[OS X TeX] tlmgr

cfrees at imapmail.org cfrees at imapmail.org
Fri Oct 17 14:38:40 EDT 2008

On Fri 17th Oct, 2008 at 16:15, Peter Dyballa seems to have written:

> Am 17.10.2008 um 02:01 schrieb Dr. Clea F. Rees:
>> The MacTeX wiki currently recommends running:
>> 	sudo tlmgr update --all
>> Question: is there some reason to prefer this to:
>> 	sudo -H tlmgr update --all
> IMO the latter should be preferred, because it separates the system's setup 
> from some private one. At least in a multi-user environment it is the right 
> command.
> The latter would fail to integrate personal (private) font resources. In a 
> multi-user environment it's the correct (and legal) behaviour (because only 
> one person received the license to use the fonts).

Licence issues aside, if the fonts are in a personal tree they are not
available to other users. On the one hand, as somebody already pointed
out, that means they cannot be accessed so licensing restrictions may
not be an issue. On the other hand, whether the licences allow it or
not, other users won't have access even though the fonts will be listed
in the system-wide map files.

> It could also fail in a situation where RC files for the shell in /etc were 
> not updated. Then only the user has PATH set correctly (otherwise TeX would 
> not work) while the super-user would miss the component that points to the 
> TeX distribution's programmes.

Just using sudo -H rather than sudo won't do this. sudo -H will set
HOME to the home of the target user but it won't discard other parts of
the environment so PATH etc. will be inherited and, hence, correct
(assuming they are set correctly for the user issuing the command)
whether the files in /etc have been setup correctly or not.

> IMO it's worth to mention these details if not already done. The general 
> recommendation should IMO be "sudo -H ..." with a hint to leave out the -H 
> when the user is the only user and has some private commercial font licenses 
> acquired and these fonts installed in his or her private area.
> It might a good idea to document failures that happen particularly with 
> personal setups.

Or maybe the possibility. I don't know that it would be possible or
useful to document the actual failures as it seems there would be an
indefinite number and variety of these.

I've changed my sudo defaults to always use -H now because I keep
irritating myself by forgetting sudo doesn't alter HOME. This obviously
wouldn't be something I'd recommend generally.

It seems there may be no general recommendation that will work well for
everybody. I wonder about this:
1) Suggest
 	sudo -H
as the primary recommendation.
2) Suggest that users with fonts in their personal trees should use
if the sole user of the machine.
3) Note that such users may find some configuration files interfere
with the setup.

1) sudo -H seems more robust than sudo and is probably to be preferred
on machines with multiple users. Moreover, this option is most likely
to produce usable formats. In most cases, it is possible to typeset a
document with a different font but not to typeset it with a different
format. Thus, if a user ends up with something not functioning as a
result of following the default instructions, it would be better for
that to be a personal font than for it to be an entire format. (If I
have to switch back to CM, that's one thing; if I can't use latex,
that's quite another.)
2) Users with fonts in their personal trees are likely more experienced
than those without, on average, so better equipped to deal with
complications and to understand whether the alternative instruction
applies to them.
3) Such users should be aware of possible complications.

- cfr

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