[texhax] need help

Benjamin Deutsch Benjamin.Deutsch at informatik.uni-erlangen.de
Fri Apr 2 16:16:40 CEST 2004


> Please advise me what can I do to have a reliable version of Tex on my
> computer.

Assuming you are running x86 hardware (Intel, AMD or compatible), there is 
another fallback possibility, if everything goes wrong:

Knoppix, from http://www.knopper.net/knoppix

It is essentially a complete Linux (Debian) distribution, bootable from a 
single CD, which does not touch your current computer at all, and it contains 
a complete (La)TeX installation. TeTeX, I believe.

The advantage is that you have a complete (La)TeX setup (don't know about 
REVTeX et al. though), already installed and configured, even if your host 
operating system is completely broken.

The disadvantages probably outweigh the advantages, though:
- It's a 700 MiB download, and requires a blank 700 MiB CD, a computer reboot, 
and boot-from-CD capability.
- You would need to learn enough Linux, the GUI and the command line, to mount 
your hard drives, edit your files, and run TeX on them. Most things can be 
done with buttons and a mouse (I think kile is installed, but I can't be 
sure), but it's still a steep learning curve.
- The solution is only temporary. For longer work, it is naturally better to 
be able to run TeX from your "own" computer, and the only way to make the 
Knoppix solution permanent would be to replace your current system with it.

So no, I'm *not* recommending that you try Knoppix for your immediate problem. 
However, it *is* a valid way to get "a reliable version of TeX on your 
computer", so I might as well mention it in this context. And you never know, 
if nothing else helps, and you need access to a TeX system fast, it just 
might be the thing you need.

If you (or anyone else who read this) have some time to spare, you may want to 
at least look over the Knoppix web page, and maybe try it out (there's little 
you can do wrong if you don't allow writing to your hard drives; this is 
disabled by default). Who knows, it might be useful during the next 
emergency, especially with a next-day deadline...


Dipl.-Inf. Benjamin Deutsch            Universitaet Erlangen-Nuernberg
Lehrstuhl fuer Mustererkennung (Inf. 5)        Tel.: +49 9131 85-27874
Martensstr. 3                                  Fax.: +49 9131 303811
91058 Erlangen      email: Benjamin.Deutsch at informatik.uni-erlangen.de
Germany             www  :      http://www5.informatik.uni-erlangen.de

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