foo vs. foo-sys (was Re: Yes, I did read *all* your email was Re: [OS X TeX] Building new formats (MacTeX))

Bruno Voisin bvoisin at
Mon Sep 25 05:09:06 EDT 2006

Le 25 sept. 06 à 03:10, Bruno Voisin a écrit :

> Both fmtutil-sys and fmtutil get input from the home directory of  
> the user invoking them, and from all the TeX trees inside /usr/ 
> local/teTeX/share (called "global trees" in TETEXDOC.pdf), yielding:
> 	~/Library/texmf
> 	/usr/local/teTeX/share/texmf.local
> 	/usr/local/teTeX/share/texmf.gwtex
> 	/usr/local/teTeX/share/texmf.tetex
> 	/usr/local/teTeX/share/texmf
> For each file searched for, fmtutil and fmtutil-sys read the above  
> directories in this order (from top to bottom), and stop reading at  
> the first occurrence of the file.

Something I had forgotten: where is this all defined?

I'm not sure of it, but I think TeX and the TeX-related utilities  
look for their input files into the texmf tree TEXMF. The list and  
function of all the texmf trees (TEXMFMAIN, TEXMFVAR, TEXMFLOCAL,  
etc.) is described briefly in section 2.2 of /usr/local/teTeX/share/ 

The interrelation and value of each TEXMF tree on OS X, as shipped in  
either MacTeX or the TeX i-Package, is defined in the generic config  
file /usr/local/teTeX/share/texmf/web2c/texmf.cnf modified for OS X  
in /usr/local/teTeX/texmf.cnf (the definition in the latter override  
those in the former). Complementary details are given in:


Specifically, /usr/local/teTeX/texmf.cnf says:


and earlier (edited for clarity):

> TEXMFTE = $SELFAUTOPARENT/share/texmf.tetex
> TEXMFGW = $SELFAUTOPARENT/share/texmf.gwtex
> TEXMFLOCAL = $SELFAUTOPARENT/share/texmf.local
> HOMETEXMF = $HOME/Library/texmf

while /usr/local/teTeX/share/texmf.gwtex/README.howtexfindsfiles.txt  

> $SELFAUTOPARENT is set dynamically, depending on the location of  
> your binary.
> TeX therefore can sort-of dynamically locate your texmf trees.

and also:

> $HOME is your home directory

This means that on an unmodified MacTeX or i-Installer setup,  
SELFAUTOPARENT is /usr/local/teTeX and HOME is ~ so that:

TEXMFMAIN = /usr/local/teTeX/share/texmf
TEXMFTE = /usr/local/teTeX/share/texmf.tetex
TEXMFGW = /usr/local/teTeX/share/texmf.gwtex
TEXMFLOCAL = /usr/local/teTeX/share/texmf.local
HOMETEXMF = ~/Library/texmf

and TEXMF becomes:


where the directories are searched from top to bottom in the above  
list and, for each file, the search stops as soon as the first  
occurrence of the file is found.

This resulting behaviour (but not the above technicalities behind it)  
is summarized inside /usr/local/teTeX/share/texmf.gwtex/ 

Hope this helps,

Bruno------------------------- Info --------------------------
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