[OS X TeX] OS X TeX newbie needs help installing TeX on non-boot volume

Rowland McDonnell rjmm-lists1 at fireflyuk.net
Sat Sep 10 18:01:36 CEST 2005

> On Sep 10, 2005, at 8:41 AM, Rowland McDonnell wrote:
> > Hello,
> >
> > My subject line says it all.  I've been using OzTeX for a while
> > System 6.0.7 was the latest and greatest) and I've got CMacTeX for
> > pdfTeX these days.  I've looked at what one can apparently do with a
> > modern OS X TeX setup and thought `I want some of that'.  So I  
> > tried to
> > install a teTeX based TeX and hit a brick wall: I can't work out  
> > how to
> > install things in non-standard places.
> >
> > <snip>
> I don't know that you can very easily (easily depends on your skill  
> level).

Not at all.  It depends on my knowledge level - which is negligible in
this case.  I haven't a clue what to do with i-installer or TeTeX and
don't really understand anything that's going on - and don't know where
to go to find out more.

My skill level is extremely high in many areas.  This does not help when
one cannot get basic facts about `stuff'.

My skill level is high enough to click the required element in the UI -
I can see where i-installer provides a button to `change install
location'.  But I don't know the consequences of telling it to install
somewhere other than standard.

> i-Installer (and other tetex distributions) install inside  
> the /usr/local directory (not as an application bundle or such).

I know.  And as I say, I want to make it install the software somewhere

> It  
> is possible that you could create a "local" directory elsewhere and  
> create a symbolic link to it named /usr/local
> cd /usr
> sudo ln -s /Volumes/otherdrive/local local

I'm not sure what you mean by this.

Of course I can create folders and make links to 'em.  

What relevance does this have to installing teTeX and friends somewhere
other than standard?

Perhaps I am being stupid, but I can't see anything to help me here.

> However, I wouldn't bother with this for two reasons:
> a) Reinstalling this stuff, should something go wrong with your hard  
> drive, is easy, especially if you've kept the i-Installer source

However, it does take time and effort.  And that time and effort applies
to every other bit of software installed.

> b) If that external drive

Which external drive?

> isn't mounted when you do an install by  
> accident, you can easily end up creating a directory in the place of  
> "otherdrive", and this can become a modest mess, especially for a  
> novice(not implied). I had a backup script that I used once that did  
> this. My backups ended up worthless after a while because apparently  
> the drive wasn't mounted once during backups, new directory was

Yes, but that's got nothing to do with how I work and what I have here.

> My take on having another drive for the reasons you mention is that:
> a) I used to do it, but only with documents (things I can't easily  
> reinstall)

I have three internal HDDs and four HD volumes.  One vol is `OS and
swap', one is `user data', one is `archive/backup', and one is `added
apps and misc junk'.

I have to keep some apps on the OS/swap volume because, for example,
Apple's version checks don't work on Apple apps unless they're in the
place Apple decrees one must keep them.

(the archive/backup volume finds bits of it copied to external media
quite often - I don't rely on it as my sole backup)

> b) OS X has significantly mitigated these risks from my experience

OS X is the reason I want to do it.  I never worried about the need to
wipe and re-install until I `upgraded' to this allegedly wonderful
`modern' (i.e., born in the 1960s) operating system, allegedly so much
better than what we had before.

I've lost count of the number of times I've had to wipe and re-install
since I got OS X.  It's a major pain - compared to System 6 and System 7
at least.  I never had to wipe and re-install when I used those OSes
(oops!  I lied - I did have to do that once, after a freeware disc
defragger did the dirty on me one day.  Well, serves me right, doesn't

More than that, keeping adding software and user documents off the boot
volume means I can use a small partition for it.  Handy - leaves the
rest of that particular disc for other stuff that I can keep segregated.
Okay, so a disc hardware fault will take out both partitions, so I keep
my backups elesewhere.

> c) Disk Warrior has saved almost everything I ever thought was  
> otherwise lost (using any other disk recovery software)

I have Disk Warrior X, and it has proven incapable of fixing any of the
problems that have caused me to need to wipe and re-install.  It's
nothing like as useful as it was with OS 9.

> d) Proper backups AND archiving is the only proper way to secure your  
> data. The extra drive trick really only moves your vulnerability...  
> useful in OS<10, but not in my observation since.

However, even when (like me) you do have proper archiving and proper
backups, you still have to spend time and effort putting stuff back - if
you've not kept things separate.  If you *do* keep your apps elsewhere,
you don't need to spend anything like as much time restoring as and when
things go horribly pear-shaped (just restore yer Library folder,
really).  And horribly pear-shaped is what you get when MacOS X screws
up in my experience.

Now, because I decided to keep added software and user data on a volume
other than my boot volume, I partitioned my boot volume to be relatively
small.  I don't think adding quite that much data would be sensible.

I have three internal hard disc drives.  No external drives hooked up at

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