[texhax] problem with info command

Sebastian Luque sluque at mun.ca
Fri Aug 27 16:11:22 CEST 2004

Hi again,

Well that was enough to deter my attempts to switch to TeX-live! I didn't know 
TL and Debian were so incompatible.

On Thu, 26 August 2004 19:19 -0500, Karl Berry wrote:
> Hi Sebastian,
> So your idea was to replace the Debian installation of TeX with TeX Live?

I had, in fact, installed a Knoppix distribution without any (La)TeX system. I 
subsequently installed the Debian teTeX, and have been working with it for 
several months. But I was regularly finding outdated packages there, even 
though I always kept teTeX up to date. The caption package, for instance, is 
one that I remember right now; the entire 'labelsep' option to it is missing 
simply because Debian teTeX distributes an old version. TeX-live's packages 
seem to follow CTAN very closely. I also like to use texdotk for accessing 
the documentation, but teTeX's version has a bug that doesn't allow it to 
look up in a local tree for documentation (the author is aware of this and is 
working to fix that in the future). Because I like easy and efficient access 
to documentation, using updated packages, and saw that TeX-live's texdoctk 
works great, I thought I'd switch. Now I'm learning this is simply switching 
problems ;-)

> The idea of that symlink option is for systems which have no TeX
> installed.  In that case, installers might like to have links in (say)
> /usr/local/bin, so that users don't have to add the weird TL bin
> directory to their PATH.

I did uninstall teTeX first, so I had no TeX in my system at all before 
installing TeX-live. The instructions in the TeX-live manual don't say 
anything about the relationship between the symlinks option and setting the 
PATH variable (in /etc/profile, in my case, since I wanted that to be 
available to everybody). Some warning to the user regarding the symlinks 
option and its relationship to the PATH would be nice to those of us without 
deep knowledge of symlinks (I just know they're redirects :-)  ).

> The one dynamic-detection idea I can think of is that TL's install
> should probably never replace a real file with one of these symlinks.
> I'll see about that too.

Thank you!

> One more thing:
>     No `START-INFO-DIR-ENTRY' and no `This file documents'.
>     install-info(/usr/share/info/info-stnd.info): unable to determine...
> Has /usr/share/info/info-stnd.info become a symlink to a nonexistent
> file, by any chance?  Any real info-stnd.info definitely should have a
> START-INFO-DIR-ENTRY (I won't bore you with the explanation).  The
> beginning of info-stnd.info should look approximately like this:
> > This is info-stnd.info, produced by makeinfo version 4.7 from
> > info-stnd.texi.
> >
> >    This manual is for GNU Info (version 4.7, 11 April 2004), a program
> >    ...
> >
> > INFO-DIR-SECTION Texinfo documentation system
> > * info standalone: (info-stnd).            Read Info documents without
> > Emacs. * infokey: (info-stnd)Invoking infokey.    Compile Info
> > customizations. END-INFO-DIR-ENTRY

I looked at this and the problem was that TeX-live added a symlink to 
install-stnd.info in its subdirectory, which was probably unusable by info. 
Fortunately, it didn't obliterate my original, and deleting TeX-live's 
symlink restored everything.

Given all these problems, I'll probably return with teTeX [grunting], so at 
least no can of worms pop up later because of a messed-up /usr/bin. Would 
deleting all sylinks to /usr/share/TeX (plus /usr/info and /usr/man), and 
reinstalling teTeX get me up and running faster than trying to replicate 
another (working) Debian?

> Hope this helps a little more :).

It certainly did, thanks so much.


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