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TeX Live on FreeBSD

TeX Live 2011 on FreeBSD Extended support

1. About this repository[top]

TeX Live 2011 supports FreeBSD. The files amd64-freebsd-tl2011.tar.xz and i386-freebsd-tl2011.tar.xz contain the binaries you get in the official TeX Live 2011 release. These binaries are prepared so that if you
  • 1. use FreeBSD 7.*, 8.* or 9-CURRENT on i386 or amd64 and
  • 2. don't use asy, xvdi or xindy
everything will work out of the box. Otherwise, please continue reading.
  • If you use FreeBSD 6.* or FreeBSD 5.*, you have to use the binaries from this repository. Users of these old versions might find section 3 and section 5 of this document useful.
  • If you use some architecture other than i386 and amd64, you must compile the sources yourself.
  • Users of asy, xindy and xdvi:

    if you use FreeBSD 8.* or 9-CURRENT please install misc/compat7x port.

  • Users of biber:
    • the binary sets for FreeBSD 6.* do not contain biber. Please use the biber binaries provided at Anthesphoria Storage;
    • if you use FreeBSD 7.0, the biber binaries from TeX Live 2011 will not work; overwrite them with biber binaries for FreeBSD-6 from the above mentioned repository and install misc/compat6x port;
    • if you use FreeBSD 5.*, you must compile biber yourself.
These binaries will be updated if a need arises (e.g. if significant changes occur in FreeBSD Ports Collection the binaries are built against, if a possible optimisation is found or if somebody reports some problems). If you encounter problems running these binaries, do not hesitate to write to me and/or to the TeX Live mailing lists.

2. Technical details[top]

TeX Live 2011 sources (SVN rev 23180) are built in clean jail(8)s, with minimal number of ports installed with their dependencies, using the recent ports tree; these are graphics/libglut, devel/gmake, x11/libX11, x11-toolkits/libXmu, x11-toolkits/libXaw, devel/subversion and x11-fonts/fontconfig. The jails were populated with FreeBSD worlds of -STABLE branches of each major version. Since FreeBSD preserves base system shared lib versions across minor version upgrades, 6.4 binaries will work on entire 6 branch, which covers all previous and future 6.X releases (tagged RELENG_{6,7,8}_X), provided that not-base system libs remain in concordance, of course. The binaries for FreeBSD-5 are an exception. These are built in 5.5-RELEASE worlds, using old ports tree (CVS tag RELEASE_5_5_0), since it is unlikely and certainly technically impossible that existing FreeBSD-5 users track current Ports Collection. However, users that use newer Ports on FreeBSD-5 might not be able to run several binaries; please read the section “Support for old FreeBSD versions” on how to overcome such problems. 3D graphics program asymptote was built with --enable-texlive-build --disable-gsl --disable-fftw --enable-gl --disable-gc.

3. How to use these binaries: a quick guide[top]

Please note that these tar.xz files are not FreeBSD packages, i.e. you cannot pkg_add(1) them. In order to use them, you need a fully installed TeX Live distribution. So, please install TeX Live first; you can find the documentation on the TUG website. Accepting all installer defaults is perfectly ok. When everything is done, download FreeBSD binary set that matches your system. Then, create a new directory, /usr/local/texlive/2011/bin/, and unpack the set you downloaded. Assuming that you run FreeBSD-6/amd64, this should look like this:
# mkdir /usr/local/texlive/2011/bin
# cd /usr/local/texlive/2011/bin
# xzdec /path/to/amd64-freebsd6-tl2011.tar.xz | tar xvf -
(you need archivers/xz to do this). Then, set the PATH variable in your environment, something like
setenv PATH /usr/local/texlive/2011/bin/amd64-freebsd6:$PATH
in /etc/csh.cshrc or ~/.cshrs for C shells or
export PATH
in /etc/profile or ~/.profile for sh. Your PATH shoud look like this:
% echo $PATH
The important thing is to put TeX Live executables before those installed by ports. This also means that you can safely have both TeX Live and teTeX on the same system, which is a necessity on many FreeBSD desktop systems. Just to be sure, delete ~/.texlive2011/ if you have it. Then, check if TeX Live executables are visible:
% which tex

% tex -v
TeX 3.1415926 (TeX Live 2011)
kpathsea version 6.0.1
Copyright 2011 D.E. Knuth.
(note the “TeX Live 2011” banner).
ls -l `which xelatex`
lrwxr-x---  1 nikola  wheel  5 Dec 22  2009 /usr/local/texlive/2011/bin/amd64-freebsd/xelatex -> xetex
and if kpsewhich sees main configuration files:
% kpsewhich fmtutil.cnf
Then run a basic test like
% latex small2e
% dvips small2e.dvi
% pstopdf
and check small2e.pdf.

4. Official TeX Live support for custom binaries[top]

Alternatively, you can use TeX Live installer's built-in support for custom binary sets. Chose the method that suits you better.

5. Support for old FreeBSD versions[top]

FreeBSD-5 binaries (i386 and amd64) are build with old ports tree (CVS tag RELEASE_5_5_0) since it is unlikely and certainly technically impossible that existing FreeBSD-5 users track current Ports Collection. This ports tree includes pre-modular Xorg and old version of gettext. If you, however, use FreeBSD-5 with newer ports, the following binaries possibly will not run as expected or will not run at all:
  • asy (alone or through xasy)
  • mf
  • (through xindy)
  • xdvi-xaw (through xdvi)
To make xindy, xdvi and mf usable, you can try to put something like this in /etc/libmap.conf (on FreeBSD>=5.1):


As for (x)asy, OpenGL support will probably work only if your Ports are close to RELEASE_5_5_0. Otherwise, asy binary should work only with documents without OpenGL-related contents; with OpenGL stuff it will simply coredump. If you have older ports tree (probably <=RELEASE_5_4_0), you can expect that xe(la)tex and xdvipdfmx do not work, and you will encounter an error during installation. In that case, put this in /etc/libmap.conf:


It can be possible that you have to remap libglut in order to get working asy. Old Ports tree does not include port for xz compression format (archivers/xz), formerly known as lzma. You can find all binaries you need at Anthesphoria Storage.
Last updated: 08 July 2011
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Никола Лечић :: Nikola Lečić ::
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