[tex-live] $TEXMFHOME not working right

Robin Fairbairns Robin.Fairbairns at cl.cam.ac.uk
Mon May 17 01:36:37 CEST 2010

Reinhard Kotucha <reinhard.kotucha at web.de> wrote:

> Sure, the size matters.  But the NFS issue Robin mentioned is by far
> not the worst case.  NFS is a bit slower than a local file system
> because each time you access a file it has to check whether the copy
> in the cache of the client is up-to-date.  

the problem isn't file reading, it's searching for files.  nfs is *far*
slower to scan a directory than is a local disc; hence i only get the
reports when someone has loaded a large package into their ~/texmf

(in our environment, where everything on $HOME is agressively backed up
in our array of netapp filers, such behaviour is pretty undesirable,
since i already have ctan in the same array.  telling the users that is
mare difficult than you would believe.  they're _supposed_ to be
computer scientists...)

> Suppose that you have TEXMFHOME on a USB stick.  On Linux I usually
> mount the stick manually.  Then all files are in the cache and I
> actually don't notice that they are on a USB stick.  If people are
> using an automounter, I suppose that the cache is cleared if the
> timeout is reached.  Under Windows, files on a USB stick are not
> cached at all.  It's horribly slow.


> Nevertheless, having TEXMFHOME on a USB stick makes sense.

of course.  note that i merely explain why _i_ recommend it for the
environment here.
and then there's the fun to be had, regularly, with the texmfhome copy
of a now-obsolete version of a package.

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