[tex-live] Identifying the cause of slow compilation

Philip Taylor P.Taylor at Rhul.Ac.Uk
Wed Mar 11 20:31:34 CET 2015

Many thanks to you both for your suggestions.  I am no closer to finding
the cause, but I have now installed TeX Live 2014 in my VM as well as
2013, and the performance in the VM remains as fast as it was with 2013.
 So, I have one system where it behaves like a dog in the host, yet
flies along in a VM, and another where it flies in the host (I have no
VMs on that machine).  And all are configured identically.

But following on from your suggestions, I have tried using KPSEWHICH to
investigate, and I have found something consistently odd in all three
installations -- the expansion of TEXMFCNF.  Here it is from the VM in
which I am typing this (all three are similar) :

> C:\Users\Chaa006>kpsewhich -expand-var $texmfcnf
> {D:/TeX/Live/2014/bin/win32,D:/TeX/Live/2014/bin/win32/share/texmf-local/web2c,D
> :/TeX/Live/2014/bin/win32/share/texmf-dist/web2c,D:/TeX/Live/2014/bin/win32/shar
> e/texmf/web2c,D:/TeX/Live/2014/bin/win32/texmf-local/web2c,D:/TeX/Live/2014/bin/
> win32/texmf-dist/web2c,D:/TeX/Live/2014/bin/win32/texmf/web2c,D:/TeX/Live/2014/b
> in,D:/TeX/Live/2014/bin/share/texmf-local/web2c,D:/TeX/Live/2014/bin/share/texmf
> -dist/web2c,D:/TeX/Live/2014/bin/share/texmf/web2c,D:/TeX/Live/2014/bin/texmf-lo
> cal/web2c,D:/TeX/Live/2014/bin/texmf-dist/web2c,D:/TeX/Live/2014/bin/texmf/web2c
> ,D:/TeX/Live/texmf-local/web2c,D:/TeX/Live/2014,D:/TeX/Live/2014/share/texmf-loc
> al/web2c,D:/TeX/Live/2014/share/texmf-dist/web2c,D:/TeX/Live/2014/share/texmf/we
> b2c,D:/TeX/Live/2014/texmf-local/web2c,D:/TeX/Live/2014/texmf-dist/web2c,D:/TeX/
> Live/2014/texmf/web2c}

Now, here are my questions :

1) If one is mean to make local changes in \TeX\Live\2014\TeXMF.cnf, why
is that so far down the pecking order ?  TeXdoc KPATHSEA says (in part) :

> Kpathsea reads all texmf.cnf files in the search path, not just the first one found;
> definitions in earlier files override those in later files.

so surely \TeX\Live\2014 should be the first element, not the $n$th ...

2) What are the references to (e.g.,)
"D:/TeX/Live/2014/bin/win32/share/texmf-local/web2c" ?  There /is/ no
"share" directory under Win32.

3) Why does TEXMFCNF reference a hard-wired (e.g.,)
"D:/TeX/Live/2014/texmf-local/web2c" ?  I have no such directory -- my
TEXMFLOCAL is \TeX\Live\TeXMF\Local, declared as such at installation time.

4) What program is responsible for defining TEXMFCNF, and should I try
over-riding it with a more sensibly valued environment variable of the
same name ?

** Phil.

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