the output being the actual path, for example (on the workstation the author is using today):kpsewhich -var-value TEXMFLOCAL
In a MiKTeX installation, the location will in fact typically be something you specified yourself when you installed MiKTeX in the first place, but you may find you need to create one. The MiKTeX “Settings” window (/usr/local/share/texmf
Settings) has a tab “
Roots”; that tab gives a list of current TDS roots (they’re typically not called
texmf-anything). If there’s not one there with “
local” in its name, create an appropriate one (see below), and register it using the window’s “
Add” button. The MiKTeX FAQ suggests that you should create “
C:\Local TeX Files”, which is good if you manage your own machine, but often not even possible in corporate, or similar, environments — in such situations, the user may have no control over the hard disc of the computer, at all. So the real criterion is that your local tree should be somewhere that you, rather than the system, control. Restrictive systems often provide a “home directory” for each user, mounted as a network drive; this is a natural home for the user’s local tree. Other (often academic) environments assume the user is going to provide a memory stick, and will assign it a defined drive letter — another good candidate location. Note that the semantics of such a tree are indistinguishable from those of a “home” TEXMF tree. There are circumstances when you might not wish to use the ‘local’ tree:
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URL for this question: http://www.tex.ac.uk/cgi-bin/texfaq2html?label=what-TDS
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This is FAQ version 3.26, released on 2013-02-25.