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

William Adams will.adams at
Mon Aug 28 08:39:16 EDT 2006

On Aug 28, 2006, at 8:27 AM, Victor Ivrii wrote:

> On 8/28/06, William Adams <will.adams at> wrote:
>> On Aug 28, 2006, at 8:02 AM, Rowland McDonnell wrote:
>> > Thanks for your suggestion - but as I understand it, that would  
>> limit
>> > the additions to one user only.  Or have I missed something?
>> Well, I've just tested my idea and moving a personal texmf tree to /
>> Users/Shared/texmf and then linking to it using the command
>> ln -s /Users/Shared/texmf/ ~/Library/texmf
>> works (making an alias however doesn't --- when I tried this with an
>> alias it couldn't find varwidth.sty which is only in my personal
>> texmf tree).
>> Aside from Victor's concern about lots of people having write access,
>> I don't think there'd be any drawbacks of note, modulo removing the
>> option for customization for an individual user --- I'd welcome
>> correction on this.
> Actually for THE individual user. Everyone else could have his/her own
> ~/Library/texmf tree on the top of this but the user whose tree is
> shared should 1) Make all the related directories executable by others
> and all such files readable by others and also should think about how
> his/her personal tree changes would affect others. Looks like
> unnecessary headache for me.

My idea was that all users on a machine would make the afore- 
mentioned link and that this shared directory would be the only  
personalized one --- the advantage here is that only one customized  
texmf tree has to be maintained, the trade-off is that those users  
who are using it can't have a personalized tree.

> Pseudo-user Shared exists (at least almost) for sure anyway and
> personal directories should contain only personal staff (not exactly a
> strict rule but I prefer to follow it)

Agreed, that's why I think that the ideal would be to follow Bruno's  
suggestion (merge gwtex and local as they exist now into gwtex) and  
then set local to be /Users/Shared/texmf (with ``local'' added to it,  
either as a prefix or as an extension).

The advantage of moving it to /Users/Shared is that it's then easier  
and more natural for people to find / change / update --- unless  
there's a better location in the system?


William Adams
senior graphic designer
Fry Communications

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