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Is it unusual for installation of TeXLive on windows (full) to take 17+ hours? The installer has been running for 35 minutes and is working on package 94/3110 now. It is estimating 17 hours and 46 minutes remaining.

I have my antimalware / antivirus software disabled. My machine is reasonably new (5th gen i5, 16GB RAM).

Thanks in advance! :)

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  • Not on windows, but I'm guessing: No, not unless your internet connection is particularly slow.
    – jon
    Oct 9, 2015 at 2:41
  • Can one just download the iso file and host it on Dropbox? Drpbox downloads are way faster. Even a movie of comparable size say 5 GB downloads way faster. May 21, 2021 at 15:02

5 Answers 5

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Sometimes my students have problems installing MiKTeX or TeX Live with the same effect you had with TeX Live: the installing would take too much time (usual solution: change the mirror to download).

The time it needs to install depends on three things:

  1. How many downloads has the choosen mirror to do (that could mean, that you see a very slow server serving you)
  2. Your internet connection is slow (that could be because your provider is slow or one of the several servers on the route is slow)
  3. your computer is slow and has problems to handle the incomming datas from the internet

For point 1. and 2. check the quality of your internet connection. use the system panal to view how many packets are send and arrives on your computer. If the mirror is slow, change the mirror to download from.

To point 3.: Your computer is new and fast enouph to handle the download, even with activated antivirus software. But you wrote: "I have my antimalware / antivirus software disabled" Please: Never disable the antivirus software when you are connected to the internet! Just do the following:

  1. Download all needed files to your computer with---of course---activated antivirus software!
  2. Close internet connection, check the downloaded files with the antivirus software.
  3. No virus? Ok. Deactivate antivirus software and install LaTeX
  4. Activate Antivirus software and check the installed files for viruses (sure is sure).

But with a modern computer there should be no reason to deactivate antivirus software. If the computer is very slow I would check the memory and the hard disk drive. With a new computer the chanche is there that memory or hard disk drive are faulty ...

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To answer your question: No, it shouldn't take that long.

My current installing experience (not finished, yet) is that it (estimated) takes an hour with a mirror (also fast and near ones seem to take that long) and from the ISO about 20-30 minutes.

All on a pretty fast machine with SSD.

The reason are likely the many packages that need to be downloaded (for network installation), decompressed and unpacked (as described here: Why texlive installation is so slow?)

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  • The issue is that everything is downloaded and unpacked synchronously. If you download, decompress, and unpack all the packages in parallel, the installer would run in about ten seconds. May 16, 2023 at 20:16
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I figured out my problem. A "reasonably close" CTAN mirror is supposed to be selected but somehow the installer was downloading from University of Kansas (I'm near Seattle, WA and UW would have been a much better choice).

I had to forcibly close the installer and invoke it from the command line with the -repository option and just specified UW as the URL. I'm looking at an 11 minute install time now.

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    This doesn't really explain it. I wouldn't expect an install time of 17 hours even if I used a server in Kansas, never mind somebody in Seattle.
    – cfr
    Oct 9, 2015 at 3:24
  • I don't think this is the cause. I live in Germany and I can choose a US mirror for downloading TL and it takes at most two hours due to the distance and about 50 minutes when a local mirror is used
    – user31729
    Oct 9, 2015 at 6:01
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    You probably had a very slow connection for a bit which had improved by the time you restarted. Without throwing speeds into the algorithm used to report time remaining in the installer, I don't know how long the slowness would have to last to have an estimate of many hours. Maybe it was just very slow to start with and the estimate was off. Maybe your ISP does some kind of throttling and they have a cheaper link to UW or a peering arrangement.
    – Chris H
    Oct 9, 2015 at 8:24
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https://mirror.unpad.ac.id/ctan/systems/win32/miktex/setup/windows-x64/

Try downloading from here. It worked for me

P.S. This can be seen as an example to @UnknownBeef's answer for the question

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    That is extraordinarily specific advice which only really makes sense if the OP is geographically close to the mirror you are suggesting.
    – tripleee
    May 19, 2021 at 7:48
  • Yes triplee... Can't agree more... This can be seen as an example to @UnknownBeef 's answer for this question. Thank you for pointing it out May 19, 2021 at 8:01
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    In case it's not obvious to new visitors, .id is the country domain for Indonesia in Southeast Asia.
    – tripleee
    May 19, 2021 at 8:47
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No, it should not take 17 hours, but it can take hours, since the installer is downloading a lot of files sequentially. Downloading and installing from the provided iso can be much faster. You can find it here: https://www.tug.org/texlive/acquire-iso.html

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  • And depending on the time of year, updating after installation then takes hours and hours. The excessive time is often down to very agresive anti virus.
    – daleif
    Jan 20, 2022 at 9:50

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