[OS X TeX] OS X TeX newbie needs help installing TeX on non-boot volume

Joseph C. Slater joseph.slater at wright.edu
Sat Sep 10 09:41:56 EDT 2005

On Sep 10, 2005, at 8:41 AM, Rowland McDonnell wrote:

> Hello,
> My subject line says it all.  I've been using OzTeX for a while (since
> System 6.0.7 was the latest and greatest) and I've got CMacTeX for
> pdfTeX these days.  I've looked at what one can apparently do with a
> modern OS X TeX setup and thought `I want some of that'.  So I  
> tried to
> install a teTeX based TeX and hit a brick wall: I can't work out  
> how to
> install things in non-standard places.
> <snip>

I don't know that you can very easily (easily depends on your skill  
level). i-Installer (and other tetex distributions) install inside  
the /usr/local directory (not as an application bundle or such). It  
is possible that you could create a "local" directory elsewhere and  
create a symbolic link to it named /usr/local

cd /usr
sudo ln -s /Volumes/otherdrive/local local

However, I wouldn't bother with this for two reasons:
a) Reinstalling this stuff, should something go wrong with your hard  
drive, is easy, especially if you've kept the i-Installer source files.
b) If that external drive isn't mounted when you do an install by  
accident, you can easily end up creating a directory in the place of  
"otherdrive", and this can become a modest mess, especially for a  
novice(not implied). I had a backup script that I used once that did  
this. My backups ended up worthless after a while because apparently  
the drive wasn't mounted once during backups, new directory was made...

My take on having another drive for the reasons you mention is that:
a) I used to do it, but only with documents (things I can't easily  
b) OS X has significantly mitigated these risks from my experience
c) Disk Warrior has saved almost everything I ever thought was  
otherwise lost (using any other disk recovery software)
d) Proper backups AND archiving is the only proper way to secure your  
data. The extra drive trick really only moves your vulnerability...  
useful in OS<10, but not in my observation since.

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