I'm trying to install texlive. I proceeded in the recommended way, as per

After hours since initiating the download with install-tl as per instructions in How to install “vanilla” TeXLive on Debian or Ubuntu?. Hours after intiating the install-tl command, the installation aborted with the following error message:

Installing [2507/3271, time/total: 03:01:18/03:46:09]: rec-thy [221k]
TLUtils::check_file: removing /tmp/bgLBEx3xxA/o1ankpQviV/rec-thy.tar.xz, sizes differ:
TLUtils::check_file:   TL=0, arg=7428
TLPDB::_install_package: downloading did not succeed
Installation failed.
Rerunning the installer will try to restart the installation.
Or you can restart by running the installer with:
  install-tl --profile installation.profile [EXTRA-ARGS]
install-tl: Writing log in current directory:

I have no idea how to implement the crypic instruction

install-tl --profile installation.profile [EXTRA-ARGS]

because I can't find any information as what the EXTRA-ARGS should be, and google provided no help. So I started again with


hoping it would be smart enough not to start from scratch, but it wasn't, and did start from scratch, meaning another 3 hours. This time it crashed after a few minutes, with

Installing [0051/3271, time/total: 04:08/04:30:47]: ae [84k]
TLUtils::check_file: removing /tmp/ZLEUeUk8LV/ps7iOTjRWq/ae.tar.xz, sizes differ:
TLUtils::check_file:   TL=43160, arg=57364
TLPDB::_install_package: downloading did not succeed
Installation failed.
Rerunning the installer will try to restart the installation.
Or you can restart by running the installer with:
  install-tl --profile installation.profile [EXTRA-ARGS]
install-tl: Writing log in current directory: /usr/local/src/install-tl-20160728/install-tl.log

Why would the installation crash at different places? Could somebody please interpret these crashes and how to prevent them? If the installation crashes again, is there a way of picking up where I left off? (presumably using the mysterious EXTRA-ARGS?). If all else fails, is there another way of getting a less complete latex installation that will actually work?

Thanks very much for any advice?

  • I've faced the same problem, wrote to the maintainers. Jun 12, 2017 at 19:56

4 Answers 4


What follows is my answer on the TeX Live mailing list:

We are well aware, and we had in former times a mechanism that kept the downloaded packages around and re-used them for installation, so that no double download happened.

Then, lots of people complained that during an installation of scheme-full the disk usage exploded to about 6+ Gb (due to full installation plus one set of all packages).

Thus, for now we delete the packages.

Furthermore, continuing an aborted installation by reading the already installed packages and only install the rest: This is not possible at the moment, and I am not sure how to guarantee that all files of all the hitherto installed packages are actually installed.

Package managers like dpkg (on Debian) hit hard on the hard disk by syncing files permanently to guarantee consistency. I am not sure if we want to do something like this for install-tl.

What might be possible is the following: If install-tl breaks down and writes a profile, then it already knows that the installed packages are fine, and writes a hint into the profile, so that a restart of the installation can continue from there. I will look into it.

Last but not least, on sx you wrote

I have no idea how to implement the crypic instruction

    `install-tl --profile installation.profile [EXTRA-ARGS]`

well, the EXTRA-ARGS are those arguments you passed in to install-tl on the original installation, like --repository or something else... In most cases not necessary. So in most of the cases you simply do

install-tl --profile installation.profile

as is.

Hope that helps

  • 1
    Did this ever get implemented? I had an install fail at the very last hurdle this year (well after everything was downloaded and installed), but the installer started over downloading everything from scratch. I find maybe 1 in 2 installations succeed. The rest fail, often very far into the install. This is, to say the least, a pain. (I don't have any inspired suggestions for improving it, though.)
    – cfr
    Jun 6, 2018 at 22:24
  • 2
    No sorry, that is highly non-trivial and I am not sure whether this can safely be included. But ok, I put it back onto my radar, thanks for pinging.
    – norbert
    Jun 7, 2018 at 1:25
  • 2
    How about an option to retain the downloaded packages? I.e. an option to use the old behaviour if people can afford the disk space? Don't know if that would be easier and it wouldn't always help. (And it can make things worse: I used to have installs fail because I had enough space, but not enough space.) Not default, but maybe an option. For people who pay per bit downloaded or have very slow connections, the ability to cache the downloads somehow might improve things substantially.
    – cfr
    Jun 7, 2018 at 1:56

I solved this problem by installing not full scheme, but small. After that I installed necessary packages by hand. tlmgr gui works fine for that.

In case of problems redownload should start with a smaller set of packages, not every one (but in fact there were no problems).

I also wrote to TeXLive mailing list about the problem with redownloading everything. They proposed the following (thanks to Philip Taylor) (UPD):

  1. Download TeXLive repository to your local directory with rsync, which is incremental (it doesn't redownload present files)

    rsync -a --delete rsync://somectan/somepath/systems/texlive/tlnet/ /your/local/dir

  2. Install from local repository,

    ./install-tl -repository /your/local/dir

  • 2
    Thanks to both of you for writing to the maintainers. I'm reluctant to install the small version; it's so nice not to have to worry about whether a package is missing; but it's useful to know how.
    – Leo Simon
    Jun 13, 2017 at 0:50

Just try

sudo install-tl --profile installation.profile

on the command line. Maybe you hit a mirror which wasn't fully synced.

  • 4
    Unfortunately, this doesn't help with the second part of the question - installer starts from scratch.
    – kgadek
    Sep 16, 2016 at 6:41

My problem was apparently an unstable repository. There are 2 ways of solving this, either download the repository and using that as suggested in another answer, or manually select another one.

We can find all mirrors on CTAN, and as suggested on the Web Installation Page, we have to "... append systems/texlive/tlnet to the top-level mirror urls given there to get to the TL area".

So I chose ctan.math.illi­nois.edu.

If you already have Perl install, simply use the following in your unpacked installer (if you are on Windows like me):

perl install-tl --repository http://ctan.math.illi­nois.edu/systems/texlive/tlnet

Make sure to add appropriate protocol: (FTP/HTTP) if you want to install via the web. If you have downloaded the repo, you can do without the protocol, and point to the directory of where the files are located.

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