I've inherited an old TeX tree that contains multiple versions of TeX and I'm attempting to determine what local changes were made to specific versions. I understand that in certain cases our binaries were patched in addition to any local style files.

I'm currently looking at our TeX Live 2011 tree. This was installed using the internet installer back when that release was current.

My original plan was to install the archived historic release of TeX Live 2011 and then compare the two directory structures to highlight our local changes.

Since the archived TeX Live 2011 tree also contained files for the internet installer I attempted to run these with the slight chance these might install TeX Live 2011 similar to our original release. This does not work.

Is there a way to install TeX Live 2011 to replicate most of our original installation tree? Or should I be looking at the ISO images?

I realize this is not a common request. I'm attempting to pick up this TeX tree and determine what others have done in the past.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

  • 2
    Welcome to TeX.SX! Older releases are available: tug.org/historic/systems/texlive -- but I've never used them so far. There are ISO images amongst them.
    – user31729
    Commented Aug 3, 2015 at 15:07
  • 2
    It's easy to replicate either the DVD release (from the archived ISOs) or the final internet update release (ISO then do an update using the historical archive). If you need to aim 'between' these you will probably have to read the TL SVN to see what was added when.
    – Joseph Wright
    Commented Aug 3, 2015 at 15:10
  • I've managed to install the ISO and figured out how to update it using the historical archive. Unfortunately I need a snapshot that's earlier than the final version of the historic archive. Is there a way to point the update mechanism at an SVN archive that's checked out to a certain point in time. Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 12:31
  • Using the SVN tree and --revision argument I've managed to recreate the non-local portion of the tree. I'm reading through the build guide and much of this seems to depend on building the sources from scratch. What I'd really like to do is take the binaries and texmf sources I've extracted and create a distribution tar file. Is this possible? I'm wondering if I should post a new question. Commented Sep 18, 2015 at 17:55
  • This is more a comment than an answer (can't comment because of reputation) but the login and password for the ftp does note work anymore. (I wonder if its had even work once in the past...) I really wonder how I can access old version so far...
    – Welgriv
    Commented Jan 2, 2019 at 12:16

2 Answers 2


The archive on ftp://tug.org/historic/systems/texlive has the historic versions of TeXLive (and so LaTeX of course too) dating back to 1996 until the current release, as of writing TL 2018.

In case there is a password query popping up (thanks to the information by Joseph Wright):

Username: anonymous

Password: ftp

You will find an ftp archive then, with the individual releases.

The 1997 directory seems to be empty, however.

The newer releases have both .tar.gz bundles or .iso images, the older ones partially only .tar.gz or .iso images.

  • Are the historic TeXLive versions mirrored somewhere?
    – Bubaya
    Commented Jun 7, 2019 at 8:15
  • In case people have issues with FTP not being supported, tug.org/historic lists some mirrors, amongst them a few that can be accessed via HTTP.
    – moewe
    Commented Jul 23, 2021 at 13:23
  • This is an updated version of user31729's excellent answer which links to a so-called FTP server.
  • As of 2022-11-05, browsers like Chrome and Firefox have removed FTP support, see here and here (Google Support website) for example.
  • In Windows (and macOS), you can use your OS' file explorer (Win + E), see screenshot. Just copy ftp://tug.org/historic/systems/texlive/ in the address field.
  • In my case, there was no need to enter the login data (user name: anonymous, password: FTP).

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