[texhax] trouble installing TeX Collection 2013

Richard Koch koch at math.uoregon.edu
Fri Jul 12 05:46:56 CEST 2013


I made the MacTeX installer and made the MacTeX
install package for this year's DVD. This thread about MacTeX contained some
misinformation about that package, although Thomas Schneider
and Karl Berry eventually uncovered the true situation.
Let me give further information about this year's MacTeX.

MacTeX is created using Apple's PackageMaker software. This makes
it possible to create a package where just a few clicks install and configure
everything. Such an install package done as Apple intended would contain
its own copy of TeX Live, vastly increasing the space requirements for the DVD.

So over the past few years we "shoehorned" an install via the TeX Live
install script into the package, so the copy of TeX Live already on the DVD
could be used for the Mac as well. Since Apple's installer wasn't really designed
to handle that, there were disadvantages. The main one was a 20 minute period
with NO USER FEEDBACK while TeX Live installed.

This year we did things correctly (in my opinion). Notice that the
MacTeX installed from this year's DVD should behave exactly as
it has behaved in the past. Applications will find TeX
at /usr/texbin as in the past, the PATH for shells will be set up
automatically, and users don't need to change any permissions.
Software should work immediately without configuration.

Before pressing the DVD, I installed MacTeX from a test DVD
on every system we support: Leopard, Snow Leopard, Lion,
Mountain Lion, and after the beta appeared, even Mavericks.
I never ran into permission problems or any other problem.

Let me explain first what is supposed to happen. This year's DVD
installation is divided into three parts. In the first part, users are told
to copy the following lines into Terminal and press RETURN:

	cd /Volumes/TEXCOL2013/texlive
	sudo ./install-tl --profile /Volumes/TEXCOL2013/

This causes TeX Live to install from the DVD without asking
any questions. The instructions for Part 1 of the install 

"TeX Live will install without further ado. At the end, some 
information will be printed in Terminal, but this information 
can be ignored. When this stage is complete, double click 
the `MacTeX Install Part 2' install package to continue 

Part 2 is a Mac install package which works exactly as in the
past, except that it doesn't need to install TeX Live. It is important
to run Part 2 immediately because it sets up the TeX Distribution
Data Structure, sets PATHS appropriately, etc. TeX Live will not
user /usr/texbin until this is done.

Part 3 is optional for users with older systems who cannot run
the latest versions of various front ends.


Now on to the problem reported by Thomas Schneider. Schneider
followed the instruction 

"Most importantly, add /usr/local/texlive/2013/bin/x86_64-darwin
to your PATH for current and future sessions"

at the end of the TeX Live install script. This should not be done
on the Mac; we say "At the end, some information will be
printed in Terminal but this information can be ignored."

But the main problem Schneider ran into is incorrect permissions on the
2013 directory. We never saw that problem when running the install
during the test phase. Eventually in this thread, Karl conjectured that
the problem was caused by a restrictive sudo umask, and Schneider
confirmed that. It would be interesting to know where that mask
came from.

Last year we ran into a similar problem; users of the HomeBrew
system are told to give /usr/local the permissions 


The original form of this year's installer FIXED these permissions.
Later I was convinced not to do this. The reasoning is that casual
Mac users will get default values of permissions and everything just
works. If the permissions were changed, the change may have been
done for a reason, so those users should be familiar with consequences
and handle them accordingly.

It is difficult to satisfy both sides of this cultural divide, and next
year's install package will most likely not try to fix permissions which
users have changed via the Home Brew recommendations or possessing
unusual umasks.

Dick Koch

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