[OS X TeX] A warning about path settings

Gerben Wierda Sherlock at rna.nl
Sat Aug 24 17:31:37 CEST 2002

Please take the following into account:

1. If you use TeXShop and not Terminal to run TeX, there is no need to 
do any path setting changes as TeXShop sets a good path before running 
commands). If you use other frontends, your mileage may vary (I 
understand that iTeXMac relies on tcsh stuff that has disappeared, but I 
do not know this for a fact).
2. Be minimalistic in environment settings, they play havoc with any 
attempt of support from my side (I am not in the business of doing 
environment-support-at-a-distance, boy do I hate this whole path mess 
and I *warned* Apple about this....).
3. Mac OS X has several distinct path settings, there is a separate 
setting for all GUI apps, one for csh-like shells, one for sh-like 
shells, etc. I advise *strongly* against messing with GUI-app settings 
(which is what some utilities do) as it will make user support for those 
apps a mess (i.e. set the path for GUI apps to include another TeX and 
while I assume you are running mine as you have set in the preferences 
panel of TeXShop, you are in effect *partly(!)* running another version 
which takes me ages to find out, I am bitching here, I know, but this 
has been reality for me).
4. If you want to use TeX from a Terminal.app command line with the 
default login shell (tcsh), please update to the a latest version 
(2002-08-23 22:47:27 +0200) of the TeX Programs i-Package or donwload 
the latest TeX.dmg, TeX-thin.dmg or TeX-fat.dmg. This will run a version 
of the settcshtexpath script that works on 10.2 and earlier versions for 
the binary path setting. It changes a system-wide setting in a standard 
way such that support for me remains manageable (about 80% of my support 
time in the past has been spent on this kind of trouble, starting with 
fink and now 10.2)
5. If you do not update the the latest distribution, download 
ftp://ftp.nluug.nl/pub/comp/macosx/settcshtexpath and run that script. 
Nveer mind that the older istaller complain about path settings failure, 
just run that script *after* an install.
6. Do not, I repeat: do not, set  MANPATH if you want access to man 
pages for TeX from the command line in 10.2. The man setup has changed 
between 10.1 and 10.2 and the changes are now in /etc/manpath.config. 
MANPATH settings overrides this system setting and probably will harm 
your access to man pages (unless you really know what you are doing). 
Note, the first settcshtexpath on ftp://ftp.nluug.nl had this problem, 
so if you downloaded that, download again. man path settings in 10.2 
depend on binary path settings in an intelligent way. The latest 
settcshtexpath takes this into account and sets the correct entry in 

Short summary: the best and easiest thing to do on Mac OS X 10.2 is to 
update to the latest i-Package for TeX Programs or to download the most 
recent installer and run that. This will set your PATH and your man path 
to reasonabl settings. Note that this has been checked on Mac OS X 10.2 
beta and it does work. If it does notwork on your system, please contact 
me first before you inform the rest of the world about the problem with 
my distribution.


PS. Boy do I wish Apple had understood the mess they were creating here 
in the open software world...

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