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On an Ubuntu 14.10 system, I have installed ‘vanilla’ TeX Live 2014 from the TeX Collection DVD. Though I am the sole user of the system, I had initialized a user tree after installing the distribution, because I thought I needed that, but then I realized what the user tree was truly meant for and thought ‘oops’.

How can I actually update the whole distribution as root and perhaps de-initialize my user tree? When I try to list updates as root, this is what happens:

$ sudo tlmgr update --list
[sudo] password for <user>: 
(running on Debian, switching to user mode!)
tlmgr: package repository http://mirror.its.dal.ca/ctan/systems/texlive/tlnet
tlmgr: saving backups to /home/<user>/texmf/tlpkg/backups
tlmgr: no updates available
$ 

As you can see, I do have an update mirror set with tlmgr option repository. The utility is using a nearby mirror as expected, but why are there no updates? Because I have nothing in my useless user tree? How do I un-set this?

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    By default, tlmgr only uses user mode if you tell it to. Just because you set up user mode, that's not enough for it to use it on subsequent occasions. You'd have to use the switch. However, it looks as if you are not using vanilla TL at all. Perhaps you have two installations? Have you installed TL with your package manager as well as upstream's? If so, you probably want to remove those packages using your package manager. To test, use the full path to tlmgr and see if you get results that way. You don't need root privileges to list updates. Even if you insisted on installing as root. – cfr Feb 18 '15 at 2:18
  • Ok, $ which tlmgr returns /usr/local/texlive/2014/bin/x86_64-linux/tlmgr, but $ whereis tlmgr returns tlmgr: /usr/bin/tlmgr /usr/local/texlive/2014/bin/x86_64-linux/tlmgr /usr/share/man/man1/tlmgr.1.gz. Indeed, when I installed Ubuntu, the packaged TeX Live was already installed, so I left it there because I thought it would not interfere, since I set the vanilla TeX Live before the packaged one in my path. – Christian Gagné Feb 18 '15 at 2:25
  • Actually, I think the main reason why I left Ubuntu’s TeX Live installed is because the fonts were then easily available in all apps, but I guess I should re-install the TeX Live fonts myself in my user directory. – Christian Gagné Feb 18 '15 at 2:26
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    Or add the TL directories to fontconfig's path. Your life will be simpler if you read tex.stackexchange.com/questions/1092/… and install dummy packages to keep your package manager happy. I doubt that Ubuntu installs TL by default. Probably something you installed called it as a dependency. – cfr Feb 18 '15 at 2:28
  • Indeed, the linked question solves my problem. I had read the article about Debian on tug.org, but I had not grasped all of it. Also, I have just installed aptitude, and I have asked it about why TeX Live might already have been installed: $ aptitude why texlive-base i muttprint Dépend texlive-latex-recommended i A texlive-latex-recommended Dépend texlive-base (>= 2014). It seems that muttprint was installed by default, and it requires LaTeX. – Christian Gagné Feb 18 '15 at 2:47

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