[OS X TeX] updating everythin

Rowland McDonnell rjmm-lists1 at fireflyuk.net
Sun Oct 15 12:05:20 CEST 2006

> On 14.10.2006, at 15:07, Peter Dyballa wrote:
> >
> > Am 14.10.2006 um 14:34 schrieb Doris Wagner:
> >
> >> I just wand to update EVERYTHING
> >
> > I-Installer offers in the i-Package menu the item "Open Updated  
> > Packages…" or ?U. Afterwards you can decide to update even more.  
> > Just bear in mind that you put your updates into the texmf.local  
> > tree – the others are under the control of i-Installer, every  
> > change there will be lost when you update with i-Installer. And  
> > then don't forget that later some i-Package can contain updates of  
> > the updates you installed ... and since the TeX search path is your  
> > private tree first, then the texmf.local tree, then the other  
> > trees, your future antiquated software will continue to be used.
> >
> > Private updates should be restricted to some really important and  
> > faulty packages.
> Which brings up a question: How do you people handle this?  
> Personally, I see my local tree in ~/Library/texmf growing  
> constantly. Since I tend to be an early adopter I often download  
> packages as soon as they're available on CTAN and put them in my  
> local tree. Is there an elegant way to make sure to stay up to date  
> without having your local tree grow all the time?

Personally, I've been using a large system-wide `local' directory tree
for additions for a very long time - OzTeX and CMacTeX were missing
rather a lot of things I wanted, so I had to add them.  I've not found
it a problem.

With MacTeX, I had to get some advice so that I could carry on the same
way - although obviously with less in the way of third-party additions,
since more is included by default.  Rather than transfer my old `added
bits' directory tree over wholesale, I've taken the line that the best
idea is to copy over only my personal additions (a fair bit), and add
the third party code as and when I find I need it but it's missing.

My solution to `where to put it all for easy management' is to put `the
bits I'm adding' in a new system-wide texmf tree, rather than

This means using these definitions in /usr/local/tetex/texmf.cnf
(replacing the existing defintions of these terms, and adding the
variable TEXMFRM - although the `RM' just means `me', so do what you
will with the precise name).  The suggestion came from Gerben Wierda and
has worked apparently perfectly:

% User texmf trees can be catered for like this...
HOMETEXMF = $HOME/Library/texmf

% Rowland's system-wide tree (precedes everything except personal trees)
TEXMFRM = /Users/Shared/texmf.rjmm

% Our complete search path, the last four are searched through
% ls-R exclusively, which means that you have to run texhash
% after you have added, moved or deleted files in the tree

% If you want to disable the HOME trees, use this:

% The system trees.  These are the trees that are shared by all the


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