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User specific tds

Dear TeX maintainers,

I know, that this is no user help list. I am interested in the developers' 
opinion, thus I ask here.

I want to know what the official way is to configure a user specific texmf 
path, which is used by kpsewhich and has priority over all other paths. I 
changed /etc/texmf/texmf.d/05texmf.cnf to set the TEXMFHOME, TEXMFVAR and 
TEXMFCONFIG variables and run update-texmf. This worked, but from time to 
time an update (I run testing) breaks my configuration.

I want to have $/HOME/.tex as a texmf tree (I do not know why the defaults 
differ from this standard most other non-tex packages use). After the last 
update I got:

> pat@mmm ~> kpsewhich --show-path tex | tr ":" "\n"
> .
> /home/pat/.tex/tex/kpsewhich//
> /home/pat/.tex/tex/kpsewhich//
> /home/pat/.tex/tex/kpsewhich//
> /etc/texmf/tex/kpsewhich//
> !!/var/lib/texmf/tex/kpsewhich//
> !!/usr/share/texmf/tex/kpsewhich//
> !!/usr/share/texlive/texmf/tex/kpsewhich//
> !!/usr/local/share/texmf/tex/kpsewhich//
> !!/usr/share/texlive/texmf-dist/tex/kpsewhich//
> /home/pat/.tex/tex/generic//
> /home/pat/.tex/tex/generic//
> /home/pat/.tex/tex/generic//
> /etc/texmf/tex/generic//
> !!/var/lib/texmf/tex/generic//
> !!/usr/share/texmf/tex/generic//
> !!/usr/share/texlive/texmf/tex/generic//
> !!/usr/local/share/texmf/tex/generic//
> !!/usr/share/texlive/texmf-dist/tex/generic//
> /home/pat/.tex/tex///
> /home/pat/.tex/tex///
> /home/pat/.tex/tex///
> /etc/texmf/tex///
> !!/var/lib/texmf/tex///
> !!/usr/share/texmf/tex///
> !!/usr/share/texlive/texmf/tex///
> !!/usr/local/share/texmf/tex///
> !!/usr/share/texlive/texmf-dist/tex///

So I get a lot of useless paths, before getting a useful path 
(/home/pat/.tex/tex///), but the useful path is too late. So the questions I 

Why is the same path used more than once? Shouldn't that be taken care of? 
Why can this path not being edited like the shell's path (or can it)? How do 
I get the wanted path first?


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