[tex-live] a question about PATH

jfbu jfbu at free.fr
Sat Apr 9 16:52:53 CEST 2016

> /Library/TeX/texbin comes from MacTeX. To learn more, go to
> 	http://tug.org/mactex/elcapitan.html
> and read about TeX and El Capitan, and also go to
> 	http://tug.org/mactex/multipletexdistributions.html
> and read about MacTeX’s support for multiple TeX Distributions.
> I think the behavior you report is correct. In Terminal, we append
> /Library/TeX/texbin to the end automatically, as most users have
> only this link to the TeX binaries, and thus use our mechanism to
> handle multiple versions. Sophisticated users can modify $PATH
> as they wish.
> Dick Koch

Hi Dick

thanks for answering but I re-iterate the issue I am pointing out :

$ echo $PATH

$ tlmgr conf | grep PATH
==================== executables found by searching PATH =================
PATH: /Library/TeX/texbin:/usr/bin:/bin:/usr/sbin:/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/opt/X11/bin:/Library/TeX/texbin
tlmgr: didn't get return value from action conf, assuming ok.

as you see the PATH reported by "tlmgr conf" does not match the one from echo $PATH.

(I have removed from both outputs some repertories I have additionally
to the above; this, I am sure, irrelevant)

Perhaps the tlmgr is prepending /Library/TeX/texbin to its own PATH,
but if this is the case this is confusing to report it as "PATH" to the user,
because the
user will tend to think that calling "pdftex" on the command line
will first look for it in /Library/TeX/texbin. Which is *not* the case.

Thus if one needs to debug something this information from "tlmgr conf"
has the potential to makes thinks more difficult.

Nothing forbids me to add some "pdftex" in a an intermediate repertory
and it is the one which will be used by processes spawned from a Terminal
shell or other processes inheriting my environment.

This is the issue here. It is quite possible than tlmgr actions use
the PATH as reported (that would be logical), but in such case it should
be said that this is the case. Perhaps I overlooked something in the documentation.
I only found

> With only "conf", show general configuration information for TeX Live,
>        including active configuration files, path settings, and more.  This is
>        like the "texconfig conf" call, but works on all supported platforms.

As per /Library/TeX/texbin symlink, 
I created it myself last year in anticipation
that perhaps I would upgrade to Yosemite. But as I don't have a Retina
display and dislike the smartphone looks of Yosemite/El Capitan I stuck
with Mavericks.

It is located at end of PATH, because it is inherited from the
 /etc/paths.d/TeX file which an earlier MacTeX installation
had with TeX file containing "/usr/texbin". I simply adapted it
thus indeed my set-up inherits from MacTeX, but currently I am
on a vanilla TeXLive 2016 pretest install, not on MacTeX.

I also use the TeXDist Preference Pane from bygone years.

By the way, only today did I realize that it insists on 
re-creating the /usr/texbin link which I though I had
suppressed last year.

I upgraded it to 2.7.2 version following a link
from one of the info pages you are pointing to in your message,
but it shows the same behaviour. I will try to check after posting this
if the other version whose name contains "osx 10.10" runs on Mavericks,
so far I didn't even try as that seems doubtful but who know, if it
does surely it will not recreate the /usr/texbin.


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