Pretesting TeX Live

Alert: if you are trying the TL'16 pretest and have an installation prior to 15-April-2016, you must update to the current pretest using update-tlmgr-latest (from the pretest area), or you will get a fatal error about the containerchecksum directive not being recognized.

All of the TeX Live community greatly appreciates 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, but not with the expectation that “everything should work perfectly” (it won't), but rather “I'll try this out and see if I can help improve it”. As distributed, it 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 Denmark 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 how to find the value for location). 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. If that works, even more useful is to try your real-life documents, to check that they still work as expected.


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. Meanwhile, aside from the pervasive updates to new releases of packages and programs, here is a terse list of major user-visible changes:

luatex (full LuaTeX news)
Sweeping changes to primitives, both renames and removals, and some node structure changes. See also and especially the LuaTeX NEWS entry for version 0.85.0.
New highly experimental sibling programs mflua and mfluajit, for trial and testing purposes.
metapost (full MetaPost news)
Bug fixes and internal preparations for MetaPost 2.0..
support in all engines except LuaTeX (which will come in the next release) and original TeX (intentionally disabled): if the environment variable SOURCE_DATE_EPOCH is set, its value is used for timestamps in the PDF output. If SOURCE_DATE_EPOCH_TEX_PRIMITIVES is also set, the SOURCE_DATE_EPOCH value is used to initialize the TeX primitives \year, \month, \day, \time. The pdfTeX manual has examples and details.
pdftex (full pdfTeX news)
New primitives \pdfinfoomitdate, \pdftrailerid, \pdfsuppressptexinfo, to control values appearing in the output which normally change with each run. These features are for PDF output only, not DVI.
xetex (full XeTeX news)
New primitives \XeTeXhyphenatablelength, \XeTeXgenerateactualtext, \XeTeXinterwordspaceshaping, \mdfivesum; character class limit increased to 4096; DVI id byte incremented.
Other utilities
gregorio is a new program, part of the gregoriotex package for typesetting Gregorian chant scores; it is included in shell_escape_commands by default.
upmendex is an index creation program mostly compatible with makeindex using Unicode sorting, among other changes.
afm2tfm now makes only accent-based height adjustments upward; a new option -a omits all adjustments.
ps2pk can handle extended PK/GF fonts.
The TeX Distribution Preference Pane is gone; its functionality is now in TeX Live Utility;
bundled GUI applications upgraded;
new script cjk-gs-integrate to be run by users who wish to incorporate various CJK fonts into Ghostscript.
Infrastructure (full tlmgr news)
System-level tlmgr configuration file supported;
verify package checksums;
if GPG is available, verify signature of network updates.
Removed alpha-linux and mipsel-linux removed. Support for some additional platforms may be available as custom binaries.

If you find other changes that should be noted, please report them. This sort of documentation improvement is one of the most important things pretesters can help with.

$Date: 2016/05/09 22:29:31 $; TeX Live;
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