[OS X TeX] Local additions repository

Maarten Sneep maarten.sneep at xs4all.nl
Fri Jan 19 03:32:49 EST 2007

On Jan 19, 2007, at 04:05, Google Kreme wrote:

> On 18-Jan-2007, at 16:38, Bruno Voisin wrote:
>> I was thinking about where to put local customizations of TeX.  
>> MacTeX recommends ~/Library/texmf, which has several advantages:
> IU have a poblem with that, myself.  I don want to see the Library  
> littered with countless folders.  There is a heirarchy within the  
> Library folder that should be used.
> ~/Library/Application Support/ for one ~/Library/Preferences/ for  
> another.  making a 'top-level' folder in the Library is going to  
> annoy at least me, and I suspect others.  I would recommend ~/ 
> Library/Application Support/TeX/<everything goes here>

Warning, Unix rears its ugly head: spaces alert!

Having the space in "Application Support" pretty much precludes this,  
unless explicit support for it is added to the TeX Live file search  
system. That may happen, file names with spaces are available (in  
some way), but all old instructions still tell you to create ~/ 
Library/texmf. A hidden sym-link may work, but that is ugly, and hard  
to maintain.

Besides, ~/Library/texmf surely beats ~/texmf, which some suggested  
we should use, as that is the standard for TeX Live. I added the  
option to the TeX Live install script to customize this.

>> You cannot install the TeX customizations in the admin account,  
>> and use them in the non-admin account.
> Anything that is globally installed should be installed by the  
> admin user.  If it is local (user) customizations they should 1)  
> not require admin access to install and 2) be installed in the  
> user's own space.
> (And yes, I am one of those who does not run my machine under an  
> admin account).

Local refers to "site local", i.e. template for a university. Those  
are considered "local" additions (from the perspective of the TeX  
Live team). In this parlance, local means local to the machine (or  
possibly local network), rather than the user level.

Nothing in the TeX Live configuration contradicts what you're saying.  
However, what Bruno meant to say is: if an admin user want to install  
a package foo.sty so that it is available to all users, it must be  
added to the texmf.local tree, rather than the ~Admin/Library/texmf

>> each distribution includes a location for putting local  
>> customizations: /usr/local/teTeX/share/texmf.local for teTeX, /usr/ 
>> local/gwTeX/texmf.pkgs for gwteX, and /usr/local/texlive/texmf- 
>> local for TeX Live.
> I find it surprising that these packages do not account for local- 
> to-the-user customizations.  It's a bit like installing BitchX and  
> not having it support user configurations and preferences. so every  
> user has to use the same server, the same channels, and the same  
> nickname.

They do: install something in ~/Library/texmf, and that file will be  
found first, effectively hiding whatever comes later in the search  
path. For some types this isn't true, but those define the  
configuration itself (the search path order, for instance), and  
normally you don't mess with those.


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