MacTeX.pkg Problems

Richard Koch richardmoncriefkoch at
Sat Mar 25 19:15:12 CET 2023

Marek Stepanek,

A few comments as I read your recent message.

You wrote "after install I removed 2022". This is not necessary and not recommended until you know that version 2023 is working. But it should do not harm.

I know nothing about homebrew with ghostscript. But did you read the README displayed by MacTeX before it actually installs? Here is a paragraph from that short document displayed at the start of installation:

"A custom install option is provided for users who want only part of the package. The package contains Ghostscript; users who already have Ghostscript may want to use custom install to avoid the version provided here."

Next I am curious if you actually got TeX. There is an easy test. In Terminal or another shell, change directory to /usr/local/texlive. You should find a folder named 2023. Moreover, the location


should contain the binaries for the distribution. Do they?

If the binaries exist, then please test if they actually work. You don't say what front end you use. Could you configure it to search for binaries in the previously listed location? 
Does that work?


Next you write "In System Preferences no TeX anymore." MacTeX did indeed install a preference pane pointing to the active TeX, but that was many many years ago. The procedure is now handled by TeXLive-Utility. Write to its author, Adam Maxwell, if you have problems.

Next you start searching in /Library/TeX/Distributions. MacTeX installs a symbolic link which indirectly points to the active binaries. The link is /Library/TeX/texbin. What happens if you type in your shell

	cd /Library/TeX/texbin

The actual (very involved) manner that /Library/TeX/texbin points to the binaries of TeX Live is not worth explaining or investigating, We inherited that from a design created around 2003 and have never modified it. Rather than fiddling with it, if it doesn't work for you, just create your own symbolic link

	/Library/TeX/texbin --> /usr/local/texlive/2023/bin/universal-darwin

and use that and all the GUI apps we provide should work fine.

Although the /Library/TeX/texbin link is fairly complicated, it almost never creates trouble (except for curious users who try to figure out how it works!), so I wouldn't waste time on that issue. We know MacTeX-2023's version of the links works because many users have had no trouble.


I don't have a clear understanding of your trouble because I know nothing about homebrew. But feel free to write me directly and I'll do what I can.

Richard Koch

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