Running TeXLive 2017 on Windows from NFS at CERN (latest update 2 August 2017)

The TeXLive 2017 distribution allows one to run LaTeX and friends in (almost) the same way on all systems (in command line mode).

The win32 version of the executables has been installed on the Nice system and can be accessed as explained next.

Getting access to TeXLive 2017 on Windows 7 (32 bits)

The win32 version of the executables can be accessed by introducing the directory where they reside (g:\experiments\sw\texlive\2017\bin\win32;) in your user path variable (or system path variable, although that is not recommended). The procedure is the following:

  1. Open the Control Panel (choose View by: Small icons).
  2. Select System.
  3. Choose Advanced system settings (labelled 1 in figure).
  4. Click the Environment Variables button (labelled 2 in figure).
  5. In the upper part of the Environment Variables panel (User variables for ..., where ... is the identifier of the logged-in user locate the path variable (labelled 3 in figure) and edit it (Edit... button, labelled 4 in figure).
  6. In the Edit User Variable panel that popped up add the string g:\experiments\sw\texlive\2017\bin\win32; at the beginning (i.e., hit the Home button before entering the above string in the Variable value field). Then hit the OK button (labelled 5 in figure).
  7. Click the OK button as many times as necessary to close all relevant panels (in principle three times should be all right to come back to the System panel, which you then can close, as well as the Control Panel itself.

On Windows 7 the layout is as shown below.

Checking your LaTeX installation

To test the setup we shall run pdflatex, xelatex, and lualatex on the LaTeX test file sample2e.tex, that comes with the LaTeX distribution. In order to run these programs, open a new command prompt window and enter the following commands (prefixed with C:\Users\goossens>):

C:\Users\goossens> pdflatex sample2e
This is pdfTeX, Version 3.14159265-2.6-1.40.18 (TeX Live 2017/W32TeX) (preloade format=pdflatex)
 restricted \write18 enabled.
entering extended mode
(g:/Experiments/sw/TeXLive/2017/texmf-dist/tex/latex/base/sample2e.tex
LaTeX2e <2017-04-15>
Babel <3.10> and hyphenation patterns for 84 language(s) loaded.
(g:/Experiments/sw/TeXLive/2017/texmf-dist/tex/latex/base/article.cls
Document Class: article 2014/09/29 v1.4h Standard LaTeX document class
(g:/Experiments/sw/TeXLive/2017/texmf-dist/tex/latex/base/size10.clo))
No file sample2e.aux.
(g:/Experiments/sw/TeXLive/2017/texmf-dist/tex/latex/base/omscmr.fd)
[1{g:/Experiments/sw/TeXLive/2017/texmf-var/fonts/map/pdftex/updmap/pdftex.map}]
[2] [3] (./sample2e.aux) )
<g:/Experiments/sw/TeXLive/2017/texmf-dist/fonts/type1/public/amsfonts/cm/cmbx12.pfb>
<g:/Experiments/sw/TeXLive/2017/texmf-dist/fonts/type1/public/amsfonts/cm/cmex10.pfb>
<g:/Experiments/sw/TeXLive/2017/texmf-dist/fonts/type1/public/amsfonts/cm/cmmi10.pfb>
<g:/Experiments/sw/TeXLive/2017/texmf-dist/fonts/type1/public/amsfonts/cm/cmmi7.pfb>
<g:/Experiments/sw/TeXLive/2017/texmf-dist/fonts/type1/public/amsfonts/cm/cmr10.pfb>
<g:/Experiments/sw/TeXLive/2017/texmf-dist/fonts/type1/public/amsfonts/cm/cmr12.pfb>
<g:/Experiments/sw/TeXLive/2017/texmf-dist/fonts/type1/public/amsfonts/cm/cmr17.pfb>
<g:/Experiments/sw/TeXLive/2017/texmf-dist/fonts/type1/public/amsfonts/cm/cmr6.pfb>
<g:/Experiments/sw/TeXLive/2017/texmf-dist/fonts/type1/public/amsfonts/cm/cmr7.pfb>
<g:/Experiments/sw/TeXLive/2017/texmf-dist/fonts/type1/public/amsfonts/cm/cmr8.pfb>
<g:/Experiments/sw/TeXLive/2017/texmf-dist/fonts/type1/public/amsfonts/cm/cmsy10.pfb>
<g:/Experiments/sw/TeXLive/2017/texmf-dist/fonts/type1/public/amsfonts/cm/cmsy7.pfb>
<g:/Experiments/sw/TeXLive/2017/texmf-dist/fonts/type1/public/amsfonts/cm/cmti10.pfb>
Output written on sample2e.pdf (3 pages, 136715 bytes).
Transcript written on sample2e.log.

C:\Users\goossens> xelatex sample2e
This is XeTeX, Version 3.14159265-2.6-0.99998 (TeX Live 2017/W32TeX)
(preloaded format=xelatex)
 restricted \write18 enabled.
entering extended mode
(g:/Experiments/sw/TeXLive/2017/texmf-dist/tex/latex/base/sample2e.tex
LaTeX2e <2017-04-15>
Babel <3.10> and hyphenation patterns for 84 language(s) loaded.
(g:/Experiments/sw/TeXLive/2017/texmf-dist/tex/latex/base/article.cls
Document Class: article 2014/09/29 v1.4h Standard LaTeX document class
(g:/Experiments/sw/TeXLive/2017/texmf-dist/tex/latex/base/size10.clo)) (./sample2e.aux)
[1] [2] [3] (./sample2e.aux) )
Output written on sample2e.pdf (3 pages).
Transcript written on sample2e.log.

C:\Users\goossens> lualatex sample2e
This is LuaTeX, Version 1.0.4 (TeX Live 2017/W32TeX)
 restricted system commands enabled.
(g:/Experiments/sw/TeXLive/2017/texmf-dist/tex/latex/base/sample2e.tex
LaTeX2e <2017-04-15>
(using cache: g:/Experiments/sw/TeXLive/2017/texmf-var/luatex-cache/generic)
luaotfload | main : initialization completed in 0.209 seconds
Babel <3.10> and hyphenation patterns for 1 language(s) loaded.
(g:/Experiments/sw/TeXLive/2017/texmf-dist/tex/latex/base/article.cls
Document Class: article 2014/09/29 v1.4h Standard LaTeX document class
(g:/Experiments/sw/TeXLive/2017/texmf-dist/tex/latex/base/size10.clo
(load luc: g:/Experiments/sw/TeXLive/2017/texmf-var/luatex-cache/generic/fonts/otl/lmroman10-regular.luc)))
(./sample2e.aux)
(save: g:/Experiments/sw/TeXLive/2017/texmf-var/luatex-cache/generic/fonts/otl/lmroman17-regular.lua)
(save: g:/Experiments/sw/TeXLive/2017/texmf-var/luatex-cache/generic/fonts/otl/lmroman17-regular.luc)
(save: g:/Experiments/sw/TeXLive/2017/texmf-var/luatex-cache/generic/fonts/otl/lmroman12-regular.lua)
(save: g:/Experiments/sw/TeXLive/2017/texmf-var/luatex-cache/generic/fonts/otl/lmroman12-regular.luc
(save: g:/Experiments/sw/TeXLive/2017/texmf-var/luatex-cache/generic/fonts/otl/lmroman12-bold.lua)
(save: g:/Experiments/sw/TeXLive/2017/texmf-var/luatex-cache/generic/fonts/otl/lmroman12-bold.luc)
(save: g:/Experiments/sw/TeXLive/2017/texmf-var/luatex-cache/generic/fonts/otl/lmroman7-regular.lua)
(save: g:/Experiments/sw/TeXLive/2017/texmf-var/luatex-cache/generic/fonts/otl/lmroman7-regular.luc)
(save: g:/Experiments/sw/TeXLive/2017/texmf-var/luatex-cache/generic/fonts/otl/lmroman10-italic.lua)
(save: g:/Experiments/sw/TeXLive/2017/texmf-var/luatex-cache/generic/fonts/otl/lmroman10-italic.luc)
[1{g:/Experiments/sw/TeXLive/2017/texmf-var/fonts/map/pdftex/updmap/pdftex.map}]
(load luc: g:/Experiments/sw/TeXLive/2017/texmf-var/luatex-cache/generic/fonts/otl/lmroman8-regular.luc)
(save: g:/Experiments/sw/TeXLive/2017/texmf-var/luatex-cache/generic/fonts/otl/lmroman6-regular.lua)
(save: g:/Experiments/sw/TeXLive/2017/texmf-var/luatex-cache/generic/fonts/otl/lmroman6-regular.luc)
[2] [3] (./sample2e.aux))
 368 words of node memory still in use:
   2 hlist, 1 vlist, 1 rule, 3 glue, 5 attribute, 45 glue_spec, 5 attribute_list, 1 write nodes
   avail lists: 2:224,3:69,4:11,5:202,6:2141,7:538,8:14,9:99,10:7,11:148
<g:/Experiments/sw/TeXLive/2017/texmf-dist/fonts/opentype/public/lm/lmroman8-regular.otf>
<g:/Experiments/sw/TeXLive/2017/texmf-dist/fonts/opentype/public/lm/lmroman6-regular.otf>
<g:/Experiments/sw/TeXLive/2017/texmf-dist/fonts/opentype/public/lm/lmroman10-italic.otf>
<g:/Experiments/sw/TeXLive/2017/texmf-dist/fonts/opentype/public/lm/lmroman7-regular.otf>
<g:/Experiments/sw/TeXLive/2017/texmf-dist/fonts/opentype/public/lm/lmroman12-bold.otf>
<g:/Experiments/sw/TeXLive/2017/texmf-dist/fonts/opentype/public/lm/lmroman10-regular.otf>
<g:/Experiments/sw/TeXLive/2017/texmf-dist/fonts/opentype/public/lm/lmroman12-regular.otf>
<g:/Experiments/sw/TeXLive/2017/texmf-dist/fonts/opentype/public/lm/lmroman17-regular.otf>
<g:/Experiments/sw/TeXLive/2017/texmf-dist/fonts/type1/public/amsfonts/cm/cmex10.pfb>
<g:/Experiments/sw/TeXLive/2017/texmf-dist/fonts/type1/public/amsfonts/cm/cmmi10.pfb>
<g:/Experiments/sw/TeXLive/2017/texmf-dist/fonts/type1/public/amsfonts/cm/cmmi7.pfb>
<g:/Experiments/sw/TeXLive/2017/texmf-dist/fonts/type1/public/amsfonts/cm/cmr10.pfb>
<g:/Experiments/sw/TeXLive/2017/texmf-dist/fonts/type1/public/amsfonts/cm/cmr7.pfb>
<g:/Experiments/sw/TeXLive/2017/texmf-dist/fonts/type1/public/amsfonts/cm/cmsy10.pfb>
<g:/Experiments/sw/TeXLive/2017/texmf-dist/fonts/type1/public/amsfonts/cm/cmsy7.pfb>
Output written on sample2e.pdf (3 pages, 88734 bytes).
Transcript written on sample2e.log.

CERN-specific extensions are also automatically available from this setup, as the following command line, which tries to locate the CERN letter class cernlett.cls shows:

C:\Users\goossens> kpsewhich cernlett.cls
g:/Experiments/sw/TeXLive/texmf-local/tex/latex/cern/cernlett.cls

An interesting fact is that on Windows the TeX programs (latex, pdflatex, lualatex, etc.) allow you to mix forward and backward slashes when specifying filenames. The executables work both in a Microsoft Windows and in a Cygwin command window since both systems inherit the settings for the path variable as specified previously.

Latest updates

The 2017 TeXLive distribution comes with the tlmgr (TeXLive manager) program, which allows one to update the files in the locally installed distribution to keep them in synch with the latest version available on CTAN (the reference archiving network for TeX-related material). At CERN this program is run on a regular basis with the latest update having been made on 2 August 2017.

Doing it all yourself (for specialists only!)

Before going any further please read the TeXLive documentation.

You can install TeXLive 2017 yourself on your computer and will find the relevant instructions here. Read in particular the section TeXLive installation over the Internet. The download procedure consists essentially of three stages (see also TeX Live Windows installation):

  1. Download the installation scripts and anciliary programs present in the archive install-tl.zip and unzip all files in a directory, from which you run install-tl.
  2. On the installation panel that should pop up, specify where you want the texlive distribution file tree installed on your hard disk as well as which packages you want to install. Then the needed files will be downloaded from the Internet. This will typically take about one hour at CERN for a complete installation, much longer if you try and do it at home, e.g., over a slower ADSL link. In any case be careful that your computer does not go to sleep after a certain time of inaction, i.e., set the power options in the System appropriately
  3. Verify the setup (e.g., by using the LaTeX file sample2e.tex, which comes with the distribution and should be found automatically when the installation was successful, as shown in the examples above).

When successful, the installer:

Removing older versions

If you had already another version of TeX installed on your computer, the TeXLive installer will not remove it, and you will have to delete the complete file tree. Moreover, you might have to de-install tex-related binaries by hand in order to avoid conflicts. You can go in the Control Panel and select Uninstall a program (Windows 7). You will get a list of installed programs, and you can select the ones you want to delete (e.g., an old version of TeXLive).

Similarly, it is possible that in your environment variables some remnants of previous TeX-related packages remain. To get access to these variables you should use the same procedure as explained above to insert the path to the TeX system installation (on the G disk). In this case you should scan your user or system path variables and, by hitting the Edit... button, delete possible references to old tex installations.


Last Mod. 2 August 2017 (Michel Goossens).

Source: /afs/cern.ch/sw/XML/XMLDOC/textproc/texlivewindows2017.html