[OS X TeX] OS X TeX newbie needs help installing TeX on non-boot volume
Gerben.Wierda at rna.nl
Sun Sep 11 17:50:05 CEST 2005
On Sep 11, 2005, at 14:59, Rowland McDonnell wrote:
> (Gerben, why didn't you just tell me this months ago when I asked you?)
I wrote then:
>> Also: is there any way of arranging things to install any of this
>> software in a non-default place?
> Some packages support this other not, this depends on the contents of
> the package and the author of the package. TeX is relocatable.
> ghostscript is not because ghostscript itself is not easily
> relocatable after it has been compiled. You can install TeX somewhere
> else by changing the install location in the Pkg Properties tab.
> However, most other packages are not relocatable because they are so
> closely connected to the Unix level of Mac OS X.
With the symlink trick I put in the other message to the list,
Ghostscript is still installed as /usr/local/bin/gs etc. and is used
that way. But via the symlink, the files end up on /Volumes/My
Disk/local/bin/gs or something along those lines. The *install
location* does not change but the *physical location* does.
Using symlinks is elegant. Sadly though, not all programs are
symlink-robust (originally Apple's own installer was not) and thus
using them comes with a risk. Not from i-Installer but from other
programs. Hence, I generally do not promote the solution even if
i-Installer itself is symlink-safe.
The mount example in my other post is *very* robust because /usr/local
will remain a true directory. Making typos in files like /etc/fstab has
led to kermel panics at boot time (in a remote OS X past), however, so
one needs to be *very* careful. That is why I generally do not promote
it. I do not want to be made responsible for getting someone's system
Give the fact that both ways of going to non-standard locations come
with risks that are generally beyond the skills/knowledge of most
users, I generally do not promote them. I personally like 'location
independence'. Sadly though, the situation on a unix system is such
that file location is a pretty brittle element of the system. Hence, it
is not "my way or the high way". It is just that I know from experience
that moving away from the default locations is a thing with a price and
that as someone supporting a community of users, I pay part of that
price as support requests end up in my mailbox.
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