OK, given the helpful comments to your query, here's a discussion of how the various
texmf folders map into the "official" nomenclature of the TeXLive tree (set in all-caps):
- .../texmf: TEXMFMAIN -- "The tree which holds vital parts of the system such as configuration files, helper scripts, and program documentation."
- .../texmf-dist: TEXMFDIST -- "The tree which holds the main set of macro packages, fonts, etc."
- .../texmf-var: TEXMFSYSVAR -- "The (site-wide) tree used by texconfig-sys, updmap-sys and fmtutil-sys, and also by tlmgr, to store (cached) runtime data such as format files and generated map files."
- .../texmf-config: TEXMFSYSCONFIG -- "The (site-wide) tree used by the utilities texconfig-sys, updmap-sys, and fmtutil-sys to store modified configuration data."
Separately, if you have a LOCALTEXMF directory tree, TeXLive expects to find it at
/usr/local/texlive/texmf-local, unless you edit the configuration file
/texmf.cnf and provide an alternate location. If you do so, be sure to run
texhash to update the filename database.