[OS X TeX] Getting started with tlmgr

Herbert Schulz herbs at wideopenwest.com
Thu Dec 4 23:04:12 EST 2008

On Dec 4, 2008, at 9:48 PM, Gary L. Gray wrote:

> On Dec 4, 2008, at 7:54 PM, Herbert Schulz wrote:
>> Howdy,
>> As part of TeX Live 2008 (and therefore MacTeX 2008) there is a CLI  
>> program called tlmgr which can be used to update the TeX  
>> distribution. Unfortunately the first version of tlmgr, as supplied  
>> in the present MacTeX 2008, has some bugs and needs to be updated  
>> before using it to update the distribution.
>> Attached is a short document to get you started with tlmgr as  
>> supplied in MacTeX 2008 and BasicTeX 2008. It gives instructions  
>> for setting up and updating tlmgr and then gives a bit of  
>> information on the simplest way to get all available updates to the  
>> distribution. There is more information on use found in a document  
>> that came with MacTeX 2008 in /Applications/TeX/Utilities/.
>> <TlmgrMacTeX.pdf>
> Thanks Herb. When I ran the first command:
> sudo tlmgr option location http://mirror.ctan.org/systems/texlive/tlnet/2008
> I got:
> sudo: tlmgr: command not found
> which is very odd since I have messed with the command before,  
> though it has been some weeks. I never did tell it to install  
> anything, but it did exist.
> -- Gary


Do you remember what command you told tlmgr to execute? In reality  
tlmgr is a symlink to tlmgr.pl, a Perl script. Look at a previous  
message in this thread about that.

One way to solve the problem is to force an update using the .sh  
script found in the Disaster Recovery section at <http://www.tug.org/texlive/tlmgr.html 
 >. You'll have to make it executable and then execute it in Terminal.

I haven't been able to get a handle on why there seem to be a few  
failures yet. I'd guess that in all those cases tlmgr was previously  
run but doing something locally (like setting paper type) shouldn't do  
that. In many cases when an update attempt was done incorrectly the  
symlink was deleted; the initial tlmgr tended to delete things before  
trying to download and a failure was a disaster among other problems.

You might try using '/usr/local/texlive/2008/texmf/scripts/texlive/'  
instead of just tlmgr in the command. That bypasses the symlink. You  
can check to see if tlmgr.pl actually exists along that path.

Please keep us informed on any progress.

Maybe I should add information on disaster recovery in the document.  

Good Luck,

Herb Schulz
(herbs at wideopenwest dot com)

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