[OS X TeX] How do I tell MacTeX about my user-install of Live TeX?

Richard Koch koch at uoregon.edu
Fri Mar 6 19:00:22 CET 2015


Next year’s MacTeX web page will have instructions on using the TeX Live install script
to directly install TeX anywhere you wish, and in particular in spots owned by you.

As for the TeX Dist structure, one problem is that it is also owned by root. This makes it
hard for users who don’t have root access to deal with it. Similarly the TeX Dist Pref Pane
requires root access to select different TeX distributions.

I talked about this problem at the TUG conference last summer, and introduced one possible
solution (there are many). It is a “Local Pref Pane”, and is available, compiled and with source,

	http://pages.uoregon.edu/koch/LocalTeX.zip <http://pages.uoregon.edu/koch/LocalTeX.zip>

This requires Mavericks or higher.

The idea of this pane is to select an active distribution JUST FOR YOU, independently
of the choice in the global pane. It can coexist with the global pane, or work even if there
is no global pane. It can see distributions with TeX Dist structures. So if the global choice
is TeX Live 2014, but you want to use TeX Live 2013, you can.

This new pane makes it essentially trivial to add extra distributions, including the one
you mention, to the available distributions.


	a) You must reconfigure your GUI apps. But this need only be done once, and
	the Pane itself will reconfigure a few of them. The global pane uses /usr/texbin
	as an indirect pointer to the active distribution. The local pane uses
	~/Library/TeX/LocalTeX/texbin as a similar pointer.

	b) You must also add ~/Library/TeX/LocalTeX/texbin to your path if you access
	TeX from the shell.

Dick Koch

> On Mar 6, 2015, at 9:10 AM, Maloney, Christopher (NIH/NLM/NCBI) [C] <maloneyc at ncbi.nlm.nih.gov> wrote:
> I posted this question on the TeX SX site here, http://tex.stackexchange.com/questions/229954/how-do-i-tell-mactex-about-my-user-install-of-live-tex, and they suggested that I send the question to this mailing list.
> This question is similar to "How do I set up MacTeX so admin rights aren't necessary?" (http://tex.stackexchange.com/questions/3744/how-do-i-set-up-mactex-so-admin-rights-arent-necessary).
> I have a Mac at work, and the sysadmins won't give me write permissions to /usr/local/texlive. So, per the instructions in "Is there any way to have a LaTeX compiler on a Mac without root access?” (http://tex.stackexchange.com/questions/106113/is-there-any-way-to-have-a-latex-compiler-on-a-mac-without-root-access), I installed my own user-specific version of TeX Live, at ~/Library/texlive/2014, and it is working fine.
> Now, how do I tell MacTeX's "TeX Distribution" utility (in System Preferences) about this installation of TeX Live, so that I can use MacTeX with it? If I need admin rights to do this, it would be okay -- I can ask our sysadmins to do this if it's a one-time thing. What I don't want is to be tied to asking them, for example, every time I want to install a new package.
> The comments to my question on SX indicate that there is a way to do this by tweaking the symlinks under /Library/TeX. I’ve had a look there, and these symlinks see pretty complicated! Is there an easy way (maybe a script) that will set up these symlinks automatically, if I just tell the sysadmins to run it for me, giving them the location of my local install?
> Thanks!
> Chris Maloney
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