[tex-live] Windows 7 still fails

Reinhard Kotucha reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Wed Sep 26 04:58:51 CEST 2018

On 2018-09-25 at 12:44:09 -0400, Benedict Holland wrote:

 > A few things about this process, do not tell anyone to disable
 > firewalls or anti-virus software. That makes your product look
 > extremely sketchy. I understand that you can't plan for everything
 > but if someone told you to just run this strange script as
 > root while disabling the firewall and anti-virus scanners, you
 > should be very suspicious.

Where exactly are you told to disable the firewall?  AFAIK only virus
scanners are mentioned.  The firewall shall *never* be disabled.

Anti-virus programs which scan files while they are written to a disk
shall always never be disabled.  These scanners do not interfere with
the TeX Live installer, apart of maybe occasionally reporting false

Only anti-virus programs which scan the whole disk *and* unnecessarily
prevent other programs from writing files to a particular directory
while it's scanned interfere with the installer.  Such programs can
safely be disabled temporarily, of course, because they are unable to
detect viruses immediately.  Whenever a virus exists on your disk,
it's too late anyway.  It might have been executed already before it's

I don't think that it's a TeX Live issue.  Any other big software
package is certainly affected too.

As far as the default installation directory is concerned, in TL-2008
the installer evaluated an environment variable (I don't remember but
maybe something like %PROGRAMFILES%) in order to install to a
directory where Windows expect programs.  This worked fine under XP
but many users were not able to install TL on Vista.

Since Windows treats every directory on drive C: differently, except
the root directory, we had to switch back to C:\texlive as a default.
I'm not happy with this decision but we have no other choice.  Users
expect that everything works out-of-the-box.

Windows is a moving target, not an operating system you can rely on in
the long term.  At the moment it's best to install at the root of
drive C: by default because all other directories on this drive are
"maintained" by Microsoft with unpredictable behavior.  I'm sure that
experiencecd users avoid drive c: anyway. 

 > First off, let me state that I have extreme sympathy for people who
 > have to develop for windows.

When we started to write an installer which is supposed to support all
operating systems, we assumed that Perl offers a layer of abstraction
which allows us to easily write a script which works on all platforms.

Believe me, it was a nice dream.

Without the tremendous work done by Siep Kroonenberg, Tomasz
M. Trzeciak, and Akira Kakuto it would be impossible to support
Windows at all.

Supporting Windows is definitely a challenge but the most important
thing, in my opinion, is that TeX Live behaves identical on all
supported platforms, regardless how difficult it's to achieve.


Reinhard Kotucha                            Phone: +49-511-3373112
Marschnerstr. 25
D-30167 Hannover                    mailto:reinhard.kotucha at web.de

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