[OS X TeX] Questions on MacTex installation

Herbert Schulz herbs at wideopenwest.com
Wed Mar 5 18:26:15 EST 2008

On Mar 5, 2008, at 2:43 PM, Christoph Hoh wrote:

> Dear list members,
> I have been using Tex on my Mac for a while now. I downloaded the  
> MacTeX-2007 package in July 2007 from the MacTeX site.
> Today I checked the website again and found out that there are  
> different other downloads available.
> After reading most of the explanations regarding available  
> downloads, several things are still not clear to me:
> 1) What is the difference between the MacTeX-Additions (126.1 MB)  
> and the MacTeXtras (280 MB) - except the file size?
>   Is all the software of the MacTeX-Additions included in the  
> MacTeXtras? Is all the software of the Additions and Extras included  
> in the MacTeX-2007 package?


MacTeX-Additions includes ``everything in the MacTeX distribution  
except the actual TeX ditribution.'' That will include things like  
Ghostscript and the GUI applications that come with MacTeX.

MacTeXtras overlaps the MacTeX-Additions as far as the GUI  
applications is concerned but include other Editors (e.g., Aquamacs  
Emacs), Front Ends (e.g., Lyx and TeXMaker), scripts for use with  
other editors, more Bibliography applications, etc. It does NOT  
contain lower level packages like Ghostscript. It also has some  
documentation and examples.

> 2) The actual MacTeX package on CTAN (http://ctan.tug.org/tex-archive/systems/mac/mactex/ 
> ) is dated with 2007-12-01. Since I installed the MacTeX package in  
> July 2007, I would like to update the package. How can I easily  
> upgrade to the actual version without uninstalling my own  
> installation?

TeXLive-2007-Dev (see <http://www.tug.org/mactex/morepackages.html>)  
is an updated, but I believe unofficial, version of TeX Live 2007 with  
some updates. I don't know how recent it was updated.

If you install this I believe it will overwrite the files in /usr/ 
local/texlive/2007/..., and will NOT touch any files you have set up  
in /usr/local/texlive/texmf-local/... so local additions won't be  

> 3) In case that there will be a MacTeX-2008 package in near future,  
> will I have to uninstall the MacteX-2007 installation prior to  
> install the 2008 package?

MacTeX 2008, whenever it comes out (along with TeX Live 2008), will  
install itself in /usr/local/texlive/2008/... without overwriting /usr/ 
local/texlive/texmf-local/... again preserving local additions. Both  
distributions will co-exist and you will be able to change the active  
distribution using the TeX Distribution System Preference Pane.

> Thank you for your help in advance!
> Regards,
> Christoph

Hope this clarifies things a bit.

Good Luck,

Herb Schulz
(herbs at wideopenwest.com)

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