additional texmf tree for all users (was Re: [OS X TeX] Beginner help with TeXshop/MacTex needed)

Rowland McDonnell rjmm-lists1 at
Sat Aug 26 13:46:05 CEST 2006

> Am 25.08.2006 um 22:09 schrieb William Adams:
> > While I'm not able to directly help --- this did spark a question
> > I've been pondering for a while now --- why not add an additional
> > texmf tree for all users of a given Mac as a standard part of the
> > install?
> /usr/local/teTeX/share/texmf.local is the tree for this purpose.  
> Contents there is shared by all users, as is in the hypothetical case  
> of /Users/Shared/texmf. /usr/local/teTeX/share/texmf.local never gets  
> deleted by i-Installer, only elder packages (ConTeXt beta, ConTeXt  
> updater, LaTeX beta, XeTeX, XeTeX Documentation, TeX4ht, ...) get  
> removed and then replaced by its newer version. Everything else you  
> installed there survives such changes.

Okay, I understand that this is the conventional recommended method.
But I would like to have my own texmf tree for just my personal
additions to be used system-wide on my TeX installation.

The reason for that is that I would find it easier to manage.

Could you point me to some documentation which explains how I can set
this up?  I see the directory tree structure that I need to use, but I
don't see how to tell teTeX to use it.  I think I need to edit one of
the various texmf.cnf files, but I don't seem to be able to find a
definitive explanation of which one to modify.

What I'd like to do is duplicate the standard tree structure in


> It plays no role whether you put things of special interest into /usr/ 
> local/teTeX/share/texmf.local or /Users/Shared/texmf – there'll  
> always be two trees that shadow the others but come first.

Can you explain what you mean by this?

> In a bad  
> set-up with /Users/Shared/texmf they are even three trees.
> No, there is no need for more confusion.

My experience is that I get less confused if I have my own private texmf
tree (or equivalent) - I've been working like that with OzTeX for time
out of mind, and with CMacTeX for nearly as long.  I'd like to carry on
working the same way with teTeX.

> Particularly when mankind is  
> developing towards cave dwellers believing in shitty mystics or  
> esoterics or some higher design or half a dozen unique gods.


I want my own texmf tree to remove the confusion I would otherwise

(who thought that we had half a dozen unique gods anyway - and as for
cave dwelling, well, people didn't live in caves in prehistoric times
very much (a lack of suitable caves), and they only gave up cave homes
in the UK a few decades ago; I can't find any Web links to the old
British cave homes, but I did find this:

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