I plan to have my students install TeX Live on their laptops (mostly Windows 8 or 10 Pro). If all of them download the packages at the same time, the network will be stalled. I could hand around the TeXLive 2015 iso-image on a USB memory-stick. But, as I recall, installing from the ISO-Image still is a very time consuming process. (The lesson is only 100 minutes)

Is there a better way to do that? The TeX Live guide mentions creating an ISO-image from my up-to-date system, but does not explain how to do so.

If I just copy the C:\texlive tree, what else would I have to do? Update PATH? Regedit?

  • 4
    If this is an iintroduction for students who are not sure if they are going to stick with LaTeX, i wouldn't loose time with the installation of a several GB TeX Live. I would use one of the online compilers where they can just lay their hands on code and try examples. If they like it, they can install TeX Live afterwards.
    – Johannes_B
    Feb 14, 2016 at 14:35
  • Most of them will have to stick with LaTeX for the next year. Still thank you for the hint to online compilers. I will have a look at them. Feb 14, 2016 at 14:54
  • if you have a portable installation you can copy past texlive tree, i am not sure that updating path will be necessary, texworks (part from installation) can find the binaries.
    – touhami
    Feb 14, 2016 at 15:05
  • 1
    We usually copy the tlnet folder from one of the mirrors (via rsync) onto USB sticks and then install from there (often copying the tlnet folder to the target computer as Windows is rather slow at copying of USB, and so the next person can use the USB). It is still time consuming to install on Windows. Transplanting from a donor windows system is possible, but again takes a long time to copy, say a zip file from USB to disk and then unzipping it on the recipient. Plus the scripts for integrating the transplant are not trivial.
    – daleif
    Feb 14, 2016 at 16:39
  • 1
    I consider this is off topic.
    – Mauramz
    Feb 14, 2016 at 18:18

1 Answer 1


I found out that texlive (at least since 2016) offers a portable installation option. (use install-tl-advanced.bat)

So I have a portable installation, keep it up to date and distribute a zip archive of the c:\texlive tree using a USB-3.0 memory stick.

I tell the students that they have to use USB 3.0 when available, copy the zip and pass on the stick before continuing with the installation. (Oddly enough many zip programs appear to be a lot faster than Windows Explorer of Windows 10.)

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