[tex-live] TeXLive 2003 on a FAT32 file system

George N. White III aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca
Mon May 17 13:01:14 CEST 2004

On Mon, 17 May 2004, Alois Steindl wrote:

> Hello,
> I tried to install the new TeXLive version in a FAT32 partition for both
> Linux and Win2000. Since FAT32 doesn't accept symbolic links in Linux, I
> created a small directory ~/TeXLive/bin and put there all symbolic links, for 
> example
> ~/TeXLive/bin/latex -> /dosdisk/TeXLive/bin/i386-linux/etex
> and included ~/TeXLive/bin in my PATH.
> Now I face a rather strange problem, when I run latex:
> latex scr
> lstat(./latex) failed ...
> ./latex: No such file or directory
> This is e-TeX, Version 3.14159-2.1 (Web2C 7.3.7x)
> kpathsea: Running mktexfmt latex.efmt
> If I call latex with its path, it runs fine. Even more strange: If I call 
> latex from the tcsh, then it also runs fine, the problem occurs for bash. I 
> upgraded bash to the most recent version, but it didn't change.
> If I put a link to latex into the current directory, it is also fine.
> It seems that the problem is somehow caused by the following lines in
> source/TeX/texk/kpathsea/progname.c
> if (lstat (pre, &st) != 0) {
> fprintf (stderr, "lstat(%s) failed ...\n", pre);
> perror (pre);
> return NULL;
> }
> From here on no environment variables are found, so texmf.cnf is missed.
> Of course I do not understand why it works from the tcsh.
> Can the team give any recommendations how to install TeXLive on dual boot 
> machines?

In my experience, dual boot machines are generally more trouble than they 
are worth (you either spend most of your time under one OS, in which case 
you probably don't need the other, or you spend too much time configuring 
and booting).  FAT32 filesystems can be exploited to bypass security and 
disk space is cheap, so those who do have to use dual boot are advised to 
use FAT32 only as a temporary transfer area -- certainly not for binaries.

Network storage is also an option for sharing files, and there are virtual 
machines that allow running WIn32 under linux or linux under Win32.

> Could the TeXLive team maybe rethink its handling of symbolic links? These 
> links are very fine in a pure unixoid environment, but especially in TeXLive, 
> which is very convenient for dual-boot systems, they cause problems.

You can always convert symbolic links to real copies.

George N. White III  <aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca>
   Head of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada

More information about the tex-live mailing list