Is there way to get a list of the packages which were installed when TeX Live was initially set up?

I can get a list of all present packages with tlmgr list | grep '^i' but I do not see a way to differentiate between the packages which we originally installed and the ones I installed later using tlmgr install.

I am using TeX Live 2011.

  • 1
    i presume you mean the "current version of tex live", not version 1 from however many years ago ... Commented Sep 15, 2011 at 21:52
  • If you installed from the TUG DVD then that contains the information if you installed all packages (for a summary look at the (text) file texlive/tlpkg/texlive.tlpdb or look at the contents of any given package in the archive). Similarly if you have the tlpdb file from your system shortly after an the original installation, e.g. from a backup or archive, you could use that. The file texlive.profile on the current system gives the list of collections (rather than individual packages) originally installed.
    – mas
    Commented Sep 16, 2011 at 7:26
  • I used the Tex Live net installed. At the beginning, if it detects a prev version of Tex Live, it asks the user if the installation options from the previous installation should be used. Where does it get that information? Perhaps the files in there could give a clue… Commented Sep 16, 2011 at 7:59

1 Answer 1


You could use that very same method (ie. tlmgr list | grep '^i') with a fresh TeXLive install (you could use the --portable option to avoid wrecking your current one).

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