Pretesting TeX Live

The entire TeX Live community greatly benefits from all testing of TeX Live before the official release. The more people who test in advance, the better the final release can be. It is also the best opportunity to influence and improve the behavior of TL.

So please try it if you like. As distributed, the pretest will not interfere with any existing installations of TeX.

On this page: downloading - installing - testing - updating - reporting - news.


You can retrieve the pretest files from one of these hosts: copy-paste an http or ftp url when running the installer directly, or use an rsync url for mirroring, as described below. (Our thanks to these sites for making their space and bandwidth available.)

You can either do a network installation of TL or mirror the whole directory:

The pretest build runs nightly, ending around 5am Paris time unless something goes wrong. The mirror hosts should all be up to date within a couple of hours after that.


After downloading as above, you can run the script install-tl (Unix) or install-tl-windows.bat (Windows) or install-tl-advanced.bat (Windows) to perform the installation. We just use install-tl as the command name in these examples:

If you are performing a network installation, the pretest repository location from which to install must be specified, as shown in these examples (see downloading above for the location urls). The location must be an ftp or http url (not rsync).

But in the case of installing from your own mirrored repository, you should omit -repository location from the given command lines.

For information on all of the installer options, run install-tl --help, or see the install-tl documentation page.


After a successful installation, please first try simple test documents, such as latex small2e and pdflatex sample2e. If that works, even more useful is to try your real-life documents, to check that they still work as expected. (If third-party packages have changed incompatibly, their maintainers should be contacted directly.)


After a successful installation, you can update from the tlpretest repository using tlmgr from time to time, if you wish. In the event of unusually drastic changes during the pretest you may have to reinstall.

Reporting problems

Please email bug reports, suggestions, comments on TeX Live itself (the installation process, tlmgr, etc.) to (archive). Bugs about specific packages should be reported to the package maintainers; TeX Live's basic job is to install (some of) what is on CTAN, not make changes on top of it. Resources for general questions and help using TeX are available separately.

Notable changes

The main TeX Live documentation and translations are not yet fully updated.

As always, there are pervasive updates to packages and programs. We can't list them all, but here are the major user-visible changes in the principal programs:

kpathsea (full Kpathsea news)
Case-insensitive filename matching now done by default in non-system directories; set texmf.cnf or environment variable texmf_casefold_search to 0 to disable. Full details in the Kpathsea manual.
eptex, euptex
New primitive \epTeXversion.
luatex (full LuaTeX news)
Preparation for moving to Lua 5.3 in 2019: a binary luatex53 is available on some platforms, but must be renamed to luatex to be effective. Or, more likely, use the ConTeXtGarden files; more information there.
metapost (full MetaPost news)
Fixes for wrong path directions, tfm and png output.
pdftex (full pdfTeX news)
Allow encoding vectors for bitmap fonts; current directory not hashed into PDF ID; bug fixes for \pdfprimitive and related.
xetex (full XeTeX news)
Support /Rotate in PDF image inclusion; exit nonzero if the output driver fails; various obscure UTF-8 and other primitive fixes.
See version support changes below. Other notes: 1) the files installed in /Applications/TeX/ by MacTeX have been reorganized for greater clarity; now this location contains four GUI programs (BibDesk, LaTeXiT, TeX Live Utility, and TeXShop) at the top level and folders with additional utilities and documentation. 2) MacTeX installs Ghostscript 9.23.
tlmgr (full tlmgr news)
new front-ends tlshell (Tcl/Tk) and tlcockpit (Java); JSON output; uninstall now a synonym for remove; new action/option print-platform-info.
New: x86_64-linuxmusl, aarch64-linux. Removed: armel-linux, powerpc-linux.
MacTeX: x86_64-darwin now supports 10.10, 10.11, 10.12, and 10.13 (Yosemite, El Capitan, Sierra, and High Sierra). x86_64-darwinlegacy supports 10.6-10.9. All support for 10.5 (Leopard), that is, both the powerpc-darwin and i386-darwin platforms, is gone.
Windows: XP is no longer supported.

If you discover other changes that should be noted, please report them. Such documentation improvements are among the most important things pretesters can help with.

$Date: 2018/04/12 21:55:57 $; TeX Live;
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