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Date:      Thu, 11 Oct 2012 06:39:00 -0500
From:      Antonio Olivares <>
To:        Polytropon <>
Cc:        FreeBSD Questions <>
Subject:   Re: freebsd-texlive port
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <>
References:  <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

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On Wed, Oct 10, 2012 at 5:03 PM, Polytropon <> wrote:
> On Wed, 10 Oct 2012 21:32:43 +0100, Jamie Paul Griffin wrote:
>> I imagine it would be a lot of work to integrate it into the ports
>> system not to mention it would take an age to compile it.
>> There has been a lot of work done by developers to provide
>> binaries for FreeBSD with the main texlive distribution so it's not
>> necessary to integrate into the ports system. What would be nice is if
>> certain ports that require a tex distribution can be used with the
>> texlive distribution that available from already.
>> Projects like Macports have been able to do this, if this became
>> possible for FreeBSD ports then it would be great.
> While I see clear advantages in TeXlive being a "self-integrated
> distribution of software", it doesn't really fit the idea of the
> ports collection, which is a means to _centrally_ compile,
> install (or fetch from precompiled packages from a trusted
> source), patch, update or remove software by using system
> tools (the pkg_* commands) or additional utilities (like
> portmaster, portupgrade etc.). Having all the software bring
> their own distribution system, web-based obtaining and their
> own "micro-updating" mechanism (inside the software itself)
> looks a bit outdated.
> Allow me to share my inspiration: What I primarily like about
> the ports infrastructure is the fact that it combines several
> tasks done to (or with) software by a standardized interface,
> not distributing those tasks across the software itself. I can
> use pkg_add, portmaster, "make install", even all of them,
> and I don't even have to launch a web browser to search for
> or manually download software. I also do not have to deal with
> "micro-management" systems which is different from port to port.
> All ports "talk the same language", e. g. "make deinstall" does
> deinstall the port, no matter _which_ port I choose.
> I would really like to see TeXlive being available maybe as a
> precompiled package (for use with pkg_add) so it can easily be
> installed without actually fetching it from a "non-system"
> source. Dependencies requesting a TeX package should honor
> either _which_ TeX is already installed (teTeX or TeXlive)
> or look at a configuration setting, for example WITH_TEX= in
> /etc/make.conf, as I suggested. That could deliver a relatively
> easy integration.
> Not relying on 3rd party sources is a great advantage. If you
> use Java, you know what I'm refering to. Go to the web and
> download it to distfiles/, then resume the build... :-)
> For building TeXlive: Some people intendedly _want_ to build
> the stuff they use from source. Others are fine if "make install"
> fetches some binaries somewhere and installs them (for example
> this is what "make install" means for the Opera web browser in
> the first place). Such a "binary distribution" would be easy
> to implement, even though it might be quite huge (but that
> could be changed by stripping all non-FreeBSD parts from
> TeXlive). Still I see the "problem" of TeXlive's own package
> management system. Integrating _that_ with subports (or
> havving TeXlive as a metaport) doesn't look easy.
> As I don't need any feature of TeXlive, I'm _currently_ still
> using teTeX because it does everything I need. But I agree
> that TeXlive will be regarded _the_ TeX distribution in the
> future, leaving teTeX in the past...
> --

The efforts by Romain Tartiere should not go unnoticed.  For many
years now, he has a port to texlive:

It works with the FreeBSD tools that you mention and it updates the
packages using the FreeBSD infrastructure.  It happens that many
people install texlive through the dvd and make several changes so
that the tetex binaries do not get called on.

I have the freebsd-texlive port installed and it works beautifully.  I
can typeset books which require it.  I also use KerTeX,

 which is smaller and also works great in its own right.   What is

For many users kerTeX would do the job for many texing/latexing needs.
 However for bigger jobs, i.e, bigger books with many style files, &
bigger macros then texlive is needed.  TeTeX does work well for many
things, but it is *NOT MAINTAINED, NOT UPDATED* despite the efforts of
some people and packages like tikz don't work well *unless you can
patch things up in the tex structure to make them work*.

My $0.02



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