How can I update the Mac binaries of a TeX Live installation on a Ubuntu server?

The setup is the following:

  • I have a headless Ubuntu 11.10 server running on which I have installed TeX Live 2011. More specifically, I have installed the Linux (x86_64-linux), Mac (x86_64-darwin) and Windows (win32) binaries.
  • I can access the server via ssh from my local network.
  • I want to update the Mac part of the distribution.

I can update the Linux binaries without hassle, as I am naturally able to execute the tlmgr within the x86_64-linux folder. If I connect to the server via ssh and try to run tlmgr from the x86_64-darwin directory I get an error, of course, because it is built for the wrong architecture.

If I run “TeX Live Utility” from the MacTeX package (with paths accordingly set), the GUI shows me “Listing failed” and the log file reads

2012-01-24 12:12:15 +0000 Notice -[TLMOperation main][355]
tlmgr: Initialization failed (in setup_unix_one):
tlmgr: could not find a usable wget.
tlmgr: Please install wget and try again.
tlmgr: Initialization failed (in setup_unix_one):
tlmgr: could not find a usable xzdec.
tlmgr: Please install xzdec and try again.
Couldn't set up the necessary programs.
Installation of packages is not supported.
Please report to [email protected].

How can I get tlmgr to work correctly?

  • Are you saying that a tlmgr update --all does not also update the Mac and Windows binaries? Jan 24, 2012 at 12:47
  • Hm, maybe it does. Actually I have no idea of how tlmgr really works—I thought it just cared for the binaries of the same architecture, i. e. the Linux tlmgr only updates the Linux files. Is there any way I can find out whether tlmgr “knows” that there are other files which should be updated as well? Jan 24, 2012 at 16:06
  • 1
    Try tlmgr update --list. And read man tlmgr. Jan 24, 2012 at 17:25

1 Answer 1


It is unclear from your question how you installed the platforms. If tlmgr platform list shows all your intended platforms as installed, a simple tlmgr update --all should work. If it doesn't, you should install the platforms with tlmgr platform add ...

Of course these commands should be run on the server.

  • I installed via the Ubuntu tl-install routine. tlmgr platform list gives me: Available platforms: x86_64-darwin, win32, x86_64-linux so I guess that it should already be working the way I want it to. Thanks for the useful answer. Jan 26, 2012 at 20:57

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