I am using TeX Live on a Linux system. My current OS version is a bit old and the Tex Live packages shipped are not the most recent. I need to use a custom texmf in TEXMFHOME for some CTAN packages. Most of them come with a TDS file, so I can just unzip the TDS archive into my local texmf tree. However, when I want to remove some packages from this local texmf tree, I have to list files in the original TDS archive to make sure I am not removing more or less than necessary. I think I am doing the typical job of a package manager.

I noticed TeX Live comes with a binary tlmgr that looks like a package manager. But my OS prevents me from running this binary, warning me that I should be using the OS package manager (that ships old packages). I don't want to have a separate standalone install of TeX Live because all I need are a few more packages, not an entire copy of TeX Live. It would be great if tlmgr can manage CTAN packages in my local texmf tree. Is this possible?


1 Answer 1


I think I can probably close this now. I found tlmgr has --usermode:

"tlmgr" provides a restricted way, called ``user mode'', to manage arbitrary texmf trees in the same way as the main installation.

This is exactly what I need. The details can be found in its manual.

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