Getting tlmgr working

Jerry jerry at
Mon Sep 16 11:59:44 UTC 2013

On Mon, 16 Sep 2013 08:26:09 +0200
Roland Smith articulated:

> On Sun, Sep 15, 2013 at 06:04:03PM -0400, Jerry wrote:
> > Has there been any movement on getting "tlmgr" working on FreeBSD?
> > The inability to get and install updates is annoying.
> Basically there are two ways of dealing with TeXLive;
> 1) Install it from ports. This also means using ports to update it.
> 2) Use the TeXLive installer to install it. In this case you can use
> tlmgr to update it.
> I've used method 2 since 2007, and that has worked fine for me.

The problem is that the ports system is not keeping individual TeXLive
packages. I primarily use TeXLive on an MS Windows system where it runs
faster and is easier to maintain then on FreeBSD. There is an old
adage, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Unfortunately, in the case of
"tlmgr", they failed to pay heed to that advice. The ports system is
not keeping individual TeXLive packages updated. Besides, using a big,
complex system like the FreeBSD ports system to keep the individual
packages of a single program, in this case TeXLive, updated when the
program supplies its own mechanism for doing so, is just another failed
attempt at reinventing the wheel. As my deceased grandmother would say
when she witnessed something incredibly stupid being done, "What the
hell were they thinking?" There area also a slew of other ports that
fail to install if the system is configured to run TeXLive. When they
will get that problem solved is anyone's guess. The bottom line is the
port and all of the assorted problems with it and other ports it
affects were not resolved prior to its release. At the very least, a
nice large warning banner should have been displayed when the port was
first installed clearly listing all of the known problems and side
effects of the port.

However, that is just my 2¢.

Jerry ♔

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