[tex-live] TeX Distribution Preference Pane does not recognize MacPorts TeX Live

Richard Koch richardmoncriefkoch at icloud.com
Sun Apr 12 21:00:40 CEST 2015


The TeX Dist Preference Pane requires that a data structure describing the distribution
exist in /Library/TeX/Distributions. The data structure is a small collection of symbolic links
to various parts of the distribution. MacTeX installs the data structure when it
installs TeX Live or Basic TeX. It is up to the authors of other distributions to install the
structure or ignore it. If they ignore it, their distribution will not appear in the Preference

The symbolic link /usr/texbin is also installed by MacTeX. It points into the data structure, 
and then eventually into the distribution chosen by the Preference Pane. Many GUI apps
look for TeX in /usr/texbin by default, but most or all can be configured to look elsewhere.

If your distribution doesn’t install the data structure, there are two ways to proceed. One is
the manage all your GUI apps manually, reconfiguring them when you want to switch
distributions. A better approach is to invent a symbolic link, and configure your GUI apps
to look at that link. Then to switch distributions you only need redefine the link. Choosing
/usr/texbin for that link is not a good idea because the Preference Pane will rewrite it if
it has the wrong value.

Dick Koch

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