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Upcoming change to TeX Live on Cygwin
- From: Ken Brown <kbrown at cornell dot edu>
- To: cygwin-apps <cygwin-apps at cygwin dot com>
- Date: Wed, 30 Mar 2016 17:16:53 -0400
- Subject: Upcoming change to TeX Live on Cygwin
- Authentication-results: sourceware.org; auth=none
This is a followup to
https://www.cygwin.com/ml/cygwin/2016-03/msg00404.html, in which I said
that I was thinking of shipping a restricted version of the tlmgr (TeX
Live Manager) script in a future TeX Live release. I expect to have
that ready as a test release within a few weeks. Since Yaakov expressed
some misgivings about this, I'm writing to give more details and solicit
tlmgr allows a user to manage a TeX Live installation, both packages
and configuration options. It operates in two modes: "system mode" (the
default) and "user mode". Some of the actions operate on the system
directories and are not available in user mode. But
installing/removing/updating packages is allowed in user mode, with
everything taking place in the user's home directory.
I have not previously shipped tlmgr for Cygwin because its
package-management features would interfere with Cygwin's setup-*.exe
package management. But I would like to start shipping a restricted
version. Debian has done this for several years.
Debian's version runs only in user mode. That's slightly more
restricted than what I would like to do. For example, one of the
system-mode actions is to manage default paper size (letter or a4) for
TeX Live programs, and I would like to allow that.
I am in the process of discussing this with Norbert Preining,
starting at http://tug.org/pipermail/tldistro/2016q1/000259.html. We
have arrived at an agreement as to how to modify tlmgr to do what I
want. (The modification may or may not make it into upstream TeX Live,
but Norbert has indicated that he might use it in Debian.)
I would be glad to provide more details if Yaakov or anyone else still
has concerns about this. Otherwise, I will go ahead and prepare a test
release so that interested users can try it out.
 "Package" here is used in the sense of upstream TeX Live. There are
about 2500 packages, which are organized into "collections". Cygwin
only ships complete collections. For example, there is currently no
supported way for a Cygwin user to install the 2up package without
installing the entire latexextra collection.
 Norbert is one of the lead TeX Live developers. He is the author of
tlmgr and is also Debian's TeX Live maintainer.