additional texmf tree for all users (was Re: [OS X TeX] Beginner help with TeXshop/MacTex needed)

Bruno Voisin bvoisin at
Mon Aug 28 08:24:56 EDT 2006

Le 28 août 06 à 13:48, William Adams a écrit :

> (re: my thought of adding a texmf tree at /Users/Shared/texmf or
> linking one's personal tree at ~/Library/texmf to it)

Thinking more about it, and about Gerben's remark that the purpose of  
texmf.local has gradually changed over the years so that adding  
another texmf tree would make sense, it seems that this would add  
complexity to an already complex layout, and that this could be  
avoided. Specifically, given that (from README.texmf.gwtex.txt):

> 2. /usr/local/teTeX/share/texmf.gwtex is the Mac OS X tree, this is  
> maintained
> and distributed by me. This tree corresponds to the TeX Foundation  
> i-packages.
> 3. /usr/local/teTeX/share/texmf.local is the local texmf tree, this is
> maintained by the local TeX administrator. It is also the VARTEXMF  
> tree that
> is handled in a special way by texconfig, e.g. formats and changes  
> are stored
> here. A package like CM-Super installs here by default so it will  
> survive a
> reinstall/upgrade of either TeX Programs or TeX Foundation i-packages.

it seems texmf.gwtex and texmf.local share essentially the same  
purpose: they are both maintained by Gerben and his software i- 
Installer, the only difference being that texmf.gwtex is created  
"statically" (i.e. its content is defined once and for good by Gerben  
when putting the TeX i-Package online) while texmf.local is created  
"dynamically" (i.e. its content is defined by the local maintainer,  
through the choice of additional i-Packages at install time such as  
the ConTeXt updater, CM-Super, MusicTeX, etc.).

What I would suggest (in case that's technically possible) is merge  
texmf.gwtex and texmf.local into one single texmf.gwtex tree,  
containing Gerben's and i-Installer's additions to the teTeX (or,  
soon, teTeX-like subset of TeXLive) tree. That would restore  
texmf.local to its original function: a repository of local additions  
and customizations by the administrator of the Mac on which gwTeX is  


Bruno Voisin

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