[OS X TeX] Lost in Mac space

Claus Gerhardt gerhardt at me.com
Sat Dec 13 20:17:47 CET 2008

There is no need for delving into unix unless you want to be become a  
system administrator or do scripting.

I know a bit of unix but I (almost) use it only for scripting. There  
are a few basic unix commands like cd, cp, rm, mv, or ftp. However, I  
rarely use them nowadays in the terminal, in fact I rarely use the  
terminal at all. If you really want to know the meaning of these  
commands and how to use them, execute the command in terminal

man cd

for instance, or even better, that's the way I do it, press in Local  
Switcher "open man" and enter in the ensuing dialogue "man cd".

The problems that arise for novices or illiterates are usually related  
to installing TeX or a latex package. Here are my recommendations:

(1) Use MacTeX for installing TeX, but only the full TeXLive version,  
if you feel insecure.

(2) Download the current TeXLive iso image or insert the corresponding  
DVD and install TeXLive with the help of Local Switcher, if you are  
not afraid of reading two pages of instructions and pressing two  
buttons instead of one.

(3) Don't bother updating your installation with the help of tlmgr,  
wait for the next TeXLive edition. If you need a package that is not  
already installed, google for it and install it manually in your local  
texmf folder in the correct place. The local tex tree has been  
described on this list at least a dozen times.

(4) If you have a problem which you cannot solve, then first google  
for it. If this doesn't help, ask this list.

(5) Use TimeMachine for regular backups.


On Dec 13, 2008, at 18:18, Alain Schremmer wrote:

> On Dec 13, 2008, at 11:21 AM, David Derbes wrote:
>> It's Unix. Nothing about Mac OS X that I know about. The version I  
>> know best is from 1993, and so absent time travel cannot include  
>> anything about Mac OS X. There is a way more expensive recent  
>> version that might include something, but I'd buy a cheap copy from  
>> abebooks (just bought one to make up for the one a friend stole,  
>> and yes, he's still a friend) for well under ten USD.
> Whenever I think of fiddling with the terminal—after all that is the  
> Mac way, the thing that brings me to a halt is the fear that it is  
> easy inadvertently to wipe out one's disk or to create similar  
> havoc. So, it is easy to procrastinate and/or turn to the list.  
> Which it is in any case.
> Just googled "Unix for OS X" and immediately found "Mac OS X For  
> Unix Geeks, 4th Edition" exactly the dual of what I need. OK, will  
> try harder later on.
> Regards
> --schremmer----------- Please Consult the Following Before Posting  
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