TeX Live - Unix TeX on a CDROM

The TeX Users Group, the UK TeX Users Group and the French TeX Users Group (GUTenberg), in collaboration with members of other groups and helpful individuals, have produced a plug-and-play CD-ROM of Thomas Esser's teTeX distribution, based on Karl Berry's Web2c. Its support tree adheres to the TDS (TeX Directory Structure) tree structure

The CD-ROM was officially launched on May 29th in Nanterre (Paris), where GUTenberg organized a seminar on TeX distributions, with Thomas Esser as keynote speaker.

  1. Supported Unix systems
  2. The contents of the CD
  3. How to buy the CD
  4. Known bugs and problems

The contents of the CD

The support tree includes the complete LaTeX December 1995, patch level 2 release, all tools and most of the contributed packages on CTAN; format files are provided with the appropriate hyphenation patterns for around 20 languages; other formats include alatex, amstex, blue, eplain, lollipop, physsx, psizzl, and text1. Other sets of miscellaneous macros are also included. Font families include CM, DC 1.2, TC, AMS, Euler, Concrete, and the complete set of PostScript metrics from CTAN.

Source material for all packages, fonts and programs is on the CD.

Documentation is available in at least one (and often all) of dvi, HTML and PDF.

It may help potential purchasers to see the top level structure of the CD:


Presently Unix executables for the following platform/operating system combinations are included:

As the CD-ROM uses the ISO 9660 standard, the platform-independent files can, in principle, be read on all operating systems which are compatible with that format. To preserve the complete Unix/POSIX file system information the file tree was recorded with the Rock Ridge extensions, so that long filenames are honored. Some operating systems, most notably MS-DOS, do not support these extensions, so that only the ISO 9660 filenames are used, but with this limitation, the files are readable on all systems.

Buying the CD

The CD can be purchased from the TeX Users Group, or the local user groups in the UK, France and the Netherlands. In all cases the cost includes postage and packing.

Worldwide: TUG

TUG can supply the CD in the USA for 20 dollars (members) or 40 dollars (non-members). Orders outside the USA will cost extra for postage - contact us for details. Send orders to:
Patricia Monohon, TUG
1850 Union St., Suite 1637 
San Francisco, CA 94123 USA
Tel:    +1 415 982 8449
Fax:    +1 415 982 8559


The price to members is 15 pounds and 25 pounds to non members in the UK. This price includes a voucher for 5 pounds redeemable against the next release of this, or other, TeX CDs sold by UKTUG. Members means UKTUG or other TUG related organisation. For Europe the prices are 2 pounds higher. We hope soon to have a bank account where European currencies are accepted. Send orders to:
Peter Abbott
1 Eymore Close, Selly Oak 
Birmingham B29 4LB, England 
Fax/Tel: +44 0121 476 2159 
Treasurer and Membership Secretary, UKTUG email Peter.Abbott@tex.ac.uk Phone 0121 476 2159 Fax 0121 476 2159 ---------------------------------------------------------

France: GUTenberg

GUTenberg will sell the CD to members only for 100 francs. Send orders to:
Association GUTenberg 
Groupe francophone des Utilisateurs de TeX 
BP 10 
F-93220 Gagny principal, France
Tel:    +33 1 30 87 06 25
Fax:    +33 1 44 32 20 80
E-mail: gut@irisa.fr

Netherlands: NTG

The NTG will sell the CD to their members for Hfl 35. and to non-members for Hfl 70. Money can be transferred to NTG, Postbank (giro) account number 1306238, Eindhoven. `Real money' (or cheque, VISA, Master/Eurocard info) should be sent to NTG, PO Box 394, 1740 AJ Schagen, The Netherlands.

Known problems with the TeXLive CD

The CD TeX Live was prepared over a period of 4 months, with as much care and testing as we could devise. Inevitably, however, we made some slip ups, for which we apologize profusely. We are aware at this time of the following problems:

  1. Using the system on operating systems which do not see Rock Ridge extensions;
  2. A bug in one of the installation scripts;
  3. A bad executable for virtex in the DEC Ultrix setup.
  4. tar problems
  5. A typo in the xdvi shell script
  6. A recursive, useless, allcm script
Solutions are described below. Please send details of any other problems that you have, or any fixes you find, so that this page can be updated.

Using the CD on non-Rock Ridge systems

The CD is in ISO 9660 (High Sierra) format, with Rock Ridge extensions. In order to take full advantage of the CD on a Unix system, your system needs to be able to use the Rock Ridge extensions. Please consult the documentation for your mount command to see if it is possible. If not, there are two alternatives:

  1. If you have several different machines on a local network, see if you can mount the CD on one which does support Rock Ridge, and use it from the others;
  2. We have written some new installation scripts for systems which can only mount the CD as a pure ISO 9660 file system. These are still being worked on, but the first versions are on CTAN in info/texlive
Linux, FreeBSD, Sun, SGI and DEC Alpha systems should be able to use the CD with no problems. We would appreciate receiving detailed advice from other system users who also succeed, for future versions of this documentation.

Michael Marxmeier (mike@msede.com) informs us that while HP-UX does not support the Rock Ridge extensions, they have a licensed a 3rd party solution called pfs (portable file system) which can be downloaded free of charge from HP. pts is a user-mode solution and needs no kernel modification or patch. Quoting from a HP WWW page:

Portable File System (PFS) is Now Available and Supported by HP

The Portable File System (PFS) CD-ROM driver from Young Minds, Inc. that supports Rock Ridge, High Sierra and ISO 9660 formatted CD-ROM discs, is now available and supported by HP for HP-UX 9.*. This is the software that will allow you to convert upper-case characters to their native "lower case".

If you have an operating system software support contract with HP, you should be able to find the unlocked PFS code on the DART application CDs begining with DART 25 - released in October 1995.

For HP-UX 10.* users, PFS will become a part of the core operating system with the release of HP-UX 10.10.

If you are a HP-UX 9.* user in need of PFS, but don't currently receive the DART releases described above, the PFS software can be obtained off the World Wide Web.

The README file includes instructions on how to download the Portable File System (PFS) Driver (860kb).

The URLs are: * ftp://ftp.hp.com/pub/demos/grfxdemos/pfs/README
* ftp://ftp.hp.com/pub/demos/grfxdemos/pfs/pfs.tar.Z

A bug in the package install script

Yes, we screwed this one up. Get a fresh copy of *install-pkg.sh and run with the -cddir option.

A bad copy of virtex

The copy of virtex in bin/mips-ultrix4.4 is rubbish. You can extract a clean copy from teTeX-distrib/binaries/mips-ultrix4.4.tar.gz on the CD as teteX/bin/mips-ultrix4.4/virtex, or *here

MakTeXTeXlocaltree permissions

Copying from CD to disk preserves the permissions, so we end up with xdvi/XDvi in mode 444. A safe course to follow is
  chmod -R u+w `kpsexpand '$TEXMFLOCAL'`
after running MakeTeXlocaltree

Tar on SGI and possibly other systems

We made some assumptions about tar which are not true on all systems. If you get bizarre errors about trying to access /dev/tape or the like, you can do one of two things
  1. Install GNU tar on your system, and make sure it is found before the system tar
  2. Copy the install-ch.sh script from the cd, and replace the tar options of -c -f - with cf - (if you dont understand why or how, do not do it). Then call the script with the -cddir option

A typo in xdvi

Each bin directory has a shell script called xdvi. There is a typo in this. The line
should read
The fix is to edit the script, if you have installed it locally, or copy the script to a directory on your PATH before the CDROM and edit it there.

The allcm script

The allcm script in the bin directories contains the statement
exec allcm -dc "$@"
which is recursive....

Copy the correct version from bin/share. directory on the CDROM.

Author: Sebastian Rahtz.

Last modified: October 3rd 1996.

Please send comments by email to s.rahtz@elsevier.co.uk