The TeX Live installer

This is the installation program of the TeX Live distribution.

The installation procedure is simple: just go through the menus until you are happy with the way all options are set up, and then do <I> (start installation).

To select a menu item (a letter or a number marked with brackets) just enter the corresponding letter or number and press return (the letters are case insensitive except when collections are being selected). Do not enter the angle brackets <> themselves.

We will now consider each menu item in more detail:

The binary systems menu (<B>)

The systems menu allows you to select and deselect the binary packages for various different platforms. You cannot install Unix binaries on Windows but vice versa.

The schemes menu (<S>)

You can choose from a number of different installation schemes for TeX Live. Selecting one of these selects some collections in the Collections and Languages lists which you can subsequently modify.

The collections menu (<C>)

The collections menu allows you to select and deselect standard collections. Each collection — TeX macro files, Metafont font families, and so on — consists of several packages.

More than one collection can be selected/deselected at the same time.

The language collections menu (<L>)

The language collections menu allows you to select and deselect language support collections. Each collection consists of several packages, which provide features like hyphenation files and fonts.

More than one collection can be selected/deselected at the same time.

The directories menu (<D>)

The TeX Live distribution will be installed in a single directory tree (TEXDIR). You may choose any directory you like since there are no absolute paths compiled into the binaries. Instead, the Kpathsea library selfdir feature ensures that all paths are relative to the plocation of the binaries.

The platform independent files are stored in a directory tree in TEXDIR/texmf. There are also extra directories for performing administrative tasks like change of configuration and languages. They default to TEXDIR/texmf-var and TEXDIR/texmf-config.

This system allows you to mount your TEXDIR/texmf tree read-only.

The options menu (<O>)

The options are not applicable to all installations. Set them as appropriate for yours.

use letter size instead of a4 by default

You can choose letter as the default paper size for some programs.

create all format files

If this option is set, format files are created for system-wide use by the installer. Otherwise they are will be created automatically when needed.

In the latter case format files are stored in user's directory trees and in some cases have to be re-created when new packages are installed.

install doc or source trees

Normally all packages are installed with the source and documentation, but these are not needed to actually run the software. If you are installing a system for other people, it would be unfriendly to select these options; if you know what you are doing and need a minimal disk footprint, go ahead

symlinks in standard directories (UNIX only)

You can make the binaries, man pages, and info files available on your system in either (or both) of two ways:
  1. install them in standard places that are searched for these files
  2. change your search paths to include the new directories
If you select the symlinks option, symbolic links will be installed in the directories you choose. Note that if you share the TeX Live installation accross several machines across NFS and if the chosen standard places are not shared, you need to create the symbolic links on each client, too (or use method 2 on your clients).

If you do not use the symlinks option, you probably need to set up your search paths (PATH, MANPATH, INFOPATH).

Install for running from DVD (<V>)

This option sets up a minimal setup which allows TeX Live to be run directly from the DVD.

A few directories on the hard disk have to be created for files created by the TeX system itsef and for modified configuration files. Please change TEXDIRW first in the directories menu <D>.