Texlive old install support

khzimmer at posteo.de khzimmer at posteo.de
Tue Apr 14 12:32:37 CEST 2020

Am 14.04.2020 12:22 schrieb Joseph Wright:
> On 14/04/2020 01:45, Warren MacEvoy wrote:
>> I am trying to maintain a docker container (like a small virtual 
>> machine with specific software0 so TexLive users can make a specific 
>> container that reliably and efficiently can be used to make their 
>> latex documents.
>> A real problem is that each year I have to move to the latest tex live 
>> distribution; which inevitably breaks the building of documents based 
>> on older packages.
>> Philosophically, this is a serious problem.  There are many old 
>> documents which will require expert intervention to create if the 
>> build tools move this much every year, and the old tools do not work.
>> I tried downloading an archive build and got a failed installation on 
>> a checksum.
>> Reliably building old documents should be a priority for the texlive 
>> system.  Otherwise a love of creative intellectual property will 
>> become unstable.
>> Can there be a long term maintenance policy for some versions of 
>> texlive?  Leaving an archive to 3rd parties does not seem reasonable, 
>> especially if those builds just fail after one year…
>> Thanks,
>> Warren MacEvoy
> If you want to use a TeX Live version longer-term, what's the issue
> with installing the historic ones from ISO? The TeX Live people mainly
> just install other people's (La)TeX packages: actual binary changes
> are a small part of the total work done.
> I have TeX Live from 2009 onward installed on my own PC, which with
> today's disk sizes is quite achievable: I'm not sure there is an big
> issue there. (People like AMS who need absolute stability archive
> every part of the build setup with every file, but that's an extreme
> approach.)
> Joseph


this problem affects me, too. My users are German speaking book authors 
with (mostly) very limited IT knowledge.

For them following the simple instructions by the installation 
wizard-style GUI works fine -- just using the default settings -- but it 
would be much more difficult for them to download and work with an ISO 

Perfect (from users' point of view) would be:

Having radiobuttons in the GUI:

( ) Use last year's TeX Life collection
( ) Use newest TeX Life

Could that be done?  :)


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