ConTeXt Standalone

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Revision as of 18:59, 24 September 2007 by Mojca Miklavec (talk | contribs) (a page to note and exchange ideas about the new ConTeXt minimals (already useful, bot not quite ready for official announcement yet))
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We wanted to provide:

  • an easy to (no-need-to-)install ConTeXt distribution
  • a fast and convenient way to update ConTeXt and binaries to the latest version (no need to fetch 100 MB when only minimal modifications have been made in the distribution)
  • a refence ConTeXt distribution
  • an easy way to revert to an older ConTeXt (in case the latest one is broken)
  • probably some combination of rsync and svn will be used, but the exact concept is still not completely clear

We do not plan to provide:

  • LaTeX packages (perhaps the really-basic-latex as an add-on package, but only if someone else has time to investigate what is needed)
  • extensive support for whatever binaries or packages which are otherwise standard in TeX distributions: use TeX Live or MikTeX for that purpose

The minimals (will) contain:

  • ConTeXt
  • Fonts: most important TeX-aware ones
  • pdfTeX, XeTeX, LuaTeX and Metapost (latest version, if possible)
  • formats (need to be generated by user) for
    • ConTeXt, mptopdf and plain TeX for pdfTeX/XeTeX/LuaTeX
    • metafun and plain for Metapost
  • it would be nice to have tex4ht as a package if someone can figure out what is needed to make it work

Supported platforms

  • Windows
  • Linux
  • Linux 64 bit (serious problems with TeX Live binaries)
  • Mac Intel
  • Mac PPC
  • other platforms on request (please send a mail to the context list)


Binaries are mostly taken from TeX Live 2007, but new ones are used whenever available.

Sources of binaries

  • TeX Live 2007 for most binaries and most platforms
  • Akira's W32TeX for windows binaries (including metapost, LuaTeX, pdfTeX and XeTeX) - automatic
  • for pdfTeX, XeTeX, LuaTeX and metapost for other platforms added manually whenever possible (nice if it could be automated, but no idea how)
  • texmf/scripts/context/stubs from ConTeXt

List of included binaries

Core binaries

We will do our best to keep them as up to date as possible. If they're still not up to date for your platform and you know where to find them, please notify us, we will fix that. We might provide XeTeX and LuaTeX in separate packages (on TODO list).

  • pdftex
  • luatex
  • texlua, texluac (only symlinks on "unix" platforms, in Akira's distribution luatex.dll is used + 3 small executables)
  • xetex, xdvipdfmx
  • metapost
    • dvitomp
    • makempx
    • mpost
    • mpto (can this be replaced by ConTeXt's variant in future?)

Other binaries

  • kpathsea
    • kpseaccess
    • kpsestat
    • kpsewhich
  • different tools
    • bibtex
    • dvipos
    • mktexlsr
    • pdftosrc

Stubs & other ConTeXt-related

  • everything from texmf/scripts/context/stubs
  • luatools, mtxrun
  • texmfstart (take the latest version by Hans automatically: doesn't happen yet)


Might be removed or moved to a special category of "font-related binaries", and only available as an additional package.

  • only left for testing
    • afm2pl
    • afm2tfm
    • ttf2afm
  • Knuth's
    • pltotf
    • tftopl
    • vftovp
    • vptovf


  • dvipdfmx
  • dvips


Additional standard tools, such as unzip etc. TODO.


There's a plan to provide three versions:

  • stable
  • beta
  • broken (for Hans, Taco and nerds only)

And a plan to provide possibility to revert back to an older stable version. TODO.


Fonts are split in three packages:

  • used in both pdfTeX and XeTeX/LuaTeX: mostly math (pfb, map, enc, tfm)
  • used in pdfTeX only: pfb, map, enc, tfm (those that are not present in "common")
  • used in XeTeX/LuaTeX only: otf

Currently we have (the latest version, in sync with CTAN):

  • Latin Modern
  • Antykwa Torunska
  • Iwona & Kurier
  • TeX Gyre
  • ams

Other fonts to be added:

  • TODO

It is possible that we'll provide a really minimal package with LM only, and additional three packages (common, for new TeX, for old TeX) with all the other fonts.

Third-party modules & Other

  • TODO
  • also cont-* from Hans's page




See the talk page