can't build teTeX port in FreeBSD 8.2 amd64

Roland Smith rsmith at
Mon Jul 18 14:22:46 UTC 2011

On Mon, Jul 18, 2011 at 11:38:22AM +0200, Polytropon wrote:
> On Mon, 18 Jul 2011 10:19:13 +0100, Anton Shterenlikht wrote:
> > If you know of another tex project where teTeX fails,
> > please send me the details. I'm keen to patch
> > teTeX as far as possible with no major
> > changes to TDS, i.e. just adding or updating
> > a package.
> If TeXlive is (or becomes) "the LaTeX" (obsoleting teTeX),
> there should be a proper integration with the ports system,
> e. g. downloading the ISO and running the install scripts
> when you do "make install", and even pkg_add should be
> possible.

Because some other systems lack FreeBSD's excellent ports infrastructure,
TeXLive comes with its own package manager; tlmgr(1). Since this also manages
the configuration of TeXLive, it will probably be an awkward fit with ports.

Setting up a port for the complete install would be relatively
straightforward at the moment, I think. By default everything is installed
under /usr/local/texlive/<year>/

But trying to take over part of the functionality of tlmgr sound like a lot of
duplicated effort. If you think that the GhostScript port has a lot of
options, just check out the TeXLive install. :-)

My current TeXLive install currently has 1706 packages installed (as counted
by 'ls /usr/local/texlive/2010/tlpkg/tlpobj/|wc -l'). That is about three
times as much as the ~540 FreeBSD ports I have om my workstation now!

Trying to fit that all as ports into the ports tree and keep it up to date
would be a nightmare. IMHO it would be best _not_ to try and duplicate the
effort the TeXLive community has already put into it, but just use it as
installed by install-tl. If a port wants to check for spcific parts of
TeXLive, it could check the package list in

> Furthermore, there should be a way to define dependencies
> correctly, e. g. if you've already installed TeXlive, there's
> no obvious reason to also install teTeX - except some ports
> define it as a dependency. So maybe there could be a switch
> to define an override or a preference, e. g. in /etc/make.conf
> in a form of LATEX=TEXLIVE or LATEX=TETEX (with a reasonable
> default, maybe really =TEXLIVE), and ports depending on
> "some LaTeX" should honor this preference.

That sounds like a good idea.

> Even with our endless hard disks, some users do not see it
> as "good practice" to install two functionally nearly
> identical software packages. :-)


> I'm writing this as a long-term teTeX user.

I switched in 2007 because the packages in teTeX were falling behind. IMHO it
would be a wasted effort to try and keep teTeX alive when everybody else has
abandoned it.

There are a lot of changes coming to TeX land (while keeping compatibility
with older TeX implementations.)

- PDF is now the standard output format; i.e. the standard (La)TeX is actually
- The next major revision of pdfTeX will be LuaTeX, and include the Lua
  programming language. Since the internals of TeX will be exposed to Lua
  this will make the writing of packages much less painfull.
- MetaPost will be available to LuaTeX as a library
- LuaTeX assumes utf-8 input.
- The Latin Modern fonts are a complete implementation (and enhancement) of
  the Computer Modern fonts in OpenType format. 
- OpenType fonts will mean a dramatic simplification of the font handling for
  (La)TeX. This will make the use of all fonts installed on the system
  easier.(See e.g. the LaTeX fontspec package)

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