[tex-live] Symlinks to fonts during installation

Pander pander at users.sourceforge.net
Thu Aug 29 09:52:33 CEST 2013

On 2013-08-29 00:33, Reinhard Kotucha wrote:
> On 2013-08-28 at 11:00:05 +0200, Pander wrote:
>  > Hi all,
>  > 
>  > I would liek to propose that when onse chooses to create symlinks
>  > during installation that
>  >   /usr/local/share/fonts/truetype ->
>  > ../../texlive/2013/texmf-dist/fonts/truetype/
>  > and
>  >   /usr/local/share/fonts/opentype ->
>  > ../../texlive/2013/texmf-dist/fonts/opentype/
>  > are being created.
> Hi Pander,
> first of all, using the symlink option is not the preferred way to
> install TeX Live.  The TeX Live installer doesn't change anything on
> your system.  It just creates a directory "texlive" and puts files
> into it.  The symlinks are an exception and only exist as a last
> resort for people who do not know how to set environment variables.
> Since the recommended way is to add the bin directory to $PATH, it
> sounds odd to me to add new features to the symlink option, especially
> if they are absolutely unrelated.  The symlink option and the font
> setup of your system are two completely different things.  It would be
> wrong to hijack the installer like this.
> Furthermore, creating symlinks in /usr/local/bin is relatively
> reliable but creating files in other directories is problematic
> because these directories can contain anything.  It's simply too
> dangerous to touch them.
> In order to use system fonts with TeX Live, one can set $OSFONTDIR
> appropriately.  Since XeTeX and LuaTeX can use system fonts already
> there is rarely a need.  On the other hand, in order to use fonts
> provided by TeX Live with external programs, it's necessary to
> configure the system accordingly.  Neither the installer nor tlmgr
> can manage your system.
>  > In this way, systems such as Ubuntu can directly access the fonts
>  > without any further configuration. This is an identical approach as
>  > is done now for the files that end up in /usr/share/bin. When
>  > needed also absolute path can be used.
> The ultimate solution is to make fontconfig aware of the fonts
> provided by TeX Live, as Zdeněk suggested.
>  > What is the opinion of the TeX Live maintainers on this?
> A few years ago the question came up whether we need the symlink
> option at all anymore.  We decided to keep it as a last resort because
> it's impossible to give detailed instructions how to add something to
> $PATH on the many systems TeX Live supports.  Not to mention user
> preferences.  It's not the recommended way to install TeX Live though.
> I can't speak for the whole team, but IMO it's wrong to add something
> completely unrelated to the symlink option.

OK, understandable. What do you guys think of the following alternative:
Provide information on location of newly installed TTF and OTF files and
refer to some methods of adding it to your system (fontconfig, links, etc.)

> Regards,
>   Reinhard

More information about the tex-live mailing list