[tex-live] Install on a network (Samba server and Windows desktops)

George N. White III gnwiii at gmail.com
Tue May 18 12:55:02 CEST 2010

On Tue, May 18, 2010 at 6:07 AM, Zdenek Wagner <zdenek.wagner at gmail.com> wrote:
> 2010/5/18 Denis Bitouzé <dbitouze at wanadoo.fr>:
>> Le mardi 18/05/10 à 10h35,
>> Zdenek Wagner <zdenek.wagner at gmail.com> a écrit :
>>> This is the right section. First when you install TL, you have to go
>>> to selection of platforms and select all that you plan to use. For
>>> unix-like systems you have to mount the texmf-* trees and set PATH
>>> (and MANPATH if you need "man") to the correct directory. For
>>> windows-like systems you need to map a network drive and then use the
>>> script available from that very section to create shortcuts.

For MANPATH, some distributions can search for man
pages relative the location of the binary.  In that case,
creating a symbolic link for the top level man directory
will allow the system to find the appropriate man pages
without setting MANPATH.

>> Well, sorry, actually I'm not an expert in network area: I just try to
>> help our computer technician to install TeX Live, not on all Windows
>> desktop, but just on the server, in order to make easier the
>> maintenance. So maybe my questions will seem very basic :)
>> 1. The TL install will be done only on the (Linux) server, right?
> Yes, you install it on the server only.
>> 2. Even Windows binary system may be installed on it?
> As a matter of fact, TL does not need any special installation steps,
> the files are just copied. After installation texmf-dist/bin will
> contain subdirectories for all selected platforms. Unix-like systems
> require just PATH to be set. Linux comes often with teTeX installed
> and if you decide not to install teTeX when installing Linux, you
> still get some part of it due to dependencies and it usually does not
> work. I found a lot of various conflict between such traces of teTeX
> and TL. The remedy is to put the correct TL bi directory to the
> beginning of PATH.

Setting the PATH is often a source of confusion.  It is important to
know that CTAN TeX Live (as opposed to a version that has been
packaged by some distribution) resides entirely inside the top-level
directory unless you explicitly request that it create links in the
standard (/usr/bin) directory.   Depending on how you use TeX,
different ways of adding the TL bin directory
(e.g., /usr/local/texlive/2009/bin/<arch>) to the PATH are not
all equivalent.   If you add it manually in a shell, e.g.,
PATH="/usr/local/texlive/2009/bin/<arch>:$PATH" then the
new setting is only available in that shell, in particular,
if you start emacs from a system menu, it will use the
original PATH setting.   With a little care, it is easy to
have several different TeX systems (e.g. TL from previous
years along with the TeX system from the linux distro).

The other issue is preventing the dependencies in the
linux distro from pulling in the distro's TeX packages.
If you don't want this, you may be able to install a dummy
package, e.g.:


> Windows users are accustomed to shortcuts and
> menus, it would be too tedious to do it by hand, the script will help.
> Some tools are written in perl but it is not available in Windows.
> When installing TL on Linux you have to select Perl for Windows.
> Anyway, if you forget anything, you can install it later by tlmgt.

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

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