[tlu] Uninstalling old versions of texlive (OS X, 10.11)

Richard M. Koch koch at uoregon.edu
Fri Apr 14 23:39:34 CEST 2017

> On Apr 14, 2017, at 12:27 PM, Alexander Mitelman <alexander.mitelman at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hello TUG gurus,
> I'm a long-time TeX user on OS X (currently running TeXShop-3.77 and texlive-2016 as GUI and engine, respectively).
> Today I discovered that the old Preferences panel [System Preferences > TeX Distribution, v. 2.0 (Build 150)], which seems to work but throws up error dialogs ("Wrong configuration: Setting up the /usr/texbin link", "Failure: The last operation failed", etc.), has apparently been superseded by TeX Live Utility.
> I've currently got TUL grinding along and updating all the packages, but in the meantime, I have a few short (hopefully simple) questions:
> 1) Do I understand correctly that TUL obviates the old Pref pane, which I should be able to remove?

Yes. Just go to /Library/PreferencePanes and drag it to the trash, giving your regular password when asked. The Pref Pane turned out to be
a bad idea because Apple kept changing the rules: 32 bit powerpc code -> 32 bit universal code -> 64 bit intel code with garbage collection ->
32 bit intel code without garbage collection and with ARC.

> 2) In addition to texlive-2016, I also have 2007, 2010, and 2013 installed which together take >10GB of space. Assuming the TLU update doesn't break anything in my texlive-2016 installation, is it safe to remove the old texlive ones?

Yes. Just go to /usr/local/texlive, find those folders with names = dates, and drag them to the trash.
> 3) In addition to those old texlives, I also see that /Library/TeX/Distributions/.FactoryDefaults/ contains old (stub) directories Fink-teTeX/, MacPorts-teTeX/, MacPorts-TeXLive/, and gwTeX-2003-2005/. The symlinks inside those point to various places in /sw (Fink), /opt/local (MacPorts), and /usr/local (gwTeX). Is it safe to remove those stub directories and their contents?

This should be safe, but give back essentially no space. Both TeX Live Utility and the Preference Pane check that an entry is valid by making sure it is pointing to valid binaries. 
> 4) Given that I installed MacTeX.pkg directly, I'd like to also clean up the old (presumably obsolete) MacPorts-based TeX installations, which turn up when I run "port info texlive-*". Is it safe to remove the MacPorts-based stuff?

Unfortunately, I don't know the answer. People sometimes are told by MacPorts to install TeX, but it only needs one binary for some other program.
Usually, including I think MacPorts, there is a "compatibility package" which refers to MacTeX but "tricks" the porting system into believing that all dependencies are satisfied. I'd be tempted to check MacPorts documentation before acting. If you find and install the compatibility package, then removing the ports package should be safe.

Dick Koch
koch at uoregon.edu <mailto:koch at uoregon.edu>

PS: Thanks for the questions. Around Easter time, the traffic slows to a crawl, so it is nice to know that TeX users are still out there!

> My apologies if these are obvious questions. Thank you very much in advance for any clarifications, and for all your hard work on TeX.
> Thanks,
> -A. Mitelman

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