How should I deal with packages that require FFI external libraries?

Karl Berry karl at
Fri Apr 21 23:43:58 CEST 2023

Hi Bruno - you know this, but I can't replying anyway:

    they did not understand why a TeX
    install was more than a few hundred magabytes

You can tell them that if all they want to do is typeset their math
papers, they can use BasicTeX == scheme-small ~ 550MB. Admittedly still
not tiny, but plausible nowadays even on fairly small machines.

The most minimal scheme including LaTeX is scheme-basic, some 265MB.
Perfectly capable of typesetting straightforward documents, but of
course lacks almost all add-on packages, say, revtex, which is included
in scheme-small.

The answer to why full TL is so big (currently 7.5+GB) is that it
includes all the fonts, support for all languages including CJK, all
macros, etc. Support to typeset any document in (more or less) any
script anywhere in the world takes space ...

Feel free to forward this to anyone who questions why TL contains what
it does. --hope this helps somehow, karl.

More information about the tex-live mailing list.