I'm using tlmgr to update packages. Once a week I use it and update all.

But some times I'd like to know what are the changes on some packages.

Is it possible to show this? Maybe clicking somewhere to see what's new file.

I know that I can find this on CTAN, but what about on tlmgr?

ps. I forgot to say that I'm using a GUI. So I can see what is available to update.


3 Answers 3


When you perform a TeX Live update, the specific packages that were updated is logged in tlmgr.log (located in ~/texmf-var/web2c/). It looks like this:

[Thu Jan 30 16:39:24 2014] update: sa-tikz (32788 -> 32815)
[Thu Jan 30 16:39:28 2014] update: texlive-msg-translations (32801 -> 32813)
[Thu Jan 30 16:39:32 2014] update: texlive-scripts (32798 -> 32811)
[Thu Jan 30 16:39:35 2014] update: xetex-itrans (24105 -> 32810)
[Fri Jan 31 13:56:10 2014] update: babel-spanish (30295 -> 32825)
[Fri Jan 31 13:56:25 2014] update: pst-3dplot (27233 -> 32824)

You see the date of the update/install, as well as the type (whether it was a removal/install/update/...), the name of the package, as well as the update revision reference (from -> to).

Now you can visit TeX Live Master trunk and enter the revision number as see the changes. For example, the above revision to 32824 lists:

enter image description here

  • I have only ~/.texlive2013/texmf-var/web2c but no log file there.
    – Sigur
    Commented Jan 31, 2014 at 22:09
  • @Sigur: According to the tlmgr man page, the option --package-logfile <file> specifies where this file resides: "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 specific a different file for the log." Perhaps you're using a GUI that specifies it differently?
    – Werner
    Commented Jan 31, 2014 at 22:13

If you use a graphical interface, the list of updates is available for inspection prior to doing the actual download. Here's an example with the Tcl-Tk interface

enter image description here

Here's the same with TeX Live Utility (Mac OS X)

enter image description here

Say you want to see what's changed in quoting: the remote version is 32818; go to


(change the final number for the revision you want to see). This is a link to the master repository; going there will open the window

enter image description here

The “text-changed” links are the most useful.

The most recent changes are reachable at http://tug.org/svn/texlive/trunk/Master/texmf-dist/?sortby=date

  • Exactly what I need. I bookmarked that link now. Thanks.
    – Sigur
    Commented Jan 31, 2014 at 22:21


tlmgr update --all --dry-run

this will give you the list of package to be updated. (this option means "explain what you are going to do, but do not perform the action, see http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-dry1.htm). Then you need to go to CTAN if you want to see what exactly changed in each package.

  • What is that option for?
    – Sigur
    Commented Jan 31, 2014 at 22:00
  • Option --dry-run means do everything BUT the actual update.
    – Boris
    Commented Jan 31, 2014 at 22:01
  • Sorry, I'm confused. I use tlmgr to update some packages and other tools. It suggests me and I choose what to update. Usually I choose all. But what is the actual update? I have no idea.
    – Sigur
    Commented Jan 31, 2014 at 22:05
  • 1
    Well, tlmgr update --all looks into a repository, finds packages to update, downloads them and installs. --dry-run means "do not download and install, just show what are you going to do".
    – Boris
    Commented Jan 31, 2014 at 22:17
  • surely. here you are
    – Boris
    Commented Feb 1, 2014 at 3:01

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