Is it at all possible to configure MikTex to install the packages into the main program folder instead of into each and every user's home folder hierarcy?

I appreciate that there may be permission issues, but then all users have a mish-mash of various versions of the packages and finding out why it "works for him but not for me" becomes a major pain compared with the scenario where there was only one base copy of the packages installed by the admin whenever the users need another package. As an option to the vanilla behaviour?..

I envision that as such: when a user needs another package for compilation, they inform whomever has the admin password to the box and that user compiles the file, thus installing the packages into the main program folder. Am I making sense?

  • 4
    why don't you do a full install which the admin keeps up-to-date? Beside this: it is probably possible to disable the user-install tree at installation time, but you can't prevent user to install their own files - they need at least write access to the user data tree. Mar 26, 2015 at 21:34
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    @UlrikeFischer That is such an excellent suggestion, I think you should convert it to an answer. I have a full installation of MikTeX on my desktop and the quarterly Update only takes about 15 minutes on a very slow DSL. And standard sysadmin tools will allow this update to be done automatically every month. Mar 26, 2015 at 22:43
  • @UlrikeFischer Full install is sounding exactly same as TexLive monstrocity which I am obviously trying to avoid.
    – ajeh
    Mar 27, 2015 at 13:30
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    Sorry but diskspace is much cheaper than time of the admins. It doesn't make sense to setup a system which removes from the admin the pain to sort out mish-mash-versions and then add the pain to handle user complains "why isn't this package installed" (and to handle the version mish-mash when the users install the needed packages behind the back of the admin in local trees or directories manually). Mar 27, 2015 at 13:53

1 Answer 1


As an administrator I do not want to have a lot of work by downloading and installing MiKTeX packages, if users needs them. The best way (for the users and the administrator) is to install the complete MiKTeX (then users need not to ask for a package and have to wait until I (the admin) have time to search, download and install it). All four weeks I would check the homepage for news and run and update afterwards (to avoid bad updates, resulting in errors for my users).

I see no advantage for the user (he needs to wait until the admin can react) and the administrator (he has a lot of things to do and updating MiKTeX is not one of the important ones ...)

As you see Ulrike Fischer told you the same from the view of an user.

  • And if the users are system accounts, than it is the opposite of what you both said.
    – ajeh
    Apr 6, 2015 at 16:24
  • The users are not always humans. Quite often they are service accounts used for various applications.
    – ajeh
    Apr 7, 2015 at 15:07

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