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I work with a journal that uses Latex format files that are intended for a 2016 Miktex distribution. The format files are incompatible with latest Miktex distributions. Recently I tried to install Miktex 2.9.6069 on a Windows 11 computer and was stuck at the error as described in MiKTeX Installation Fails with "Executed process did not succeed" and Installation Problem with Basic MiKTeX 2.9.6753 Installer

Now I am willing to get a 2017 Miktex distribution, but did not manage to find one, except the source code: Are previous releases of MiKTeX available?

Are there any mirrors of the entire distributions of Miktex? Or maybe are there any time snapshots of CTAN?

If there are none, were the versions of Texlive compatible with the versions of Miktex? Which versions of Texlive may I try to use instead of Miktex 2017 versions?

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    sorry but without details about what is actually incompatible it is quite impossible to say if an older texlive would solve your problems. If your document uses new packages that require new formats installing an old system won't help. You could try on overleaf, it allows to compile with older systems. But generally: it is the job of your journal to enable compilation on a current tex system. They should force authors to install outdated tex systems. Commented Sep 10, 2023 at 9:26
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    I meant they should not force authors to install outdated tex system. Commented Sep 10, 2023 at 9:32
  • @UlrikeFischer The journal format is a derivative of revtex4n style. The authors are not forced to use the format, but the man, who works in the journal and formats the issues, is forced by the publisher. It is not me, but I wish to help the man.
    – Viktor
    Commented Sep 10, 2023 at 9:56
  • well sorry but you are not helping him by trying to run an outdated tex system. In the same way a journal has to update its other equipments like computers, laptops, OS or printer it should maintain its software. And that means it should invest some time to keep it up-to-date. And if a publisher want to use old software that should provide support for it and not rely on the community to handle this. Commented Sep 10, 2023 at 10:20
  • @UlrikeFischer Unfortunately, the real world is not ideal. Many things that should be done are not done. I just wanted to ask a simple question: are there archives of old Miktex versions? May be there are some.
    – Viktor
    Commented Sep 10, 2023 at 12:00

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I unfortunately don't have a MikTeX answer for you and I can't add a comment, but I was recently looking into this as well and possible solutions I have found (some already mentioned in the previous comments) are

  1. Using Overleaf's Select compiler version: https://www.overleaf.com/blog/new-feature-select-your-tex-live-compiler-version
  2. Using TinyTeX via R: https://www.r-bloggers.com/2021/10/running-old-versions-of-texlive-with-tinytex/
  3. Using a historic version of TeXLive via their archive: https://www.tug.org/texlive/acquire.html

As mentioned, these are all solutions for TeXLive instead of MikTex, but I've had to use MikTeX and TeXLive in parallel since 2016 (company would only allow MikTeX, personal preference was TeXLive), and I haven't noticed any egregious differences between the two for the packages I was using. All of my documents compiled fine regardless of whether the underlying system was MikTeX or TeXLive. So in case you haven't tried it yet, I'd probably simply try with a historical version of TeXLive from 2015 - according to this question: Can I specify TeXLive version to install in the install-tl profile? it should be possible to install historical versions of TeXLive reaching back as far as 2015, so you might just get lucky with one of those.

If that doesn't solve the issue because newer contributions do require newer versions of packages (as suggested in the comments), the best way forward would probably be to update the format files to a more modern version. Another temporary fix could be (please note that this really depends on what specifically the format files say and is not intended to be a permanent solution) to produce the parts that require newer code with an up-to-date version and include the finished pages by means of the pdfpages package (https://ctan.org/pkg/pdfpages) or by using \includegraphics from the graphicx package. But that is also highly reliant on what exactly the parts that need newer versions are, so at best a temporary fix.

In any case, best of luck to you, I also have a lot of experience with refusals to update software despite it being required for daily tasks. We can't all choose what our companies adopt as policy or are willing to provide.


ETA: If you're even more lucky, this might supply you with a working copy of 2.9: https://miktex.informer.com/download/ (or try via https://miktex.informer.com/2.9/)

Fair warning, I have not downloaded and checked it for viruses myself.

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