be installed
> on-the-fly.  On a Raspberry Pi everything is even *much* slower and I
> can't imagine that anybody will be really happy with it.
> I'm just running "tlmgr update --all" on my Raspberry Pi:
>  [ 27/142, 25:54/03:09:51] update: gfsbodoni [977k] (19440 -> 27976) ... done
> Three hours with autobackups disabled.  I can't imagine that anybody
> will be happy with an auto-downloader.  Most likely lzma
> de-compression consumes an enormous amount of CPU time.
This is not good news :-(
Anyway, I hope I will find time to buy Raspberry PI and experiment with it.

> I can only recommend to extend disk space.  I payed 10 EURO for a 16GB
> stick but for a complete TeX Live 8GB are sufficient.
> Regards,
>   Reinhard
> --
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 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.
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Zdeněk Wagner

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