[texhax] Today's binaries on old texmf trees

Reinhard Kotucha reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Wed Nov 6 00:40:06 CET 2013

On 2013-11-05 at 09:57:16 +0100, Oleg Parashchenko wrote:

 > Hello Alex,
 > On Mon, 4 Nov 2013 20:09:15 -0800
 > Alex Scorpan <scorpan at msp.org> wrote:
 > ...
 > > 
 > > I guess it'll have to be something more sophisticated than just
 > > modifying the search paths.
 > Most likely, you need to set more TEXMF* variable. Try the list from my
 > experiments:
 > Running TeX tools from non-standard locations
 > http://uucode.com/blog/2010/04/28/running-tex-tools-from-non-standard-locations/

In 2010, TeX Live introduced a new variable $TEXMFROOT in texmf.cnf.

  $kpsewhich --var-value=TEXMFROOT

You only have to change _this_ variable in order to select another
TEXMF tree.

In the past, Linux/Unix distributors had to replace all instances of
$SELFAUTOPARENT by something like $SELFAUTODIR/share but now it's
sufficient to adapt $TEXMFROOT only.

$TEXMFROOT doesn't exist in TeX Live distributions older than TL-2010,
of course, but I think that it's worthwhile to be aware of.

On the other hand, if you run a TL-2013 binary, the texmf.cnf file
provided by TL-2013 is used.  It's aware of $TEXMFROOT and I suppose
that you can point $TEXMFROOT to the TL-2008 texmf tree, even though
TL-2008 isn't aware of this variable.  I admittedly didn't test it
myself but feedback is welcome.

Let me emphasize that the purpose of $TEXMFROOT is to make life easier
in certain situations, as described above.  I don't recommend to use
this feature in order to mix up different TL releases.


Reinhard Kotucha                                      Phone: +49-511-3373112
Marschnerstr. 25
D-30167 Hannover                              mailto:reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Microsoft isn't the answer. Microsoft is the question, and the answer is NO.

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