[OS X TeX] [MacTeX] TEXMFHOME uneasy to reach

Denis Bitouzé denis.bitouze at univ-littoral.fr
Fri Jun 3 19:29:50 CEST 2022


I just finished a LaTeX course given to some PhD students.

After MacTeX was installed on some of their Mac computers, we tried to
get to their TEXMFHOME to put their bib files in the subdirectories:

  │ $TEXMFHOME/bibtex/bib

I asked them to check what MacTeX considered their TEXMFHOME with the
following command run in a terminal:

  │ kpsewhich --var-value TEXMFHOME

and, as expected, it was:

  │ /Users/⟨User name⟩/Library/texmf

The problem is, when they wanted to reach `/Users/⟨User name⟩/Library/`
with the Finder in order to create the ((sub)sub)directories
`texmf/bibtex/bib`, they first went to `/Users/⟨User name⟩` but, once
there, the `Library` subdirectory was not displayed, even though it does
exist as can be easily verified with the command :

  │ ls /Users/⟨User name⟩/Library

Well, it is still possible to create the necessary subdirectories with the

  │ mkdir -p /Users/⟨User name⟩/Library/texmf/bibtex/bib

but this is well beyond the scope of average users, especially LaTeX

Finally, in order for them to be able to visit their TEXMFHOME with the
Finder, I resorted to the trick:

  │ tlmgr conf texmf TEXMFHOME "~/Library/texmf:~/texmf"

and used `~/texmf`, but this is a too complicated solution, even for
average users.

Maybe MacTeX (or TeX Live?) should consider another location for the
TEXMFHOME directory, e.g. `~/texmf` as it is the case for GNU/Linux and
for Windows.

Thanks for your attention.
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