Pretesting TeX Live
All of the TeX Live community greatly appreciates all testing of TeX
Live before the official release. The more people who test in advance,
the better the final release can be. It is also the best opportunity to
influence and improve the behavior of TL.
So please try it if you like, but not with the expectation that
“everything should work perfectly” (it won't), but rather
“I'll try this out and see if I can help improve it”. As
distributed, the pretest will not interfere with any existing
installations of TeX.
On this page: downloading
You can retrieve the pretest files from one of
these hosts: copy-paste an http or ftp url when running the
installer directly, or use an rsync url for mirroring, as described
below. (Our thanks to these sites for making their space and bandwidth
You can either do a network installation of TL or mirror the whole
The pretest build runs nightly, ending around 5am Paris time unless
something goes wrong. The mirror hosts should all be up to date within
a couple of hours after that.
After downloading as above, you can run the script
install-tl (Unix) or install-tl-windows.bat (Windows)
or install-tl-advanced.bat (Windows) to perform the
installation. We just use install-tl as the command name in
- install-tl -repository location -gui text for text
(command line) mode; this is the default on Unix.
- install-tl -repository location -gui wizard for a
maximally simplified GUI installation asking only the minimal
questions; this is the default on Windows.
- install-tl -repository location -gui perltk for
advanced/expert GUI installation with the usual array of options;
requires Perl/Tk (shipped with TL
on Windows, must be installed independently on Unix).
If you are performing a network installation, the pretest repository
location from which to install must be specified, as shown in
these examples (see downloading above for the
location urls). The location must be an ftp or http url (not
But in the case of installing from your own mirrored repository, you
should omit -repository location from the given command
For information on all of the installer options, run
install-tl --help, or see the install-tl documentation page.
After a successful installation, please first try simple test
documents, such as latex small2e and
pdflatex sample2e. If that works, even
more useful is to try your real-life documents, to check that they still
work as expected.
After a successful installation, you can update from the
tlpretest repository using tlmgr from
time to time, if you wish. In the event of unusually drastic changes
during the pretest you may have to reinstall.
Please email bug reports, suggestions, comments on TeX Live itself
(the installation process, tlmgr, etc.) to email@example.com (archive). Bugs about
specific packages should be reported to the package maintainers; TeX
Live's basic job is to install (some of) what is on CTAN, not make
changes on top of it. Resources for general
questions and help using TeX are available separately.
TeX Live documentation and translations are not
yet fully updated. Meanwhile, aside from the pervasive updates to new
releases of packages and programs, here is a terse list of major
- luatex (full LuaTeX news)
- More callbacks, more typesetting control, more access to internals; ffi library added on some platforms.
- pdftex (full pdfTeX news)
- Environment variable SOURCE_DATE_EPOCH_TEX_PRIMITIVES from
last year renamed to FORCE_SOURCE_DATE, with no changes in
functionality; if the \pdfpageattr token list contains the
string /MediaBox, omit output of the default
- xetex (full XeTeX news)
- Unicode/OpenType math now based on HarfBuzz's MATH table support;
small bug fixes (development
- dvips (full dvips news)
- Make last papersize special win, for consistency with dvipdfmx and package expectations; the
-L0 option or L0 config setting restores the previous
behavior of the first special winning.
- New primitives \pdfuniformdeviate,
\pdfresettimer, from pdfTeX.
- As of this year, only MacOSX releases for which Apple still releases
security patches will be supported in MacTeX, under the platform name
x86_64-darwin; currently this means Yosemite, El Capitan, and
Sierra (10.10 and newer). Binaries for older MacOSX versions are not
included in MacTeX, but are still available in TL
- The TEXMFLOCAL tree is now searched before TEXMFSYSCONFIG and
TEXMFSYSVAR (as distributed); the hope is that this will better match
expectations of local files overriding system files.
- tlmgr has a new action shell for interactive and
scripted use, and a new action conf auxtrees to
easily add and remove extra trees, e.g., for testing.
- Personal paths are now set to MacTeX values (~/Library/...)
by default on Macs.
New option -init-from-profile to start an installation with the
values from a given profile; new command P to explicitly save a
profile; new profile variable names (but previous ones are still accepted).
- updmap and fmtutil
- These scripts now give a warning when invoked without explicitly
specifying either so-called system mode (updmap-sys,
fmtutil-sys, or option -sys), or user mode
(updmap-user, fmtutil-user, or option -user).
The hope is that this will reduce the perennial problem of invoking user
mode by accident and thus losing future system updates. Details and documentation.
- Other utilities
- SyncTeX: the temporary file name now looks like
foo.synctex(busy), intead of foo.synctex.gz(busy)
(no .gz). Front ends and build systems that want to remove
temp files may need adjusting.
- texosquery-jre8 is a
new cross-platform program for retrieving locale and other OS
information from a TeX document; it is included in
shell_escape_commands by default for restricted shell
execution. (Older JRE versions are supported by texosquery, but cannot
be enabled in restricted mode, as they are no longer supported by
Oracle, even for security issues.)
- See MacTeX entry above; no other changes.
If you discover other changes that should be noted, please report them.
Such documentation improvements are among the most important things
pretesters can help with.
$Date: 2017/05/13 22:50:20 $;