[OS X TeX] kpsewhich pointing to wrong location?

Michael S. Hanson mshanson at wesleyan.edu
Sat Jan 20 15:31:46 EST 2007

On Jan 20, 2007, at 3:01 PM, Peter Dyballa wrote:

>> 	(As one data point, I notice that on my home iMac running  
>> 10.4.8, /var/db/locate.database was last updated at 18:25 on Mon,  
>> Jan 15.  I don't know if that is "normal" or if some other process  
>> spawned an update, but I didn't do it manually, and the iMac is  
>> very rarely not asleep overnight.)
> You might have anacron (from Mac Ports or Fink) ...

	I might, but as I have never gunked up any of my Macs with MacPorts,  
Fink, or any other *nix package manager, I do not.  locate and find  
confirm that anacron is not on my iMac.  I also do not use any of the  
third-party system maintenance programs (Macaroni, Janitor, Onyx,  
AppleJack, Yasu, etc.) on my iMac.  Other ideas?

	A quick Google search seems to confirm that launchd counts the  
elapsed time since the last execution of each of the periodic  
scripts, excluding when the computer is asleep, to determine when to  
run each of them.  According to, for example,  <http:// 

"Mac OS X runs these jobs in different ways depending on the version  
of Mac OS X. In Mac OS X v10.3 and earlier, cron(8) is responsible  
for starting periodic jobs. In v10.4 and later, launchd(8) starts the  
As a result, if your computer is asleep at the scheduled time, in Mac  
OS X v10.3 and earlier, the job does not run; in Mac OS X v10.4 and  
later, the job executes automatically when the computer wakes up. For  
this reason, you should not assume that a job will run at a  
particular time or on a particular day.

Note: If the computer is turned off at the scheduled time, the jobs  
does not run at all, regardless of what version of Mac OS X you are  
You can configure the periodic(8) tool by modifying /etc/defaults/ 
periodic.conf. For more information, see the manual page for  

	Hence, it would appear that the locate database is updated on a  
(more-or-less) regular basis under 10.4.x, even if the computer is  
asleep overnight.  Of course, as I noted in my previous reply, I know  
relatively little Unix, so I may misunderstand what I have found.  YMMV.

                                         -- Mike

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