[OS X TeX] MacTeX 2012 installs Ghostscript binaries into /usr/local/bin?

Misty De Meo misty at brew.sh
Wed Mar 27 23:02:58 CET 2013

Hi, Dick,

On Tue, Mar 26, 2013 at 2:15 PM, Richard Koch <koch at math.uoregon.edu> wrote:
> Misty,
> MacTeX has ALWAYS installed Ghostscript binaries and certain ImageMagick binaries
> in /usr/local/bin.
> The original MacTeX gave users no choice about this. After a couple of years, MacTeX
> was divided into pieces using a "Custom Install" option. After that, users could choose
> not to install Ghostscript and/or ImageMagick. Users who already installed Ghostscript
> elsewhere wouldn't install the Ghostscript portion of MacTeX.
> Still more recently, the ImageMagick piece was pared down to just the "convert"
> binary. This allowed us to remove all libraries we used to install in /usr/local/lib.
> So now the Ghostscript and ImageMagick pieces do not install any libraries and
> only install four binaries:
>         gs-X11, gs-noX11, gs, convert
> in /usr/local/bin. (Certain other support files are installed in /usr/local).
> Here gs is a symbolic link to gs-X11 or gs-noX11 depending
> on whether the user has installed X11.
> BasicTeX ONLY INSTALLS a subset of TeX Live (MacTeX installs the full
> TeX Live). Users of BasicTeX who want Ghostscript or convert from ImageMagick
> can obtain them from the MacTeX-Additions package, which contains our
> Ghostscript and ImageMagick pieces.
> Dick Koch

Thanks for the response. So if I understand correctly, if users have
their own Ghostscript and/or ImageMagick, it's not a problem for them
to have their copies in /usr/local/bin instead of MacTeX's?

One other thing I wanted to report. The two users who mentioned this
to me also mentioned that the binaries installed by MacTeX are owned
by root:wheel, even though the other contents of /usr/local are owned
by $USER:admin. I'm guessing the installer doesn't check for
permissions and always uses root, even if the directory is writeable.
Can I suggest that you add a check for that? Always using root means
that users with a $USER:admin-owned /usr/local would lose write
permissions to parts of /usr/local without chowning it back.


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