[OS X TeX] Local additions and multiple TeX distributions

Alan Munn amunn at msu.edu
Thu Mar 8 15:54:24 CET 2007

At 11:44 AM +0100 3/8/07, Bruno Voisin wrote:
>Le 7 mars 07 à 22:55, Alan Munn a écrit :
>>Now that I've gotten around to updating my 
>>older teTeX distribution, I now find myself 
>>with two and a quarter TeX distributions: 
>>Gerbens' based on TeX Live, (which I installed 
>>with i-installer) the MacTeX TL distribution 
>>and the leftover texmf.local from my old teTeX 
>>distribution.  So here's a few of questions:
>>Since I have up-to-date versions via 
>>i-installer of Ghostscript, fondu etc., I 
>>didn't install any of these when I installed 
>>MacTeX. Is this the correct strategy?
>You can also let MacTex install its versions of 
>GhostScript, Fondu and the like. These are 
>identical to the most recent versions installed 
>by i-Installer, and the corresponding receipts 
>are also installed by MacTeX, allowing 
>transparent mix of i-Installer and MacTeX 

Ok, this is good to know.

>>Some things that were in my texmf.local are now 
>>included in TL, but not in Gerben's 
>>distribution.  So I guess I need to selectively 
>>copy what was in my texmf.local to the TL 
>>texmf-local, right?  (I have multiple users 
>>using TeX, so I don't generally install things 
>>in ~/Library/texmf except for testing purposes)
>>Am I getting myself into a lot of hassles with 
>>two distributions, since I will need to make 
>>local additions in two places, or can I make 
>>texmf-local a symbolic link to (the new) 
>>texmf.local (or vice versa)?  Are there 
>>advantages to making the link in one direction 
>>or the other (or is is just a bad idea?)
>Do *not* make /usr/local/texlive/texmf-local/ a 
>symlink to /usr/local/gwTeX/texmf.local/: the 
>texmf.local directory of gwTeX is not quite the 
>same as it used to be in teTeX:
>- In teTeX, texmf.local was the repository of 
>both user-added files and files generated at 
>install time (global map files such as 
>psfonts.map and pdftex.map, format files such as 
>tex.fmt, hyphenation configuration files such as 
>language.dat, and so forth).
>- In gwTeX, the repository for user additions is 
>texmf.pkgs, and the repository for generated 
>files is texmf.local.
>Hence, by making/usr/local/texlive/texmf-local/ 
>a symlink to /usr/local/gwTeX/texmf.local/, you 
>would break MacTeX by making it use the 
>generated files of gwTeX instead of its own 
>generated files within 

Thanks a lot, Bruno.  This is very helpful, and 
saved me from some major headaches had I gone on 
with my plan.

>Currently I think the only safe solution is, 
>sadly, to maintain two local trees, one in 
>/usr/local/texlive/texmf-local/ for MacTeX and 
>the other in /usr/local/gwTeX/texmf.pkgs/ for 
>gwTeX, taking into account the differences 
>between the default contents of MacTeX and 
>gwTeX. For example, support for the Adobe Euro 
>fonts is built-in within MacTeX but is absent 
>from gwTeX; as a consequence, my texmf-local for 
>MacTeX does not include the Adobe Euro support 
>files, while my texmf.pkgs for gwTeX does.
>The above, of course, provided you have the two 
>TeX distros, MacTeX and gwTeX, installed 
>simultaneously. This situation is not optimal, 
>and is confusing for the users, and I think that 
>one distro will prevail in the long run, making 
>it unnecessary for users to worry about such 

I agree.  I guess I was getting a little spooked 
by what seemed to be various problems that were 
arising with MacTeX but not with gwTeX, which is 
why I would like both for the moment.  Gerben's 
distribution seems to be rock solid.

One question, though.  Shouldn't I continue to 
put my local additions into the gwTeX/texmf.local 
directory rather than gwTeX/texmf,pkgs (which I 
thought was for Gerben's extra additions.)

>Another (untested) possibility: create a 
>directory /Library/TeX/Local/, say, and put 
>there your local additions, mimicking the 
>structure of texmf trees inside it; then edit 
>texmf.cnf for each distribution, namely in 
>/usr/local/gwTeX/texmf.cnf for gwTeX set:
>and in /usr/local/texlive/2007/texmf/web2c/texmf.cnf for MacTeX set:

No, I won't attempt this.  Since most of the 
extras I install can be installed with mpm, it's 
not very hard to keep two sets of local additions.

Thanks again.


Alan Munn 
amunn at msu.edu
Department of Linguistics                             
and Germanic, Slavic, Asian and African Languages   Fax.  +1-517-432-2736
Michigan State University, East Lansing MI 48824       Tel.  +1-517-355-7491

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