installing a package as nonroot

Reinhard Kotucha reinhard.kotucha at
Tue Nov 14 04:47:51 CET 2023

On 2023-11-13 at 12:07:29 -0800, circumspect.readabilities830 at wrote:

 > On Mon, Nov 13, 2023 at 08:36:12AM +0900, Norbert Preining wrote:
 > > Can you run the tlmgr command with -v -v and see what it is doing
 > > when it fails?
 > Yes, thanks. The immediate problem is the directory
 > /opt/texlive/2023/tlpkg/tlobj/
 > which is owned by root. It is the only one owned by root in the
 > texlive tree. How might that happen?

You certainly did something accidentally as root or with sudo(1).
A normal user can't create files or directories owned by root.

  $ chown root:root foo
  chown: changing ownership of ÔfooÕ: Operation not permitted

If your default shell is Bash, you can type


on the command line in order to see what you've done recently, once as
root (to see what you've done as root) and once as a normal user (to
see what you've done with sudo).

Norbert said that tlpkg/backups could also be affected.  That's true
but you can fix everything easily:

  sudo chown -R ian:users /opt/texlive


Reinhard Kotucha                            Phone: +49-511-3373112
Marschnerstr. 25
D-30167 Hannover                    mailto:reinhard.kotucha at

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