[OS X TeX] [OT] getting mathtex.cgi to run

Alan Munn amunn at msu.edu
Thu Oct 23 20:34:10 CEST 2008

Hi, although this does deal with TeX and OS X, it's still a bit off 
topic.  I've been trying to get the mathtex cgi 
<http://www.forkosh.com/mathtex.html > to run on my Mac, but it 
doesn't seem to work.

I've compiled the source correctly, and it runs from the command 
line, but when I put it into /Library/Webserver/CGI-Executables 
(henceforth the CGI folder) and call it from a web page it doesn't 

If I just put the file in the CGI folder, it fails to have sufficient 
permissions to create two temp directories.  I fixed this 
(dangerously, I suspect) by doing sudo chmod u+s mathtex.cgi, but 
then I get the error that it can't run the latex program.  (This is 
generated by the script itself, so the script is working).  At first 
I thought that the problem was building the script with 
/usr/texbin/latex etc. as the relevant path, so I rebuilt it with the 
full path (/usr/local/texlive/2007/bin/i386-darwin/latex) but that 
still didn't fix the problem.

I suspect there is some permissions problem going on here, but I have 
no clue how to fix it. At present the script is owned by root (which 
is the owner of the CGI folder. Has anyone played around with this or 
Apache more generally who might have a clue why it will work from the 
command line but not when called from a web page?

If I do get this working, are there security issues that I should be 
concerned about if I put this on an open server (right now it's very 
safe on my Macbook behind my local firewall.)



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