[MacTeX] LaTeX format not rebuilt after package update

Richard Koch koch at math.uoregon.edu
Fri Feb 14 20:27:31 CET 2020

For those who are curious, let me explain why this error occurred. To create an install package, I install the appropriate version of TeX Live on my machine using the Unix install script. Then I copy the resulting TeX Live to a folder and ask Apple's PackageMaker to create an install package from that copy.

The Unix install script has several options which I set before installing. One of these options asks if formats should be created. For the full MacTeX, I create formats, which are thus in the install package. These formats may be recreated by the installer if the user has a different paper size.

Basic TeX is supposed to be small, so I don't create formats in the Unix install; instead they are created for everyone by the post-install script run by the BasicTeX installer.

Unfortunately, the "create formats" option of the Unix install script isn't just a choice for the initial install. It is also a choice for what tlmgr should do during updates. This possibility never occurred to me because I think of users as "people with a personal computer" rather than "or servers for whole groups of people."

The 2020 version of BasicTeX will not make this mistake.

Richard Koch

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