[OS X TeX] environment.plist pointer

Christopher Menzel cmenzel at tamu.edu
Thu Nov 16 14:12:32 EST 2006

Somewhat surprised by Gerben's response to the suggestion of using  
~/.MacOSX/environment.plist to set one's path globally, I went  
looking for the discussion he alluded to.  It is here:


It's a very interesting and informative thread.  I believe that  
objections to the use of environment.plist based on security grounds  
are alarmist (albeit not groundless), but the points about the  
dangers of breaking installers and such are well-taken, especially  
for users of fink and DarwinPorts.  These tools create separate bin  
directories and offer alternatives to many unix programs and  
utilities that OS X itself installs.  This can cause problems if the  
foreign versions are called instead of their expected OS X-installed  
counterparts.  The uncontroversial bottom line of the discussion  
seems to me to be that there are usually better, safer solutions to  
the use of environment.plist to set paths and other env vars, and  
that it should certainly not be widely recommended as a general  
solution to env var problems, as it can lead to breakage that is  
difficult for even somewhat experienced users to diagnose.

Chris Menzel

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