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

Claus Gerhardt gerhardt at
Mon Aug 28 16:15:29 CEST 2006

The discussion where to place a personal or shared texmf folder is  
getting a bit out of hand. Any additional texmf folder should be  
personal, i.e., it should be placed in ~/Library, the present  
default. This procedure should apply to each individual user of  
machine. If an administrator deems it necessary to offer a basic  
personal texmf folder then he should offer a copy that can be placed  
in ~/Library.


On Aug 28, 2006, at 14:39, William Adams wrote:

> On Aug 28, 2006, at 8:27 AM, Victor Ivrii wrote:
>> On 8/28/06, William Adams <will.adams at> wrote:
>>> On Aug 28, 2006, at 8:02 AM, Rowland McDonnell wrote:
>>>> Thanks for your suggestion - but as I understand it, that would
>>> limit
>>>> the additions to one user only.  Or have I missed something?
>>> Well, I've just tested my idea and moving a personal texmf tree to /
>>> Users/Shared/texmf and then linking to it using the command
>>> ln -s /Users/Shared/texmf/ ~/Library/texmf
>>> works (making an alias however doesn't --- when I tried this with an
>>> alias it couldn't find varwidth.sty which is only in my personal
>>> texmf tree).
>>> Aside from Victor's concern about lots of people having write  
>>> access,
>>> I don't think there'd be any drawbacks of note, modulo removing the
>>> option for customization for an individual user --- I'd welcome
>>> correction on this.
>> Actually for THE individual user. Everyone else could have his/her  
>> own
>> ~/Library/texmf tree on the top of this but the user whose tree is
>> shared should 1) Make all the related directories executable by  
>> others
>> and all such files readable by others and also should think about how
>> his/her personal tree changes would affect others. Looks like
>> unnecessary headache for me.
> My idea was that all users on a machine would make the afore-
> mentioned link and that this shared directory would be the only
> personalized one --- the advantage here is that only one customized
> texmf tree has to be maintained, the trade-off is that those users
> who are using it can't have a personalized tree.
>> Pseudo-user Shared exists (at least almost) for sure anyway and
>> personal directories should contain only personal staff (not  
>> exactly a
>> strict rule but I prefer to follow it)
> Agreed, that's why I think that the ideal would be to follow Bruno's
> suggestion (merge gwtex and local as they exist now into gwtex) and
> then set local to be /Users/Shared/texmf (with ``local'' added to it,
> either as a prefix or as an extension).
> The advantage of moving it to /Users/Shared is that it's then easier
> and more natural for people to find / change / update --- unless
> there's a better location in the system?
> William
> -- 
> William Adams
> senior graphic designer
> Fry Communications
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