On Tue, 3 Dec 2002, Roland Jesse wrote:

> Hi,
> I installed some local additions to the system wide texmf tree in
> ~~/texmf. In order to have latex pick that stuff up, I set $TEXMF to
> {$HOME/texmf,!!$TEXMFMAIN//,!!$TEXMFLOCAL//}. That results in:

Did you "set" TEXMF as an environment variable or by editing texmf.cnf? 
> % kpsewhich -expand-var='$TEXMF' 
> warning: kpathsea: variable `TEXMF' references itself (eventually).

I've never seen the warning message above, but if I did I'd want to know
why I was getting it.  If you put the local additions after the main tree
in the TEXMF list, and then install a newer version of something that is
already present in the main tree, the version from the local tree won't be

> The latter two directories are defined in the system's
> teTeX/share/texmf/web2c/texmf.cnf.
> The stuff in ~/texmf/... seems to be picked up correctly. However,
> problems with other packages arise:

You get a LaTeX error -- this could occur if some old files are
being loaded from the standard texmf tree instead of the newer
files in your local tree.

> No problems arise, when I unset the TEXMF environment variable. Of
> course, the files in ~/texmf won't be picked up anymore.
> Any hints on what I am missing here (as well as which documentation I
> might not have read) are appreciated.

TeTex is designed so you should not need to set any environment 
variables.  The exception is where you need to provide multiple
configurations (e.g., someone working on a book doesn't want to 
see any updates to the the packages he is using, while other
users want bug fixes).  In that case, you can use TEXMFCNF to
point to a different texmf.cnf for each configuratio, e.g, setting
one variable gives you complete control over the directory search
paths for all the parts of teTeX.

Now that many vendors provide a teTeX package, it is convenient to 
treat the vendor's tree as a "read-only" system and make all the 
changes elsewhere.  The you can upgrade the vendor package without
losing your local changes (but then you need to check that the 
updated package doesn't have newer versions of some packages!).

George White <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> 
Head of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia

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