Section: User Contributed Perl Documentation (1)
tlmgr - the native TeX Live Manager
manages an existing TeX Live installation, both packages and
configuration options. For information on initially downloading and
installing TeX Live, see <https://tug.org/texlive/acquire.html
The most up-to-date version of this documentation (updated nightly from
the development sources) is available at
<https://tug.org/texlive/tlmgr.html>, along with procedures for updating
"tlmgr" itself and information about test versions.
TeX Live is organized into a few top-level schemes, each of which is
specified as a different set of collections and packages, where a
collection is a set of packages, and a package is what contains actual
files. Schemes typically contain a mix of collections and packages, but
each package is included in exactly one collection, no more and no less.
A TeX Live installation can be customized and managed at any level.
See <https://tug.org/texlive/doc> for all the TeX Live documentation
After successfully installing TeX Live, here are a few common operations
- "tlmgr option repository ctan"
- "tlmgr option repository http://mirror.ctan.org/systems/texlive/tlnet"
Tell "tlmgr" to use a nearby CTAN mirror for future updates; useful if
you installed TeX Live from the DVD image and want to have continuing
updates. The two commands are equivalent; "ctan" is just an alias for
the given url.
Caveat: "mirror.ctan.org" resolves to many different hosts, and they
are not perfectly synchronized; we recommend updating only daily (at
most), and not more often. You can choose a particular mirror if
problems; the list of all CTAN mirrors with the status of each is at
- "tlmgr update --list"
Report what would be updated without actually updating anything.
- "tlmgr update --all"
Make your local TeX installation correspond to what is in the package
repository (typically useful when updating from CTAN).
- "tlmgr info" what
Display detailed information about a package what, such as the installation
status and description, of searches for what in all packages.
For all the capabilities and details of "tlmgr", please read the
following voluminous information.
The following options to "tlmgr"
are global options, not specific to
any action. All options, whether global or action-specific, can be
given anywhere on the command line, and in any order. The first
non-option argument will be the main action. In all cases,
are equivalent, and an "="
between an option name and its value.
- --repository url|path
Specify the package repository from which packages should be installed
or updated, either a local directory or network location, as below. This
overridesthe default package repository found in the installation's TeX
Live Package Database (a.k.a. the TLPDB, which is given entirely in the
This "--repository" option changes the location only for the current
run; to make a permanent change, use "option repository" (see the
As an example, you can choose a particular CTAN mirror with something
Of course a real hostname and its particular top-level CTAN directory
have to be specified. The list of CTAN mirrors is available at
Here's an example of using a local directory:
For backward compatibility and convenience, "--location" and "--repo"
are accepted as aliases for this option.
Locations can be specified as any of the following:
Equivalent ways of specifying a local directory.
Pick a CTAN mirror automatically, trying for one that is both nearby and
up-to-date. The chosen mirror is used for the entire download. The bare
"ctan" is merely an alias for the full url. (See <https://ctan.org> for
more about CTAN and its mirrors.)
Standard HTTP. If the (default) LWP method is used, persistent
connections are supported. TL can also use "curl" or "wget" to do the
downloads, or an arbitrary user-specified program, as described in the
Again, if the (default) LWP method is used, this supports persistent
connections. Unfortunately, some versions of "wget" and "curl" do not
support https, and even when "wget" supports https, certificates may be
rejected even when the certificate is fine, due to a lack of local
certificate roots. The simplest workaround for this problem is to use
http or ftp.
If the (default) LWP method is used, persistent connections are
These forms are equivalent; they all use "scp" to transfer files. Using
"ssh-agent" is recommended. (Info:
If the repository is on the network, trailing "/" characters and/or
trailing "/tlpkg" and/or "/archive" components are ignored.
- --gui [action]
Two notable GUI front-ends for "tlmgr", "tlshell" and "tlcockpit",
are started up as separate programs; see their own documentation.
"tlmgr" itself has a graphical interface as well as the command line
interface. You can give the option to invoke it, "--gui", together with
an action to be brought directly into the respective screen of the GUI.
For example, running
tlmgr --gui update
starts you directly at the update screen. If no action is given, the
GUI will be started at the main screen. See ``GUI FOR TLMGR''.
However, the native GUI requires Perl/TK, which is no longer included in
TeX Live's Perl distribution for Windows. You may find "tlshell" or
"tlcockpit" easier to work with.
- --gui-lang llcode
By default, the GUI tries to deduce your language from the environment
(on Windows via the registry, on Unix via "LC_MESSAGES"). If that fails
you can select a different language by giving this option with a
language code (based on ISO 639-1). Currently supported (but not
necessarily completely translated) are: English (en, default),
Czech (cs), German (de), French (fr), Italian (it),
Japanese (ja), Dutch (nl), Polish (pl), Brazilian Portuguese (pt_BR), Russian (ru), Slovak (sk), Slovenian (sl), Serbian (sr), Ukrainian (uk), Vietnamese (vi), simplified Chinese (zh_CN), and traditional Chinese (zh_TW).
tlshell shares its message catalog with tlmgr.
In GUI mode, this switch tells "tlmgr" to report any untranslated (or
missing) messages to standard error. This can help translators to see
what remains to be done.
Instead of the normal output intended for human consumption, write (to
standard output) a fixed format more suitable for machine parsing. See
the ``MACHINE-READABLE OUTPUT'' section below.
Suppress the execution of the execute actions as defined in the tlpsrc
files. Documented only for completeness, as this is only useful in
- --package-logfile file
"tlmgr" logs all package actions (install, remove, update, failed
updates, failed restores) to a separate log file, by default
"TEXMFSYSVAR/web2c/tlmgr.log". This option allows you to specify a
different file for the log.
This option makes "tlmgr" wait for user input before exiting. Useful on
Windows to avoid disappearing command windows.
For network-based installations, this option (on by default) makes
"tlmgr" try to set up a persistent connection (using the "LWP" Perl
module). The idea is to open and reuse only one connection per session
between your computer and the server, instead of initiating a new
download for each package.
If this is not possible, "tlmgr" will fall back to using "wget". To
disable these persistent connections, use "--no-persistent-downloads".
Change the pinning file location from "TEXMFLOCAL/tlpkg/pinning.txt"
(see ``Pinning'' below). Documented only for completeness, as this is
only useful in debugging.
Activates user mode for this run of "tlmgr"; see ``USER MODE'' below.
- --usertree dir
Uses dir for the tree in user mode; see ``USER MODE'' below.
Defines the level of verification done: If "none" is specified, no
verification whatsoever is done. If "main" is given and a working GnuPG
("gpg") binary is available, all repositories are checked, but only the
main repository is required to be signed. If "all" is given, then all
repositories need to be signed. See ``CRYPTOGRAPHIC VERIFICATION'' below
The standard options for TeX Live programs are also accepted:
"--help/-h/-?", "--version", "-q" (no informational messages), "-v"
(debugging messages, can be repeated). For the details about these, see
the "TeXLive::TLUtils" documentation.
The "--version" option shows version information about the TeX Live
release and about the "tlmgr" script itself. If "-v" is also given,
revision number for the loaded TeX Live Perl modules are shown, too.
Display this help information and exit (same as "--help"
, and on the
web at <https://tug.org/texlive/doc/tlmgr.html
>). Sometimes the
programs on the system have problems,
resulting in control characters being literally output. This can't
always be detected, but you can set the "NOPERLDOC"
variable and "perldoc"
will not be used.
Gives version information (same as "--version"
If "-v" has been given the revisions of the used modules are reported, too.
- backup [option...] --all
- backup [option...] pkg...
If the "--clean" option is not specified, this action makes a backup of
the given packages, or all packages given "--all". These backups are
saved to the value of the "--backupdir" option, if that is an existing
and writable directory. If "--backupdir" is not given, the "backupdir"
option setting in the TLPDB is used, if present. If both are missing, no
backups are made. (The installer sets "backupdir" to
".../tlpkg/backups", under the TL root installation directory, so it is
usually defined; see the ``option'' description for more information.)
If the "--clean" option is specified, backups are pruned (removed)
instead of saved. The optional integer value N may be specified to
set the number of backups that will be retained when cleaning. If "N"
is not given, the value of the "autobackup" option is used. If both are
missing, an error is issued. For more details of backup pruning, see
the "option" action.
- --backupdir directory
Overrides the "backupdir" option setting in the TLPDB.
The directory argument is required and must specify an existing,
writable directory where backups are to be placed.
If "--clean" is not specified, make a backup of all packages in the TeX
Live installation; this will take quite a lot of space and time. If
"--clean" is specified, all packages are pruned.
Instead of making backups, prune the backup directory of old backups, as
explained above. The optional integer argument N overrides the
"autobackup" option set in the TLPDB. You must use "--all" or a list
of packages together with this option, as desired.
Nothing is actually backed up or removed; instead, the actions to be
performed are written to the terminal.
Shows the available candidate repositories for package pkg
See ``MULTIPLE REPOSITORIES''
check [option...] [depends|executes|files|runfiles|texmfdbs|all]
Execute one (or all) check(s) of the consistency of the installation.
If no problems are found, there will be no output. (To get a view of
what is being done, run "tlmgr -v check"
Lists those packages which occur as dependencies in an installed collection,
but are themselves not installed, and those packages which are not
contained in any collection.
If you call "tlmgr check collections" this test will be carried out
instead since former versions for "tlmgr" called it that way.
Check that the files referred to by "execute" directives in the TeX
Live Database are present.
Checks that all files listed in the local TLPDB ("texlive.tlpdb") are
actually present, and lists those missing.
List those filenames that are occurring more than one time in the
runfiles sections, except for known duplicates.
Checks related to the "ls-R" files. If you have defined new trees, or
changed the "TEXMF" or "TEXMFDBS" variables, it can't hurt to run
this. It checks that:
- - all items in "TEXMFDBS" have the "!!" prefix.
- - all items in "TEXMFBDS" have an "ls-R" file (if they exist at all).
- - all items in "TEXMF" with "!!" are listed in "TEXMFDBS".
- - all items in "TEXMF" with an "ls-R" file are listed in "TEXMFDBS".
Use the output of "svn status" instead of listing the files; for
checking the TL development repository. (This is run nightly.)
- conf [texmf|tlmgr|updmap [--conffile file] [--delete] [key [value]]]
- conf auxtrees [--conffile file] [show|add|remove] [value]
With only "conf", show general configuration information for TeX Live,
including active configuration files, path settings, and more. This is
like running "texconfig conf", but works on all supported platforms.
With one of "conf texmf", "conf tlmgr", or "conf updmap", shows all
key/value pairs (i.e., all settings) as saved in "ROOT/texmf.cnf", the
user-specific "tlmgr" configuration file (see below), or the first
found (via "kpsewhich") "updmap.cfg" file, respectively.
If key is given in addition, shows the value of only that key in
the respective file. If option --delete is also given, the value in
the given configuration file is entirely removed (not just commented
If value is given in addition, key is set to value in the
respective file. No error checking is done!
The "PATH" value shown by "conf" is as used by "tlmgr". The
directory in which the "tlmgr" executable is found is automatically
prepended to the PATH value inherited from the environment.
Here is a practical example of changing configuration values. If the
execution of (some or all) system commands via "\write18" was left
enabled during installation, you can disable it afterwards:
tlmgr conf texmf shell_escape 0
The subcommand "auxtrees" allows adding and removing arbitrary
additional texmf trees, completely under user control. "auxtrees show"
shows the list of additional trees, "auxtrees add" tree adds a tree
to the list, and "auxtrees remove" tree removes a tree from the list
(if present). The trees should not contain an "ls-R" file (or files
will not be found if the "ls-R" becomes stale). This works by
manipulating the Kpathsea variable "TEXMFAUXTREES", in (by default)
tlmgr conf auxtrees add /quick/test/tree
tlmgr conf auxtrees remove /quick/test/tree
In all cases the configuration file can be explicitly specified via the
option "--conffile" file, e.g., if you don't want to change the
Warning: The general facility for changing configuration values is here,
but tinkering with settings in this way is strongly discouraged. Again,
no error checking on either keys or values is done, so any sort of
breakage is possible.
dump-tlpdb [option...] [--json]
Dump complete local or remote TLPDB
to standard output, as-is. The
output is analogous to the "--machine-readable"
Dump the local TLPDB.
Dump the remote TLPDB.
Instead of dumping the actual content, the database is dumped as
JSON. For the format of JSON output see "tlpkg/doc/JSON-formats.txt",
format definition "TLPDB".
Exactly one of "--local" and "--remote" must be given.
In either case, the first line of the output specifies the repository
location, in this format:
"location-url" "\t" location
where "location-url" is the literal field name, followed by a tab, and
location is the file or url to the repository.
Line endings may be either LF or CRLF depending on the current platform.
- generate [option...] language
- generate [option...] language.dat
- generate [option...] language.def
- generate [option...] language.dat.lua
The "generate" action overwrites any manual changes made in the
respective files: it recreates them from scratch based on the
information of the installed packages, plus local adaptions.
The TeX Live installer and "tlmgr" routinely call "generate" for
all of these files.
For managing your own fonts, please read the "updmap --help"
information and/or <https://tug.org/fonts/fontinstall.html>.
For managing your own formats, please read the "fmtutil --help"
In more detail: "generate" remakes any of the configuration files
"language.dat", "language.def", and "language.dat.lua"
from the information present in the local TLPDB, plus
The locally-maintained files are "language-local.dat",
"language-local.def", or "language-local.dat.lua",
searched for in "TEXMFLOCAL" in the respective
directories. If local additions are present, the final file is made by
starting with the main file, omitting any entries that the local file
specifies to be disabled, and finally appending the local file.
(Historical note: The formerly supported "updmap-local.cfg" and
"fmtutil-local.cnf" are no longer read, since "updmap" and "fmtutil"
now reads and supports multiple configuration files. Thus,
local additions can and should be put into an "updmap.cfg" of "fmtutil.cnf"
file in "TEXMFLOCAL". The "generate updmap" and "generate fmtutil" actions
no longer exist.)
Local files specify entries to be disabled with a comment line, namely
one of these:
where "language.dat" and "language.def" use "%",
and "language.dat.lua" use "--". In all cases, the name is
the respective format name or hyphenation pattern identifier.
(Of course, you're not likely to actually want to disable those
particular items. They're just examples.)
After such a disabling line, the local file can include another entry
for the same item, if a different definition is desired. In general,
except for the special disabling lines, the local files follow the same
syntax as the master files.
The form "generate language" recreates all three files "language.dat",
"language.def", and "language.dat.lua", while the forms with an
extension recreates only that given language file.
- --dest output_file
specifies the output file (defaults to the respective location in
"TEXMFSYSVAR"). If "--dest" is given to "generate language", it
serves as a basename onto which ".dat" will be appended for the name of
the "language.dat" output file, ".def" will be appended to the value
for the name of the "language.def" output file, and ".dat.lua" to the
name of the "language.dat.lua" file. (This is just to avoid
overwriting; if you want a specific name for each output file, we
recommend invoking "tlmgr" twice.)
- --localcfg local_conf_file
specifies the (optional) local additions (defaults to the respective
location in "TEXMFLOCAL").
tells "tlmgr" to run necessary programs after config files have been
regenerated. These are:
"fmtutil-sys --all" after "generate fmtutil",
"fmtutil-sys --byhyphen .../language.dat" after "generate language.dat",
"fmtutil-sys --byhyphen .../language.def" after "generate language.def".
These subsequent calls cause the newly-generated files to actually take
effect. This is not done by default since those calls are lengthy
processes and one might want to made several related changes in
succession before invoking these programs.
The respective locations are as follows:
tex/generic/config/language.dat (and language-local.dat)
tex/generic/config/language.def (and language-local.def)
tex/generic/config/language.dat.lua (and language-local.dat.lua)
Start the graphical user interface. See GUI
- info [option...] pkg...
- info [option...] collections
- info [option...] schemes
With no argument, lists all packages available at the package
repository, prefixing those already installed with "i".
With the single word "collections" or "schemes" as the argument, lists
the request type instead of all packages.
With any other arguments, display information about pkg: the name,
category, short and long description, sizes, installation status, and TeX Live
revision number. If pkg is not locally installed, searches in the
remote installation source.
For normal packages (not collections or schemes), the sizes of the four
groups of files (run/src/doc/bin files) are shown separately. For
collections, the cumulative size is shown, including all
directly-dependent packages (but not dependent collections). For
schemes, the cumulative size is also shown, including all
directly-dependent collections and packages.
If pkg is not found locally or remotely, the search action is used
and lists matching packages and files.
It also displays information taken from the TeX Catalogue, namely the
package version, date, and license. Consider these, especially the
package version, as approximations only, due to timing skew of the
updates of the different pieces. By contrast, the "revision" value
comes directly from TL and is reliable.
The former actions "show" and "list" are merged into this action,
but are still supported for backward compatibility.
If the option "--list" is given with a package, the list of contained
files is also shown, including those for platform-specific dependencies.
When given with schemes and collections, "--list" outputs their
dependencies in a similar way.
If this option is given, the installation source will not be used; only
locally installed packages, collections, or schemes are listed.
Only list packages from the remote repository. Useful when checking what
is available in a remote repository using
"tlmgr --repo ... --only-remote info". Note that
"--only-installed" and "--only-remote" cannot both be specified.
- --data "item1,item2,..."
If the option "--data" is given, its argument must be a comma separated
list of field names from: "name", "category", "localrev", "remoterev",
"shortdesc", "longdesc", "installed", "size", "relocatable", "depends",
"cat-version", "cat-date", or "cat-license". In this case the requested
packages' information is listed in CSV format one package per line, and the
column information is given by the "itemN". The "depends" column contains
the name of all dependencies separated by ":".
In case "--json" is specified, the output is a
JSON encoded array where each array element is the JSON representation of
a single "TLPOBJ" but with additional information. For details see
"tlpkg/doc/JSON-formats.txt", format definition: "TLPOBJINFO".
If both "--json" and "--data" are given, "--json" takes precedence.
Sets up a texmf tree for so-called user mode management, either the
default user tree ("TEXMFHOME"
), or one specified on the command line
. See ``USER MODE''
install [option...] pkg...
Install each pkg
given on the command line, if it is not already
installed. It does not touch existing packages; see the "update"
action for how to get the latest version of a package.
By default this also installs all packages on which the given pkgs are
Nothing is actually installed; instead, the actions to be performed are
written to the terminal.
Instead of fetching a package from the installation repository, use
the package files given on the command line. These files must
be standard TeX Live package files (with contained tlpobj file).
If updates to "tlmgr" itself (or other parts of the basic
infrastructure) are present, "tlmgr" will bail out and not perform the
installation unless this option is given. Not recommended.
Do not install dependencies. (By default, installing a package ensures
that all dependencies of this package are fulfilled.)
Normally, when you install a package which ships binary files the
respective binary package will also be installed. That is, for a
package "foo", the package "foo.i386-linux" will also be installed on
an "i386-linux" system. This option suppresses this behavior, and also
implies "--no-depends". Don't use it unless you are sure of what you
Reinstall a package (including dependencies for collections) even if it
already seems to be installed (i.e, is present in the TLPDB). This is
useful to recover from accidental removal of files in the hierarchy.
When re-installing, only dependencies on normal packages are followed
(i.e., not those of category Scheme or Collection).
While not recommended, the "install-tl" program provides an option to
omit installation of all documentation and/or source files. (By
default, everything is installed.) After such an installation, you may
find that you want the documentation or source files for a given package
after all. You can get them by using these options in conjunction with
"--reinstall", as in (using the "fontspec" package as the example):
tlmgr install --reinstall --with-doc --with-src fontspec
This action does not automatically add new symlinks in system
directories; you need to run "tlmgr path add" (``path'') yourself if
you are using this feature and want new symlinks added.
- key list
- key add file
- key remove keyid
The action "key" allows listing, adding and removing additional GPG
keys to the set of trusted keys, that is, those that are used to verify
the TeX Live databases.
With the "list" argument, "key" lists all keys.
The "add" argument requires another argument, either a filename or
"-" for stdin, from which the key is added. The key is added to the
local keyring "GNUPGHOME/repository-keys.gpg", which is normally
The "remove" argument requires a key id and removes the requested id
from the local keyring.
Synonym for ``info''.
- option [--json] [show]
- option [--json] showall|help
- option key [value]
The first form, "show", shows the global TeX Live settings currently
saved in the TLPDB with a short description and the "key" used for
changing it in parentheses.
The second form, "showall", is similar, but also shows options which
can be defined but are not currently set to any value ("help" is a
Both "show..." forms take an option "--json", which dumps the option
information in JSON format. In this case, both forms dump the same
data. For the format of the JSON output see
"tlpkg/doc/JSON-formats.txt", format definition "TLOPTION".
In the third form, with key, if value is not given, the setting
for key is displayed. If value is present, key is set to
Possible values for key are (run "tlmgr option showall" for
the definitive list):
repository (default package repository),
formats (generate formats at installation or update time),
postcode (run postinst code blobs)
docfiles (install documentation files),
srcfiles (install source files),
backupdir (default directory for backups),
autobackup (number of backups to keep).
sys_bin (directory to which executables are linked by the path action)
sys_man (directory to which man pages are linked by the path action)
sys_info (directory to which Info files are linked by the path action)
desktop_integration (Windows-only: create Start menu shortcuts)
fileassocs (Windows-only: change file associations)
multiuser (Windows-only: install for all users)
One common use of "option" is to permanently change the installation to
get further updates from the Internet, after originally installing from
DVD. To do this, you can run
tlmgr option repository http://mirror.ctan.org/systems/texlive/tlnet
The "install-tl" documentation has more information about the possible
values for "repository". (For backward compatibility, "location" can
be used as a synonym for "repository".)
If "formats" is set (this is the default), then formats are regenerated
when either the engine or the format files have changed. Disable this
only when you know how and want to regenerate formats yourself whenever
needed (which is often, in practice).
The "postcode" option controls execution of per-package
postinstallation action code. It is set by default, and again disabling
is not likely to be of interest except to developers doing debugging.
The "docfiles" and "srcfiles" options control the installation of
their respective file groups (documentation, sources; grouping is
approximate) per package. By default both are enabled (1). Either or
both can be disabled (set to 0) if disk space is limited or for minimal
testing installations, etc. When disabled, the respective files are not
downloaded at all.
The options "autobackup" and "backupdir" determine the defaults for
the actions "update", "backup" and "restore". These three actions
need a directory in which to read or write the backups. If
"--backupdir" is not specified on the command line, the "backupdir"
option value is used (if set). The TL installer sets "backupdir" to
".../tlpkg/backups", under the TL root installation directory.
The "autobackup" option (de)activates automatic generation of backups.
Its value is an integer. If the "autobackup" value is "-1", no
backups are removed. If "autobackup" is 0 or more, it specifies the
number of backups to keep. Thus, backups are disabled if the value is
0. In the "--clean" mode of the "backup" action this option also
specifies the number to be kept. The default value is 1, so that
backups are made, but only one backup is kept.
To setup "autobackup" to "-1" on the command line, use:
tlmgr option -- autobackup -1
The "--" avoids having the "-1" treated as an option. (The "--"
stops parsing for options at the point where it appears; this is a
general feature across most Unix programs.)
The "sys_bin", "sys_man", and "sys_info" options are used on Unix
systems to control the generation of links for executables, Info files
and man pages. See the "path" action for details.
The last three options affect behavior on Windows installations. If
"desktop_integration" is set, then some packages will install items in
a sub-folder of the Start menu for "tlmgr gui", documentation, etc. If
"fileassocs" is set, Windows file associations are made (see also the
"postaction" action). Finally, if "multiuser" is set, then adaptions
to the registry and the menus are done for all users on the system
instead of only the current user. All three options are on by default.
- paper [a4|letter]
- <[xdvi|pdftex|dvips|dvipdfmx|context|psutils] paper [papersize|--list]>
- paper --json
With no arguments ("tlmgr paper"), shows the default paper size setting
for all known programs.
With one argument (e.g., "tlmgr paper a4"), sets the default for all
known programs to that paper size.
With a program given as the first argument and no paper size specified
(e.g., "tlmgr dvips paper"), shows the default paper size for that
With a program given as the first argument and a paper size as the last
argument (e.g., "tlmgr dvips paper a4"), set the default for that
program to that paper size.
With a program given as the first argument and "--list" given as the
last argument (e.g., "tlmgr dvips paper --list"), shows all valid paper
sizes for that program. The first size shown is the default.
If "--json" is specified without other options, the paper setup is
dumped in JSON format. For the format of JSON output see
"tlpkg/doc/JSON-formats.txt", format definition "TLPAPER".
Incidentally, this syntax of having a specific program name before the
"paper" keyword is unusual. It is inherited from the longstanding
"texconfig" script, which supports other configuration settings for
some programs, notably "dvips". "tlmgr" does not support those extra
- path [--w32mode=user|admin] add
- path [--w32mode=user|admin] remove
On Unix, adds or removes symlinks for executables, man pages, and info
pages in the system directories specified by the respective options (see
the ``option'' description above). Does not change any initialization
files, either system or personal. Furthermore, any executables added or
removed by future updates are not taken care of automatically; this
command must be rerun as needed.
On Windows, the registry part where the binary directory is added or
removed is determined in the following way:
If the user has admin rights, and the option "--w32mode" is not given,
the setting w32_multi_user determines the location (i.e., if it is
on then the system path, otherwise the user path is changed).
If the user has admin rights, and the option "--w32mode" is given, this
option determines the path to be adjusted.
If the user does not have admin rights, and the option "--w32mode"
is not given, and the setting w32_multi_user is off, the user path
is changed, while if the setting w32_multi_user is on, a warning is
issued that the caller does not have enough privileges.
If the user does not have admin rights, and the option "--w32mode"
is given, it must be "user" and the user path will be adjusted. If a
user without admin rights uses the option "--w32mode admin" a warning
is issued that the caller does not have enough privileges.
action manages the pinning file, see ``Pinning'' below.
- "pinning show"
Shows the current pinning data.
- "pinning add" repo pkgglob...
Pins the packages matching the pkgglob(s) to the repository
- "pinning remove" repo pkgglob...
Any packages recorded in the pinning file matching the <pkgglob>s for
the given repository repo are removed.
- "pinning remove repo --all"
Remove all pinning data for repository repo.
- platform list|add|remove platform...
- platform set platform
- platform set auto
"platform list" lists the TeX Live names of all the platforms
(a.k.a. architectures), ("i386-linux", ...) available at the package
"platform add" platform... adds the executables for each given platform
platform to the installation from the repository.
"platform remove" platform... removes the executables for each given
platform platform from the installation, but keeps the currently
running platform in any case.
"platform set" platform switches TeX Live to always use the given
platform instead of auto detection.
"platform set auto" switches TeX Live to auto detection mode for platform.
Platform detection is needed to select the proper "xz" and
"wget" binaries that are shipped with TeX Live.
"arch" is a synonym for "platform".
Nothing is actually installed; instead, the actions to be performed are
written to the terminal.
- postaction [option...] install [shortcut|fileassoc|script] [pkg...]
- postaction [option...] remove [shortcut|fileassoc|script] [pkg...]
Carry out the postaction "shortcut", "fileassoc", or "script" given
as the second required argument in install or remove mode (which is the
first required argument), for either the packages given on the command
line, or for all if "--all" is given.
If the option "--w32mode" is given the value "user", all actions will
only be carried out in the user-accessible parts of the
registry/filesystem, while the value "admin" selects the system-wide
parts of the registry for the file associations. If you do not have
enough permissions, using "--w32mode=admin" will not succeed.
"--fileassocmode" specifies the action for file associations. If it is
set to 1 (the default), only new associations are added; if it is set to
2, all associations are set to the TeX Live programs. (See also
Carry out the postactions for all packages
Print the TeX Live identifier for the detected platform
(hardware/operating system) combination to standard output, and exit.
is a synonym.
Print the TeX Live platform identifier, TL
platform long name, and
original output from guess.
remove [option...] pkg...
Remove each pkg
specified. Removing a collection removes all package
dependencies (unless "--no-depends"
is specified), but not any
collection dependencies of that collection. However, when removing a
package, dependencies are never removed. Options:
Uninstalls all of TeX Live, asking for confirmation unless "--force" is
- --backupdir directory
These options behave just as with the update action (q.v.), except they apply to making
backups of packages before they are removed. The default is to make
such a backup, that is, to save a copy of packages before removal.
The ``restore'' action explains how to restore from a backup.
Do not remove dependent packages.
See above under install (and beware).
By default, removal of a package or collection that is a dependency of
another collection or scheme is not allowed. With this option, the
package will be removed unconditionally. Use with care.
A package that has been removed using the "--force" option because it
is still listed in an installed collection or scheme will not be
updated, and will be mentioned as "forcibly removed" in the output of
"tlmgr update --list".
Nothing is actually removed; instead, the actions to be performed are
written to the terminal.
This action does not automatically remove symlinks to executables from
system directories; you need to run "tlmgr path remove" (``path'')
yourself if you are using this feature and want stale symlinks removed.
- repository list
- repository list path|url|tag
- repository add path [tag]
- repository remove path|tag
- repository set path[#tag] [path[#tag] ...]
- repository status
This action manages the list of repositories. See MULTIPLE
REPOSITORIES below for detailed explanations.
The first form, "repository list", lists all configured repositories
and the respective tags if set. If a path, url, or tag is given after
the "list" keyword, it is interpreted as the source from which to
initialize a TL database and lists the contained packages. This can also
be an otherwise-unused repository, either local or remote. If the option
"--with-platforms" is specified in addition, for each package the
available platforms (if any) are also listed.
The form "repository add" adds a repository (optionally attaching a
tag) to the list of repositories, while "repository remove" removes a
repository, either by full path/url, or by tag.
The form "repository set" sets the list of available repositories to
the items given on the command line, overwriting previous settings.
The form "repository status" reports the verification status of the
loaded repositories with the format of one repository per line
with fields separated by a single space:
- The tag (which can be the same as the url);
= the url;
= iff machine-readable output is specified, the verification code (a
= a textual description of the verification status, as the last field
extending to the end of line.
That is, in normal (not machine-readable) output, the third field
(numeric verification status) is not present.
In all cases, one of the repositories must be tagged as "main";
otherwise, all operations will fail!
- restore [option...] pkg [rev]
- restore [option...] --all
Restore a package from a previously-made backup.
If "--all" is given, try to restore the latest revision of all
package backups found in the backup directory.
Otherwise, if neither pkg nor rev are given, list the available
backup revisions for all packages. With pkg given but no rev,
list all available backup revisions of pkg.
When listing available packages, "tlmgr" shows the revision, and in
parenthesis the creation time if available (in format yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm).
If (and only if) both pkg and a valid revision number rev are
specified, try to restore the package from the specified backup.
Try to restore the latest revision of all package backups found in the
backup directory. Additional non-option arguments (like pkg) are not
- --backupdir directory
Specify the directory where the backups are to be found. If not given it
will be taken from the configuration setting in the TLPDB.
Nothing is actually restored; instead, the actions to be performed are
written to the terminal.
Don't ask questions.
When listing backups, the option "--json" turn on JSON output.
The format is an array of JSON objects ("name", "rev", "date").
For details see "tlpkg/doc/JSON-formats.txt", format definition: "TLBACKUPS".
If both "--json" and "--data" are given, "--json" takes precedence.
- search [option...] what
- search [option...] --file what
- search [option...] --all what
By default, search the names, short descriptions, and long descriptions
of all locally installed packages for the argument what, interpreted
as a (Perl) regular expression.
List all filenames containing what.
Search everything: package names, descriptions and filenames.
Search the TeX Live Database of the installation medium, instead of the
Restrict the search of package names and descriptions (but not
filenames) to match only full words. For example, searching for
"table" with this option will not output packages containing the word
"tables" (unless they also contain the word "table" on its own).
Starts an interactive mode, where tlmgr prompts for commands. This can
be used directly, or for scripting. The first line of output is
, where n
is an unsigned number identifying the
protocol version (currently 1).
In general, tlmgr actions that can be given on the command line
translate to commands in this shell mode. For example, you can say
"update --list" to see what would be updated. The TLPDB is loaded the
first time it is needed (not at the beginning), and used for the rest of
Besides these actions, a few commands are specific to shell mode:
Print "protocol n", the current protocol version.
Print pointers to this documentation.
Print tlmgr version information.
- quit, end, bye, byebye, EOF
Restart "tlmgr shell" with the original command line; most useful when
- load [local|remote]
Explicitly load the local or remote, respectively, TLPDB.
Save the local TLPDB, presumably after other operations have changed it.
- get [var] =item set [var [val]]
Get the value of var, or set it to val. Possible var names:
"debug-translation", "machine-readable", "no-execute-actions",
"require-verification", "verify-downloads", "repository", and
"prompt". All except "repository" and "prompt" are booleans, taking
values 0 and 1, and behave like the corresponding command line option.
The "repository" variable takes a string, and sets the remote
repository location. The "prompt" variable takes a string, and sets the
current default prompt.
If var or then val is not specified, it is prompted for.
Synonym for ``info''.
Synonym for remove.
update [option...] [pkg...]
Updates the packages given as arguments to the latest version available
at the installation source. Either "--all"
or at least one pkg
must be specified. Options:
Update all installed packages except for "tlmgr" itself. If updates to
"tlmgr" itself are present, this gives an error, unless also the option
"--force" or "--self" is given. (See below.)
In addition to updating the installed packages, during the update of a
collection the local installation is (by default) synchronized to the
status of the collection on the server, for both additions and removals.
This means that if a package has been removed on the server (and thus
has also been removed from the respective collection), "tlmgr" will
remove the package in the local installation. This is called
``auto-remove'' and is announced as such when using the option
"--list". This auto-removal can be suppressed using the option
"--no-auto-remove" (not recommended, see option description).
Analogously, if a package has been added to a collection on the server
that is also installed locally, it will be added to the local
installation. This is called ``auto-install'' and is announced as such
when using the option "--list". This auto-installation can be
suppressed using the option "--no-auto-install" (also not recommended).
An exception to the collection dependency checks (including the
auto-installation of packages just mentioned) are those that have been
``forcibly removed'' by you, that is, you called "tlmgr remove --force"
on them. (See the "remove" action documentation.) To reinstall any
such forcibly removed packages use "--reinstall-forcibly-removed".
To reiterate: automatic removals and additions are entirely determined
by comparison of collections. Thus, if you manually install an
individual package "foo" which is later removed from the server,
"tlmgr" will not notice and will not remove it locally. (It has to be
this way, without major rearchitecture work, because the tlpdb does not
record the repository from which packages come from.)
If you want to exclude some packages from the current update run (e.g.,
due to a slow link), see the "--exclude" option below.
Update "tlmgr" itself (that is, the infrastructure packages) if updates
to it are present. On Windows this includes updates to the private Perl
interpreter shipped inside TeX Live.
If this option is given together with either "--all" or a list of
packages, then "tlmgr" will be updated first and, if this update
succeeds, the new version will be restarted to complete the rest of the
tlmgr update --self # update infrastructure only
tlmgr update --self --all # update infrastructure and all packages
tlmgr update --force --all # update all packages but *not* infrastructure
# ... this last at your own risk, not recommended!
Nothing is actually installed; instead, the actions to be performed are
written to the terminal. This is a more detailed report than "--list".
- --list [pkg]
Concisely list the packages which would be updated, newly installed, or
removed, without actually changing anything.
If "--all" is also given, all available updates are listed.
If "--self" is given, but not "--all", only updates to the
critical packages (tlmgr, texlive infrastructure, perl on Windows, etc.)
If neither "--all" nor "--self" is given, and in addition no pkg is
given, then "--all" is assumed (thus, "tlmgr update --list" is the
same as "tlmgr update --list --all").
If neither "--all" nor "--self" is given, but specific package names are
given, those packages are checked for updates.
- --exclude pkg
Exclude pkg from the update process. If this option is given more
than once, its arguments accumulate.
An argument pkg excludes both the package pkg itself and all
its related platform-specific packages pkg.ARCH. For example,
tlmgr update --all --exclude a2ping
will not update "a2ping", "a2ping.i386-linux", or
any other "a2ping."ARCH package.
If this option specifies a package that would otherwise be a candidate
for auto-installation, auto-removal, or reinstallation of a forcibly
removed package, "tlmgr" quits with an error message. Excludes are not
supported in these circumstances.
This option can also be set permanently in the tlmgr config file with
the key "update-exclude".
- --no-auto-remove [pkg...]
By default, "tlmgr" tries to remove packages in an existing collection
which have disappeared on the server, as described above under "--all".
This option prevents such removals, either for all packages (with
"--all"), or for just the given pkg names. This can lead to an
inconsistent TeX installation, since packages are not infrequently
renamed or replaced by their authors. Therefore this is not recommended.
- --no-auto-install [pkg...]
Under normal circumstances "tlmgr" will install packages which are new
on the server, as described above under "--all". This option prevents
any such automatic installation, either for all packages (with
"--all"), or the given pkg names.
Furthermore, after the "tlmgr" run using this has finished, the
packages that would have been auto-installed will be considered as
forcibly removed. So, if "foobar" is the only new package on the
tlmgr update --all --no-auto-install
is equivalent to
tlmgr update --all
tlmgr remove --force foobar
Again, since packages are sometimes renamed or replaced, using this
option is not recommended.
Under normal circumstances "tlmgr" will not install packages that have
been forcibly removed by the user; that is, removed with "remove
--force", or whose installation was prohibited by "--no-auto-install"
during an earlier update.
This option makes "tlmgr" ignore the forcible removals and re-install
all such packages. This can be used to completely synchronize an
installation with the server's idea of what is available:
tlmgr update --reinstall-forcibly-removed --all
- --backupdir directory
These two options control the creation of backups of packages before
updating; that is, backing up packages as currently installed. If
neither option is given, no backup will made. If "--backupdir" is
given and specifies a writable directory then a backup will be made in
that location. If only "--backup" is given, then a backup will be made
to the directory previously set via the ``option'' action (see
below). If both are given then a backup will be made to the specified
You can also set options via the ``option'' action to automatically make
backups for all packages, and/or keep only a certain number of backups.
"tlmgr" always makes a temporary backup when updating packages, in case
of download or other failure during an update. In contrast, the purpose
of this "--backup" option is to save a persistent backup in case the
actual content of the update causes problems, e.g., introduces an TeX
The ``restore'' action explains how to restore from a backup.
If you call for updating a package normally all depending packages
will also be checked for updates and updated if necessary. This switch
suppresses this behavior.
See above under install (and beware).
Force update of normal packages, without updating "tlmgr" itself
(unless the "--self" option is also given). Not recommended.
Also, "update --list" is still performed regardless of this option.
If the package on the server is older than the package already installed
(e.g., if the selected mirror is out of date), "tlmgr" does not
downgrade. Also, packages for uninstalled platforms are not installed.
"tlmgr" saves a copy of the "texlive.tlpdb" file used for an update
with a suffix representing the repository url, as in
"tlpkg/texlive.tlpdb."long-hash-string. These can be useful for
fallback information, but if you don't like them accumulating (e.g.,
"mirror.ctan.org" resolves to many different hosts, each resulting in
a possibly different hash), it's harmless to delete them.
This action does not automatically add or remove new symlinks in system
directories; you need to run "tlmgr" ``path'' yourself if you are using
this feature and want new symlinks added.
CONFIGURATION FILE FOR TLMGR
reads two configuration files: one is system-wide, in
, and the other is user-specific, in
. The user-specific one is the default for
the "conf tlmgr"
action. (Run "kpsewhich
or "... TEXMFCONFIG ..."
to see the actual
A few defaults corresponding to command-line options can be set in these
configuration files. In addition, the system-wide file can contain a
directive to restrict the allowed actions.
In these config files, empty lines and lines starting with # are
ignored. All other lines must look like:
key = value
where the spaces are optional but the "=" is required.
The allowed keys are:
- "auto-remove", value 0 or 1 (default 1), same as command-line option.
- "gui-expertmode", value 0 or 1 (default 1). This switches between the full GUI and a simplified GUI with only the most common settings.
- "gui-lang" llcode, with a language code value as with the command-line option.
- "no-checksums", value 0 or 1 (default 0, see below).
- "persistent-downloads", value 0 or 1 (default 1), same as command-line option.
- "require-verification", value 0 or 1 (default 0), same as command-line option.
- "update-exclude", value: comma-separated list of packages (no space allowed). Same as the command line option "--exclude" for the action "update".
- "verify-downloads", value 0 or 1 (default 1), same as command-line option.
The system-wide config file can contain one additional key:
- "allowed-actions" action1 [,action,...] The value is a comma-separated list of "tlmgr" actions which are allowed to be executed when "tlmgr" is invoked in system mode (that is, without "--usermode").
This allows distributors to include the "tlmgr" in their packaging, but
allow only a restricted set of actions that do not interfere with their
distro package manager. For native TeX Live installations, it doesn't
make sense to set this.
The "no-checksums" key needs more explanation. By default, package
checksums computed and stored on the server (in the TLPDB) are compared
to checksums computed locally after downloading. "no-checksums"
disables this process.
The checksum algorithm is SHA-512. Your system must have one of (looked
for in this order) the Perl "Digest::SHA" module, the "openssl"
program (<https://openssl.org>), the "sha512sum" program (from GNU
Coreutils, <https://www.gnu.org/software/coreutils>), or finally the
"shasum" program (just to support old Macs). If none of these are
available, a warning is issued and "tlmgr" proceeds without checking
checksums. (Incidentally, other SHA implementations, such as the pure
Perl and pure Lua modules, are much too slow to be usable in our
context.) "no-checksums" avoids the warning.
perform cryptographic verification if
possible. If verification is performed and successful, the programs
after loading the TLPDB
; otherwise, they report
. But either way, by default the installation and/or
updates proceed normally.
If a program named "gpg" is available (that is, found in "PATH"), by
default cryptographic signatures will be checked: we require the main
repository be signed, but not any additional repositories. If "gpg" is
not available, by default signatures are not checked and no verification
is carried out, but "tlmgr" still proceeds normally.
The behavior of the verification can be controlled by the command line
and config file option "verify-repo" which takes one of the following
values: "none", "main", or "all". With "none", no verification
whatsoever is attempted. With "main" (the default) verification is
required only for the main repository, and only if "gpg" is available;
though attempted for all, missing signatures of subsidiary repositories
will not result in an error. Finally, in the case of "all", "gpg"
must be available and all repositories need to be signed.
In all cases, if a signature is checked and fails to verify, an error
Cryptographic verification requires checksum checking (described just
above) to succeed, and a working GnuPG ("gpg") program (see below for
search method). Then, unless cryptographic verification has been
disabled, a signature file ("texlive.tlpdb.*.asc") of the checksum file
is downloaded and the signature verified. The signature is created by
the TeX Live Distribution GPG key 0x0D5E5D9106BAB6BC, which in turn is
signed by Karl Berry's key 0x0716748A30D155AD and
Norbert Preining's key 0x6CACA448860CDC13. All
of these keys are obtainable from the standard key servers.
Additional trusted keys can be added using the "key" action.
Configuration of GnuPG invocation
The executable used for GnuPG is searched as follows: If the environment
is set, it is tested and used; otherwise "gpg"
checked; finally "gpg2"
Further adaptation of the "gpg" invocation can be made using the two
environment variables "TL_GNUPGHOME", which is passed to "gpg" as the
value for "--homedir", and "TL_GNUPGARGS", which replaces the default
options "--no-secmem-warning --no-permission-warning".
provides a restricted way, called ``user mode'', to manage
arbitrary texmf trees in the same way as the main installation. For
example, this allows people without write permissions on the
installation location to update/install packages into a tree of their
"tlmgr" is switched into user mode with the command line option
"--usermode". It does not switch automatically, nor is there any
configuration file setting for it. Thus, this option has to be
explicitly given every time user mode is to be activated.
This mode of "tlmgr" works on a user tree, by default the value of the
"TEXMFHOME" variable. This can be overridden with the command line
option "--usertree". In the following when we speak of the user tree
we mean either "TEXMFHOME" or the one given on the command line.
Not all actions are allowed in user mode; "tlmgr" will warn you and not
carry out any problematic actions. Currently not supported (and
probably will never be) is the "platform" action. The "gui" action is
currently not supported, but may be in a future release.
Some "tlmgr" actions don't need any write permissions and thus work the
same in user mode and normal mode. Currently these are: "check",
"help", "list", "print-platform", "print-platform-info", "search",
On the other hand, most of the actions dealing with package management
do need write permissions, and thus behave differently in user mode, as
described below: "install", "update", "remove", "option", "paper",
"generate", "backup", "restore", "uninstall", "symlinks".
Before using "tlmgr" in user mode, you have to set up the user tree
with the "init-usertree" action. This creates usertree"/web2c" and
usertree"/tlpkg/tlpobj", and a minimal
usertree"/tlpkg/texlive.tlpdb". At that point, you can tell
"tlmgr" to do the (supported) actions by adding the "--usermode"
command line option.
In user mode the file usertree"/tlpkg/texlive.tlpdb" contains only
the packages that have been installed into the user tree using "tlmgr",
plus additional options from the ``virtual'' package
"00texlive.installation" (similar to the main installation's
All actions on packages in user mode can only be carried out on packages
that are known as "relocatable". This excludes all packages containing
executables and a few other core packages. Of the 2500 or so packages
currently in TeX Live the vast majority are relocatable and can be
installed into a user tree.
Description of changes of actions in user mode:
User mode install
In user mode, the "install"
action checks that the package and all
dependencies are all either relocated or already installed in the system
installation. If this is the case, it unpacks all containers to be
installed into the user tree (to repeat, that's either "TEXMFHOME"
the value of "--usertree"
) and add the respective packages to the user
(creating it if need be).
Currently installing a collection in user mode installs all dependent
packages, but in contrast to normal mode, does not install dependent
collections. For example, in normal mode "tlmgr install
collection-context" would install "collection-basic" and other
collections, while in user mode, only the packages mentioned in
"collection-context" are installed.
If a package shipping map files is installed in user mode, a backup of
the user's "updmap.cfg" in "USERTREE/web2c/" is made, and then this file
regenerated from the list of installed packages.
User mode backup, restore, remove, update
In user mode, these actions check that all packages to be acted on are
installed in the user tree before proceeding; otherwise, they behave
just as in normal mode.
User mode generate, option, paper
In user mode, these actions operate only on the user tree's
configuration files and/or "texlive.tlpdb"
creates configuration files in user tree
The main TeX Live repository contains a vast array of packages.
Nevertheless, additional local repositories can be useful to provide
locally-installed resources, such as proprietary fonts and house styles.
Also, alternative package repositories distribute packages that cannot
or should not be included in TeX Live, for whatever reason.
The simplest and most reliable method is to temporarily set the
installation source to any repository (with the "-repository" or
"option repository" command line options), and perform your operations.
When you are using multiple repositories over a sustained length of
time, however, explicitly switching between them becomes inconvenient.
Thus, it's possible to tell "tlmgr" about additional repositories you
want to use. The basic command is "tlmgr repository add". The rest of
this section explains further.
When using multiple repositories, one of them has to be set as the main
repository, which distributes most of the installed packages. When you
switch from a single repository installation to a multiple repository
installation, the previous sole repository will be set as the main
By default, even if multiple repositories are configured, packages are
still only installed from the main repository. Thus, simply
adding a second repository does not actually enable installation of
anything from there. You also have to specify which packages should be
taken from the new repository, by specifying so-called ``pinning''
rules, described next.
When a package "foo"
is pinned to a repository, a package "foo"
other repository, even if it has a higher revision number, will not be
considered an installable candidate.
As mentioned above, by default everything is pinned to the main
repository. Let's now go through an example of setting up a second
repository and enabling updates of a package from it.
First, check that we have support for multiple repositories, and have
only one enabled (as is the case by default):
$ tlmgr repository list
List of repositories (with tags if set):
Ok. Let's add the "tlcontrib" repository (this is a real
repository hosted at <http://contrib.texlive.info>) with the tag "tlcontrib":
$ tlmgr repository add http://contrib.texlive.info/current tlcontrib
Check the repository list again:
$ tlmgr repository list
List of repositories (with tags if set):
Now we specify a pinning entry to get the package "classico" from
$ tlmgr pinning add tlcontrib classico
Check that we can find "classico":
$ tlmgr show classico
shortdesc: URW Classico fonts
- install "classico":
$ tlmgr install classico
tlmgr: package repositories:
[1/1, ??:??/??:??] install: classico @tlcontrib [737k]
In the output here you can see that the "classico" package has been
installed from the "tlcontrib" repository (@tlcontrib).
Finally, "tlmgr pinning" also supports removing certain or all packages
from a given repository:
$ tlmgr pinning remove tlcontrib classico # remove just classico
$ tlmgr pinning remove tlcontrib --all # take nothing from tlcontrib
A summary of "tlmgr pinning" actions is given above.
GUI FOR TLMGR
The graphical user interface for "tlmgr"
>. For Unix-based
systems Perl/Tk (as well as Perl of course) has to be installed
outside of TL.
> has a
list of invocations for some distros. For Windows the necessary
modules are no longer shipped within TeX Live, so you'll have to have an
external Perl available that includes them.
We are talking here about the GUI built into tlmgr itself, not about the
other tlmgr GUIs, which are: tlshell (Tcl/Tk-based), tlcockpit
(Java-based) and, only on Macs, TeX Live Utility. These are invoked as
The GUI mode of tlmgr is started with the invocation "tlmgr gui";
assuming Tk is loadable, the graphical user interface will be shown.
The main window contains a menu bar, the main display, and a status
area where messages normally shown on the console are displayed.
Within the main display there are three main parts: the "Display
configuration" area, the list of packages, and the action buttons.
Also, at the top right the currently loaded repository is shown; this
also acts as a button and when clicked will try to load the default
repository. To load a different repository, see the "tlmgr" menu item.
Finally, the status area at the bottom of the window gives additional
information about what is going on.
Display configuration area
The first part of the main display allows you to specify (filter) which
packages are shown. By default, all are shown. Changes here are
reflected right away.
Select whether to show all packages (the default), only those installed,
only those not installed, or only those with update available.
Select which categories are shown: packages, collections, and/or
schemes. These are briefly explained in the ``DESCRIPTION'' section
Select packages matching for a specific pattern. By default, this
searches both descriptions and filenames. You can also select a subset
Select packages to those selected, those not selected, or all. Here,
``selected'' means that the checkbox in the beginning of the line of a
package is ticked.
- Display configuration buttons
To the right there are three buttons: select all packages, select none
(a.k.a. deselect all), and reset all these filters to the defaults,
i.e., show all available.
Package list area
The second are of the main display lists all installed packages. If a
repository is loaded, those that are available but not installed are
Double clicking on a package line pops up an informational window with
further details: the long description, included files, etc.
Each line of the package list consists of the following items:
- a checkbox
Used to select particular packages; some of the action buttons (see
below) work only on the selected packages.
- package name
The name (identifier) of the package as given in the database.
- local revision (and version)
If the package is installed the TeX Live revision number for the
installed package will be shown. If there is a catalogue version given
in the database for this package, it will be shown in parentheses.
However, the catalogue version, unlike the TL revision, is not
guaranteed to reflect what is actually installed.
- remote revision (and version)
If a repository has been loaded the revision of the package in the
repository (if present) is shown. As with the local column, if a
catalogue version is provided it will be displayed. And also as with
the local column, the catalogue version may be stale.
- short description
The short description of the package.
Main display action buttons
Below the list of packages are several buttons:
- Update all installed
This calls "tlmgr update --all", i.e., tries to update all available
packages. Below this button is a toggle to allow reinstallation of
previously removed packages as part of this action.
The other four buttons only work on the selected packages, i.e., those
where the checkbox at the beginning of the package line is ticked.
Update only the selected packages.
Install the selected packages; acts like "tlmgr install", i.e., also
installs dependencies. Thus, installing a collection installs all its
Removes the selected packages; acts like "tlmgr remove", i.e., it will
also remove dependencies of collections (but not dependencies of normal
Makes a backup of the selected packages; acts like "tlmgr backup". This
action needs the option "backupdir" set (see "Options -" General>).
The following entries can be found in the menu bar:
- "tlmgr" menu
The items here load various repositories: the default as specified in
the TeX Live database, the default network repository, the repository
specified on the command line (if any), and an arbitrarily
manually-entered one. Also has the so-necessary "quit" operation.
- "Options menu"
Provides access to several groups of options: "Paper" (configuration of
default paper sizes), "Platforms" (only on Unix, configuration of the
supported/installed platforms), "GUI Language" (select language used in
the GUI interface), and "General" (everything else).
Several toggles are also here. The first is "Expert options", which is
set by default. If you turn this off, the next time you start the GUI a
simplified screen will be shown that display only the most important
functionality. This setting is saved in the configuration file of
"tlmgr"; see ``CONFIGURATION FILE FOR TLMGR'' for details.
The other toggles are all off by default: for debugging output, to
disable the automatic installation of new packages, and to disable the
automatic removal of packages deleted from the server. Playing with the
choices of what is or isn't installed may lead to an inconsistent TeX Live
installation; e.g., when a package is renamed.
- "Actions menu"
Provides access to several actions: update the filename database (aka
"ls-R", "mktexlsr", "texhash"), rebuild all formats ("fmtutil-sys
--all"), update the font map database ("updmap-sys"), restore from a backup
of a package, and use of symbolic links in system directories (not on
The final action is to remove the entire TeX Live installation (also not
- "Help menu"
Provides access to the TeX Live manual (also on the web at
<https://tug.org/texlive/doc.html>) and the usual ``About'' box.
Some generic Perl/Tk options can be specified with "tlmgr gui"
control the display:
- "-background" color
Set background color.
- "-font "" fontname fontsize """
Set font, e.g., "tlmgr gui -font "helvetica 18"". The argument to
"-font" must be quoted, i.e., passed as a single string.
- "-foreground" color
Set foreground color.
- "-geometry" geomspec
Set the X geometry, e.g., "tlmgr gui -geometry 1024x512-0+0" creates
the window of (approximately) the given size in the upper-right corner
of the display.
- "-xrm" xresource
Pass the arbitrary X resource string xresource.
A few other obscure options are recognized but not mentioned here. See
the Perl/Tk documentation (<https://search.cpan.org/perldoc?Tk>) for the
complete list, and any X documentation for general information.
With the "--machine-readable"
writes to stdout in the
fixed line-oriented format described here, and the usual informational
messages for human consumption are written to stderr (normally they are
written to stdout). The idea is that a program can get all the
information it needs by reading stdout.
Currently this option only applies to the
Machine-readable update and install output
The output format is as follows:
fieldname "\t" value
pkgname status localrev serverrev size runtime esttot
other output from post actions, not in machine readable form
The header section currently has two fields: "location-url" (the
repository source from which updates are being drawn), and
"total-bytes" (the total number of bytes to be downloaded).
The localrev and serverrev fields for each package are the
revision numbers in the local installation and server repository,
respectively. The size field is the number of bytes to be
downloaded, i.e., the size of the compressed tar file for a network
installation, not the unpacked size. The runtime and esttot fields
are only present for updated and auto-install packages, and contain
the currently passed time since start of installation/updates
and the estimated total time.
Line endings may be either LF or CRLF depending on the current platform.
- "location-url" location
The location may be a url (including "file:///foo/bar/..."), or a
directory name ("/foo/bar"). It is the package repository from which
the new package information was drawn.
- "total-bytes" count
The count is simply a decimal number, the sum of the sizes of all the
packages that need updating or installing (which are listed subsequently).
Then comes a line with only the literal string "end-of-header".
Each following line until a line with literal string "end-of-updates"
reports on one package. The fields on
each line are separated by a tab. Here are the fields.
The TeX Live package identifier, with a possible platform suffix for
executables. For instance, "pdftex" and "pdftex.i386-linux" are given
as two separate packages, one on each line.
The status of the package update. One character, as follows:
The package was removed on the server.
The package was removed in the local installation, even though a
collection depended on it. (E.g., the user ran "tlmgr remove
Normal update is needed.
Reversed non-update: the locally-installed version is newer than the
version on the server.
Automatically-determined need for installation, the package is new on
the server and is (most probably) part of an installed collection.
Package will be installed and isn't present in the local installation
Package is already present but will be reinstalled (action install).
The revision number of the installed package, or "-" if it is not
The revision number of the package on the server, or "-" if it is not
present on the server.
The size in bytes of the package on the server. The sum of all the
package sizes is given in the "total-bytes" header field mentioned above.
The run time since start of installations or updates.
The estimated total time.
Machine-readable option output
The output format is as follows:
key "\t" value
If a value is not saved in the database the string "(not set)" is shown.
If you are developing a program that uses this output, and find that
changes would be helpful, do not hesitate to write the mailing list.
uses many of the standard TeX environment variables, as
reported by, e.g., "tlmgr conf"
In addition, for ease in scripting and debugging, "tlmgr" looks for the
following environment variables. These are not of interest for normal
This variable allows selecting a different compressor program for
backups and intermediate rollback containers. The order of selection is:
If the environment variable "TEXLIVE_COMPRESSOR" is
defined, use it; abort if it doesn't work. Possible values:
"lz4", "gzip", "xz". The necessary options are added internally.
If lz4 is available (either from the system or TL) and working, use that.
If gzip is available (from the system) and working, use that.
If xz is available (either from the system or TL) and working, use that.
lz4 and gzip are faster in creating tlmgr's local backups, hence they
are preferred. The unconditional use of xz for the tlnet containers is
unaffected, to minimize download sizes.
These options allow selecting different download programs then the ones
automatically selected by the installer. The order of selection is:
If the environment variable "TEXLIVE_DOWNLOADER" is defined, use it;
abort if the specified program doesn't work. Possible values: "lwp",
"curl", "wget". The necessary options are added internally.
If the environment variable "TL_DOWNLOAD_PROGRAM" is
defined (can be any value), use it together with
"TL_DOWNLOAD_ARGS"; abort if it doesn't work.
If LWP is available and working, use that (by far the most
efficient method, as it supports persistent downloads).
If curl is available (from the system) and working, use that.
If wget is available (either from the system or TL) and working, use that.
TL provides "wget" binaries for platforms where necessary, so some
download method should always be available.
By default, compression and download programs provided by the system,
i.e., found along "PATH" are preferred over those shipped with TeX
This can create problems with systems that are too old, and so can be
overridden by setting the environment variable "TEXLIVE_PREFER_OWN" to
1. In this case, executables shipped with TL will be preferred.
Extra compression/download programs not provided by TL, such as gzip,
lwp, and curl, are still checked for on the system and used if
available, per the above. "TEXLIVE_PREFER_OWN" only applies when the
program being checked for is shipped with TL, namely the lz4 and
xz compressors and wget downloader.
Exception: on Windows, the "tar.exe" shipped with TL is always used,
regardless of any setting.
AUTHORS AND COPYRIGHT
This script and its documentation were written for the TeX Live
>) and both are licensed under the
General Public License Version 2 or later.
$Id: tlmgr.pl 53803 2020-02-16 17:17:22Z karl $