[texhax] MacTeX installation

Axel E. Retif axel.retif at mac.com
Thu Jan 29 10:32:53 CET 2009

On  28 Jan, 2009, at 13:42, Tom Schneider wrote:

I'm CCing your entire message below to Richard Koch, MacTeX  
maintainer, who can provide a much better answer to you.

The thing, in short, is this ---MacTeX provides a mechanism ---due to  
Gerben Wierda and Jerome Laurens--- through which you can shift from  
one TeX distribution to another you have installed; see


The user interface of this mechanism is a control panel in System  
Preferences, called ``TeX Distribution'' (you should have it). I don't  
think, though, that TeX Distribution knows about TeXLive 2005.

TeXLive usually asks you if you want symlinks of the *binaries* in / 
usr/bin (or is it /usr/local/bin?); MacTeX, on the other hand, makes a  
symlink to the *active distribution* in /usr/texbin ---that's how it  
allows you to change from one distribution to another.

Obviously you had installed TeXLive 2005 from TUG before, and /usr/bin  
is taken precedence over /usr/texbin.



> TeXHaXers:
> I finally got around to installing MacTeX from the September 2008 DVD.
> I decided to try MacTeX instead of TeX Live since the documentation
> says that all of TeX Live is in MacTeX.  Why not see what the
> interface is like?  The installation went smoothly, and MacTeX runs
> nicely.  Congratulations.
> I usually use LaTeX from the command line (or scripts) so I tested
> that and found one small discrepancy.
> %  which latex
> /usr/bin/latex
> Then:
> % cd /usr/bin
> % ls -l latex
> lrwxr-xr-x  1 root  wheel  45 Mar 22  2006 latex@ -> /usr/local/ 
> texlive/2005/bin/i386-darwin/latex
> That is, the pointer in /usr/bin was not updated, so I was still using
> the old latex installation.  I did that by hand using ln and sudo:
> lrwxr-xr-x  1 root  wheel  50 Jan 28 14:26 latex@ -> /usr/local/ 
> texlive/2008/bin/universal-darwin/latex
> If it is possible, I would suggest making this modification to the
> installation script.  Actually, I changed the name to latex2005 just
> so I could get back to it.  An option to delete the previous
> installation probably would be useful too.
> Regards,
> Tom
>  Dr. Thomas D. Schneider
>  National Institutes of Health
>  National Cancer Institute
>  Center for Cancer Research Nanobiology Program
>  Molecular Information Theory Group
>  Frederick, Maryland  21702-1201
>  toms at ncifcrf.gov
>  permanent email: toms at alum.mit.edu
>  http://www.ccrnp.ncifcrf.gov/~toms/
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