[tex-live] Problems with updating TeXLive in Windows

John Was john.was at ntlworld.com
Tue Dec 16 23:16:24 CET 2008

Dear TeX-Live

Peter Dyballa suggests I may have encountered a bug in the updating procedure in TeXLive 2008, which I installed today on a spare machine (but it's going to have to be uninstalled again as I've lost access to the TL manager GUI).

Below I repeated the two messages I posted to the TeX-Live user group (messages separated by %%%%%%%). 

Can you advise?  (Or repair if it is indeed a bug.)

Many thanks

John Was


Following Manuel Pégourié-Gonnard's helpful message of 9 November, I've finally got round to installing the 2008 distribution of XeTeX on a spare computer running Windows XP Pro (jealously guarding my 2007 installation until I'm sure all is OK).  Immediately after installation I typed
tlmgr option location http://mirror.ctan.org/systems/texlive/tlnet/2008

But at the next line of Manuel's instruction, viz.:
tlmgr update bin-texlive texlive.infra
the routine fails, producing the following error message on screen:
Cannot read any package from http://mirror.ctan.org/systems/texlive/tlnet/2008/tlpkg/texlive.tlpdb, seems not to be a TLPDB! Cannot load Tex Live database from http://mirror.ctan.org/systems/texlive/tlnet/2008
 at c:/program Files/texlive/2008/texmf/scripts/texlive/tlmgr.pl line 616
And thus I never get to the third element of Manuel's instructions, viz.:

tlmgr update --all

I've tried it a couple of times, and the same error is produced.  Is it a bug, or do I just give up and go over to a Mac? (!)  I would certainly like to be able to acquire the latest version painlessly, whenever a new element is added that would be of use to me.


I've now uninstalled XeTeX from the machine and reinstalled it, this time 
trying the GUI to update the installation from the Web.  This fails too: 
everything works as expected until the last step, when the GUI puts up a 
message to say that some elements have to be updated by closing the GUI down 
and running the batch file updater.bat.  But alas, that results in an error 
message, and after that point it's impossible to access the TeXLive Manager 
at all - it simply aborts.  I've done this twice now, so it wasn't a chance 

Thus, it seems that currently there is no reliable way to update the 
installation on a Windows XP machine - though no doubt some packages could 
be updated manually without doing damage, simply by replacing an older 
version of the relevant files with an updated one.  But this is clearly not 
very satisfactory.

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