[tex-live] Why is "create symlinks in standard directories" option hidden?

Denis Bitouzé dbitouze at wanadoo.fr
Mon May 20 10:38:50 CEST 2013

Le lundi 20/05/13 à 08h17,
Lars Madsen <daleif at imf.au.dk> a écrit :

> These days there are many Linux users that are just users.

That's why it would be better for him to not enter cryptic:

  PATH=/usr/local/texlive/201*/bin/i386-linux:$PATH; export PATH
  MANPATH=/usr/local/texlive/201*/texmf/doc/man:$MANPATH; export
  INFOPATH=/usr/local/texlive/201*/texmf/doc/info:$INFOPATH; export

lines in a cryptic $HOME/.bash_profile *or* $HOME/.profile *or*
$HOME/.cshrc file. This requires for the just user to know:

  1. if it system uses Bourne-compatible shells such as bash or csh or
  tcsh (!),

  2. what is $HOME,

  3. in case of Bourne-compatible shell, which config
  file .bash_profile *or* .profile is used.

IMHO, it is much more complicated than letting TL configure symlinks.
The complicated things with them come in the rare cases when:

  1. new bin scripts are added: maybe tlmgr could recreate symlinks
  silently in this cases,

  2. dealing with several TL: not the case for most users and the
  commands to run to switch between different TL could be documented in
  TL documentation.

> They (1) does not understand the symlink concept,

I agree, this should be done silently, as it is almost currently the
case when <L> option is used (ideally it should be done by default
IMHO). After all, I guess many softwares installed by average Linux
users deal silently with symlinks.

> (2) will not understand why care is needed to reinstall or remove TL
> when these symlinks are present.

When TL is removed or reinstalled, the symlinks should be silently
removed or reinstalled by the tlmgr.

More information about the tex-live mailing list