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

Gerben Wierda Gerben.Wierda at rna.nl
Sun Sep 11 16:55:45 CEST 2005

On Sep 11, 2005, at 16:09, Bernhard Barkow wrote:

> On 11.09.2005, at 14:59, Rowland McDonnell wrote:
>>>>>> My subject line says it all.  I've been using OzTeX for a while
>>>>>> (since 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>
>>> You are in better hands than I now...
>> Mmm.  Not sure of that at all.  I've managed to glean a little
>> information - Gerben has (finally!) told me a little bit about using
>> i-installer to install in non-standard locations.  He's been reluctant
>> to tell me anything at all before now (what it's added up to so far is
>> that he thinks I don't want to do it my way, I ought to want to do it
>> his way, everything is better if you do it his way, there is no sanity
>> in doing it my way so I mustn't do it my way, and I'm stupid because I
>> can't use his software which is easy to use because he knows it's easy
>> to use...  Frustrating and annoying rather than helpful, but there you
>> go: this is the brave new world of exclusion that we live in.)
>> No-one else has told me anything of any use at all that I can see.
>> Is there a practical way of finding out what the various software
>> packages available via i-installer do, and how to install them and
>> configure them myself?
>> I think I'll have to start out by installing teTeX manually and take 
>> it
>> from there.  I don't think i-installer is safe to use from what I can
>> see.
> Sorry if I got that wrong (might be language problems of a non-native 
> speaker), but if you know it better anyway, I'd suggest you get the 
> necessary sources (look at www.tug.org for more info), modify the 
> makefiles to your needs, and build and install all the stuff you need 
> for yourself. Certainly all of us here will agree that there is no use 
> in listening to some ignorant beginner guy who designed and has been 
> maintaining the i-Installer/teTeX system only for a few years now, 
> voluntarily and for the benefit of a number of happy (although 
> probably far-too-far-from-expert-level-) users.

I am going to break my word and add something to this thread anyway 
(just for the record, and only technical)

1. It is quite safe in terms of whatever i-Installer does as an 
installer to let /usr/local be a symbolic link to another location. In 
fact, i-Installer was designed just because of that situation (as some 
other installers were/are not necessarly symlink-safe when installing 
as others have pointed out). All my i-Packages will just work fine when 
/usr/local is a symlink.
2. It is quite safe in unix terms to let /usr/local be a symbolic link 
to another location. For the unix level, these links are transparant. 
Hence, all the unix software I redistribute works fine when /usr/local 
is a symlink.

<unix geek level ++>

[Use at your own risk]. Hence, the simplest way of having your stuff in 
another physical location (e.g. different volume) is to do the 
following in the Terminal:

A. cd /usr
B. Check if local-org does not exists, if it does, use another name 
that does not exists in /usr
C. sudo mv local local-org
C. sudo ln -s "youractuallocaldirectory" local
D. sudo ditto local-org/* local
E. sudo rm -rf local.org


A. takes you to the correct place in the file hierarchy
B. Just to be certain
C. This renames local to local-org (if local-org already exists it 
moves local *into* local.org and that is not what you want here). The 
quotes are so you can use whitespace in the name (but preferably do not 
use whitespace because it makes other unix stuff less robust). Make 
sure youractuallocaldirectory does exists. You will need to give your 
password here because you are doing system administration level things.
D. This copies the contents of local-org to youractuallocaldirectory
E. This removes the old copy

Example (volume is called "My Disk", directory on that volume is called 

	cd /usr
	sudo mv local local-org
	sudo ln -s "/Volumes/My Disk"/local local
	sudo ditto local-org/* local
	sudo rm -rf local-org

After you have done this, for the unix level, /usr/local will work as 
before, it just resides in another location. So software installed that 
needs the /usr/local location to work (e.g. Ghostscript) just works.

<unix geek level ++>

One small warning: when "/Volume/My Disk" is not mounted, /usr/local 
will not work. To keep things working even if you are not logged in 
(and the volumes are mounted), I prefer to use a mount operation during 

To do that, my file /etc/fstab contains

# fs_spec                                    fs_file  fs_vfstype  
# UUID=DF000C7E-AE0C-3B15-B730-DFD2EF15CB91  /export  ufs         ro
# UUID=FAB060E9-79F7-33FF-BE85-E1D3ABD3EDEA  none     hfs         
# LABEL=This\040Is\040The\040Volume\040Name  none     msdos        ro
LABEL=UsrLocal  /usr/local      hfs     rw      0       0

Explanation: my volume where I have the contents of /usr/local has a 
label (name) UsrLocal. At system boot, this volume is mounted on 
/usr/local. For this to work, /usr/local must be a directory (*not* a 
symlink). The entry above is good for a HFS or case-sensitive HFS 

<unix geek level -->
<unix geek level -->


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