Assume there is a computer running Windows 7+. I have an external drive with a bunch of portable programs, among which there happen to be two directories with complete portable versions of MiKTeX and TeX Live for Windows (each is nearly 6 GiB in size).

Can I perform a full install of either TeX distro on the standalone computer having

  1. minimal installer executables (say, basic-miktex-2.9.6xxx-x64.exe and install-tl-windows.exe),
  2. files of the full portable install of both distros,
  3. no internet connection?

I tried to point newly installed MiKTeX package manager to the location of the existing portable installation, unsuccessfully:

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With TeX Live it looks like one has to use a mirrored repository exclusively, however I haven't found any evidences that portable installation cannot be used instead.

I'm aware that I can just copy files to the local computer and set the $PATH to something like C:\MiKTeX\texmfs\install\miktex\bin or C:\TeXLive\2018\bin\win32, but I would like to know for sure whether there is a chance to use a portable version as a local repository.

  • for miktex, i don't know, but the texlive distribution doesn't contain the sources to act as a repository but why would that be preferable to simply copying the files? texlive does not need any "installation" or registry settings other than the path it is designed so that you can simply copy or share the directory – David Carlisle Nov 30 '18 at 21:20
  • Have you tried this: miktex.org/howto/deploy-miktex ? – AndréC Nov 30 '18 at 21:29
  • @DavidCarlisle Fair enough, but I've also though of updating the packages on that computer in the future. I keep portable versions up-to-date, and copying many packages can be somewhat inefficient and/or require third-party tools like folder diff, and I'm also afraid of breaking stuff by manually overwriting packages. I'd really love to delegate the update process to package managers:) – andselisk Nov 30 '18 at 21:32
  • @AndréC I'm sure it's going to work out fine, but I don't want to keep repositories on top of already available portable versions. – andselisk Nov 30 '18 at 21:34
  • 2
    A local repository for miktex has to contain files like the ones here ctan.org/tex-archive/systems/win32/miktex/tm/packages. – Ulrike Fischer Nov 30 '18 at 21:53

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