Suggestion to support TeXDist symlink creation on Macs out-of-the-box

Mojca Miklavec mojca.miklavec.lists at
Sat Mar 30 19:47:32 CET 2019

Dear Norbert & others,

The TeX Live installer is currently offering the option "Create
symlinks in standard directories" [1].

I'm aware that it's usually not desirable to use that option, but an
alternative has been present in the Mac(TeX) world for years. It
usually creates some semi-complex structure (too complex for my taste,
but let's forget about the details) which basically boils down to
creating a symlink to the TeX distribution of choice at a standard
location (/Library/TeX/texbin), and then adding that location to PATH.
That's not much different from what TeX Live is trying to tell the
user to do, except that when done in the "TeXDist way", there are a
bunch of tools that allow the user to switch between different
distributions and most TeX editors are fully aware of that standard
path and work out of the box even if that path doesn't get explicitly
specified. From the console it works out of the box without editing
bash profile.

This is a version that Dick sent me in 2017 and I adapted it to
support both regular and legacy binaries (but I didn't update it for
2018 or 2019 yet; I'm sure that Dick has an updated version though,
it's also part of MacTeX).

My question is mostly: would it be possible to simplify this a bit and
integrate it into tlmgr, so that users could select that (non-default)
option during installation? We would of course need to discuss what is
really needed, but basically it's just about creating a bunch of

Thank you,

[1] I'm currently unable to check that option even if run the
installer under sudo. When I click "Specify directories", it says that
the installer cannot write to /usr/local/share/man, but that's just
because that folder doesn't exist. Shouldn't the installer attempt to
create that directory instead of saying that it's not able to write

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