[OS X TeX] Installing unstable packages

Ross Moore ross.moore at mq.edu.au
Thu Feb 17 16:24:20 EST 2011

Hi Pete, and others.

Sent from my iPad

On 18/02/2011, at 5:01 AM, Peter Dyballa <Peter_Dyballa at Web.DE> wrote:

> Am 17.02.2011 um 17:38 schrieb Theo Moore:
>> [1] Is there a (painless) way to install both and use one or the other
>> when the situation demands? I have lots of documents that use
>> pgfplots, so it wouldn't be nice if installing the newer, unstable
>> version somehow begins producing errors in the older documents.
> You have to install it outside the area tlmgr manages. The possibly best option (I did not read the other suggestions) is to install in /usr/local/texlive/texmf-local. You need "elevated privileges", and again to switch it off and on. And therefore, for this ability and simplicity, I recommend system-wide.
> How does the switch work?
> By presenting TeX the proper /usr/local/texlive/texmf-local/ls-R file.
> How to build the switch?
> After installation of the package *and* before you run "sudo texhash /usr/local/texlive/texmf-local" you need to save the old /usr/local/texlive/texmf-local/ls-R file: "sudo mv /usr/local/texlive/texmf-local/ls-R /usr/local/texlive/texmf-local/ls-R-off". Now run texhash/mktexlsr.
> How to switch on/off?
> After you've run texhash the unstable package is "on": TeX will find its components in the ls-R file. To switch it off execute this: "sudo mv /usr/local/texlive/texmf-local/ls-R /usr/local/texlive/texmf-local/ls-R-on ;  sudo mv /usr/local/texlive/texmf-local/ls-R-off /usr/local/texlive/texmf-local/ls-R", to switch it on: "sudo mv /usr/local/texlive/texmf-local/ls-R /usr/local/texlive/texmf-local/ls-R-off ;  sudo mv /usr/local/texlive/texmf-local/ls-R-on /usr/local/texlive/texmf-local/ls-R"!

Ugh. But if you put these commands into a script, then it becomes more elegant.

I handle large package updates in a way that is conceptually easier, using the access privileges of the folders. First ensure that the directory has a unique name.
e.g.  .../texmf/tex/latex/hyperref   might become   .../texmf/tex/latex/hyperref-v68f
so you can update with a newer  .../texmf/tex/latex/hyperref-v73a.
(fill in the ... as appropriate, and  sudo mv   to change a folder name using a command-line)

Now to disable the older version, again use the command-line:
   pushd  .../texmf/tex/latex/
   sudo chmod a-rx hyperref-v68f
   sudo texhash

Now the contents of the disabled directory will not be listed in the  ls-R  file.
Thus TeX-based programs find the later version, not the earlier one.

To reenable a version, use  chmod a+rx  on the directory, and disable the currently active one, then follow with another  sudo texhash . 

This becomes cumbersome when the files for a package reside in folders at different parts of the  texmf/  tree (e.g. beamer styles) but mostly not many of those files change at all, so in practice it is not a big deal. You just need to be aware of what you are doing, and why.

> Will it work?
> Not always, I presume... The problem comes from tlmgr: after installation of some software it will run texhash/mktexlsr. Without arguments:
> -rw-r--r-- 1 root wheel  146656 17. Feb 18:44 /usr/local/texlive/texmf-local/ls-R
> -rw-r--r-- 1 root wheel     104 17. Feb 18:44 /usr/local/texlive/2010/texmf-config/ls-R
> -rw-r--r-- 1 root wheel 1071017 17. Feb 18:45 /usr/local/texlive/2010/texmf-dist/ls-R
> -rw-r--r-- 1 root wheel    1679 17. Feb 18:45 /usr/local/texlive/2010/texmf-var/ls-R
> -rw-r--r-- 1 root wheel   27933 17. Feb 18:44 /usr/local/texlive/2010/texmf/ls-R
> So the file /usr/local/texlive/texmf-local/ls-R will be overwritten with the on-contents. To prevent this from happening you can build the switch this way:
> Save the off state as before and after "sudo texhash /usr/local/texlive/texmf-local" was run save the ls-R file  (on state) as: "sudo cp /usr/local/texlive/texmf-local/ls-R /usr/local/texlive/texmf-local/ls-R-on". To operate the switch don't mv (rename) the files but copy the appropriate one:
> To switch on:  sudo cp /usr/local/texlive/texmf-local/ls-R-on  /usr/local/texlive/texmf-local/ls-R
> To switch off: sudo cp /usr/local/texlive/texmf-local/ls-R-off /usr/local/texlive/texmf-local/ls-R
> So tlmgr will update only a copy and no original. Before using the original PGFplot you should actively switch off the unstable installation.
> --
> Greetings
>  Pete

Hope this helps,


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