When I am trying to update TeX Live I receive an error. Why does this happen and what does the error mean?

$ tlmgr update --self --all

/usr/local/texlive/2019/bin/x86_64-linux/tlmgr: unexpected return value from verify_checksum: -5

The return value of -5 means that signature verification for a repository has failed. There is currently a bug in tlmgr that prevents a sensible error message from being printed, but this is being worked on and should be fixed soon:


The most recent incarnation of this problem stems from the fact that the signing key for the tlcontrib repository expired. You can check whether you have tlcontrib enabled by using

$ tlmgr repository list
List of repositories (with tags if set):
    http://contrib.texlive.info/current (tlcontrib)
    http://mirror.ctan.org/systems/texlive/tlnet (main)

The maintainer of tlcontrib (Norbert Preining) has set his PGP key to expire every year, such that if the key were compromised it would become useless eventually. To update to the latest key, just execute the key import that you also executed when you first installed tlcontrib again:

$ curl -fsSL https://www.preining.info/rsa.asc | tlmgr key add -
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