[tex-live] Install file of the TL should have unique name

Denis Bitouzé dbitouze at wanadoo.fr
Sat Jan 18 08:51:16 CET 2014

Le vendredi 17/01/14 à 23h33,
Reinhard Kotucha <reinhard.kotucha at web.de> a écrit :

> I'm convinced that it's sufficient to add the word "windows" to the
> names of the .bat files.

I'm not that convinced ;)
> Since the Exploder sorts files alphabetically by default, I suppose
> that Windows users see immediately that there are scripts dedicated to
> them.

But install-tl(.exe) could be understood as a generic (Linux, Mac and
Windows) installer. I'm convinced that the less confusions can occur,
the better would be newbies' (La)TeX experience.

> There are many ways to install TeX Live.  The preferred way is to use
> the network installer

That's not always possible: computers rooms where I give LaTeX courses
(to students some of whom bringing their own laptops) often don't
provide wired or wireless connections, or provide wireless connection
with too low bandwith. Moreover, either in these rooms or at home, each
student running network installer will download zillions of packages.
That's the reason I prefer provide on USB sticks the whole (and up to
date, see below) TL installer.

> because the ISO image is often quite old and if a user runs "tlmgr
> update" he downloads zillions of packages again. This can be quite
> time consuming and annoying.

Sorry to have been unclear: I don't provide the ISO image to be found at
http://mirror.ctan.org/systems/texlive/Images/. Instead, just before the
LaTeX course, I run on my computer:

  rsync -av --delete \ 

and I build the ISO image from up to date TL installer.

BTW, I use k3B on Linux to build this ISO image because I don't know the
right options to pass to mkisofs command (particularly in order to
include the hidden files that seem to be necessary). Could someone help
me on this point?

> The only situation where the distribution of an ISO image makes sense
> is if it's essential that every user has exactly the same copy.  But
> then you also have to make sure that users can't update TeX Live.

That's not an essential point for me.

> In all other cases it's better to follow Lars' advice: Distribute an
> up-to-date TeX Live on USB sticks.  I don't think that it's much more
> difficult than your approach.  But if you prepare the USB sticks today
> for a LaTeX course next week, "tlmgr update" will update only a few
> packages and your audience will be grateful for that.

We agree :) Lars and me provide an up to date TL, the only difference
between our approaches is that:

- Lars provides it as an ordinary directory with zillions files and
  subdirectories (slow but not tricky),
- I provide it as an ISO image in order to deal with a single file
  (fast but sometimes a bit tricky: installing WinCDEmu and right
  clicking on the iso file to mount it).

> I strongly recommend to evaluate Lars' approach.

Even with this clarification?

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