How to adjust the $TEXMFCNF variable not to interfere with ConText?

Pablo González L pablgonz at
Sun Sep 20 01:42:01 CEST 2020

> Environment variables affect all instances of TL, not only the one you
> want to configure.  If you fix one instance you probably break
> another.
> TeX Live is portable.  You can move it from one directory to another
> and you only have to adapt PATH, MANPATH, and INFOPATH.  There is no
> need to adapt any other environment variable at all if customization
> is done within the TL directory tree.
> The file /usr/local/texlive/2020/texmf.cnf is definitely not only for
> advanced users.  It's the preferred file for customization.
> Environment variables are fine for advanced users in certain
> situations in order to change the behavior temporarily.
>   Reinhard
I understand your point, it's more in a chat conversation with other TeX Live
users I've been told the same thing.

The use of variables is not whimsical, the problem is that (in this case) the
computer I work on is not my property, I only have access to my account and
everything under "~/", that is, I can't modify

But, if you can make a copy with what you from, for example:
$ tlmgr conf auxtrees --conffile ~/mypath/texmf.cnf add ~/mypath/myfolder/
$ tlmgr conf auxtrees --conffile ~/mypath/texmf.cnf show
List of auxiliary texmf trees:
$ kpsewhich -all texmf.cnf

For the system to detect my `texmf.cnf`, I need to configure the variable
$TEXMFCNF using system env vars.

Is there a default place under "~/" where I should put 'texmf.cnf' for kpsewhich
to recognize it?

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