[tex-live] TL on windows - mashine dependent parts

Lars Madsen daleif at imf.au.dk
Tue Nov 13 13:39:41 CET 2012

MacTeX is TL under the hood.

Generally we recommend TL for windows users as well as many users have had problems with miktex, plus, by also having TL on windows, all users (Linux, Mac, Windows) basically have the same tools and scripts available)

Our IT department would like to offer LaTeX as a deployment installation, i.e. unattended installations. The TL net installer is not good for this as it may fail during installation. The IT departsments dream is a system, where the user can go to a website click a few things, wait for approval, and then those programmes are pushed to their windows PCs. Performing a TL transplant, my be a lot safer than running the net installer unattended.

Also a solution like this would help during student install parties, we simply do not have enough bandwiddth in our wireless system to have 20+ students running the netinstaller at once.
(we usually copy the tlnet structure to USBs and copy that to student computers, and then run the installer from there)

I'm not saying, I want to duplicate what MacTeX does exactly, just that it may be a lot faster to move and unzip a 1.8 Gb zip, than it is to run the net installer.

This would be a solution with a limited audience, just like the w32client script

/Lars Madsen
Institut for Matematik / Department of Mathematics
Aarhus Universitet / Aarhus University
Mere info: http://au.dk/daleif@imf / More information: http://au.dk/en/daleif@imf

From: George N. White III [gnwiii at gmail.com]
Sent: 13 November 2012 13:07
To: Lars Madsen
Cc: tex-live at tug.org
Subject: Re: [tex-live] TL on windows - mashine dependent parts

What problem are you trying to solve?  I suspect early adopters of your WinTeX will be mostly people who weren't able to make the standard installer work, so you may end up having to address issus that might better be handled in the standard installer.  Are hoping to reduce administrator workloads for mass installs in an environment with a controlled configuration, or
are you hoping for a more MacTeX-like experience for masses of users?

I used to do this for Windows for Workgroups back in the days when TL on Windows was fptex, but I was dealing with a "corporate standard" configuration, and I could rely on some 3rd party tools (perl, a command-line zip archiver, ghostscript, and emacs or WinEDT).   When we moved to Windows XP I would install TL on IRIX64 or Solaris and include Windows in the list of archs.
There was always a bit of a struggle to get things working on Windows due mainly to "left-over"
environment cruft with settings for TEXINPUTS, etc.

These days our TeX users on Windows want MiKTeX and the others have MacTeX, so TL only exits for linux.

There is a big difference between MacOSX and Windows: with MacOSX, many configuration details are well known and easily determined (e.g., location of a user's home directory, standard directory hierarchy with /usr/local/, etc).  With windows, especially "corporate standard" configurations, %HOME% may or may not be defined, and users may or may not be allowed to make changes to the system drive.  In the latter case, user configuration data generally goes to some network location.   MacTeX takes advantage of the more predictable environment to support things like switching between different TL versions.  It also adds some 3rd party tools
(ghostscript, etc.) which have been known to create some conflicts.

On Tue, Nov 13, 2012 at 5:26 AM, Lars Madsen <daleif at imf.au.dk<mailto:daleif at imf.au.dk>> wrote:
Hi TL'ers

For a while I've been wondering about the idea of making a TL install for Windows in a similar fashion as MacTeX. That is, install TL on one windows computer (in the standard location), zip it, move it to another windows, unzip it in the same location, and run some scripts to integrate it into the new Windows.

Now I'm wondering a bit about parts of a TL installation on Windows, that are specific to that Windows computer.

Is there more than the font cache to worry about? I was thing about deleting the font cache and rebuilding it on the receiving computer.

NB: we are talking non specialized installations here. As if one had started the advanced installer and just hit 'Install' without changing any of the defaults.

/Lars Madsen
Institut for Matematik / Department of Mathematics
Aarhus Universitet / Aarhus University
Mere info: http://au.dk/daleif@imf / More information: http://au.dk/en/daleif@imf

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