[OS X TeX] Leopard MacTeX PATH problems, still
dewatson at mac.com
Sat Mar 22 22:32:42 EDT 2008
Short story: any shell that uses /etc/csh.login, /etc/zprofile, or /
etc/profile in its normal initiation process.
On Mar 22, 2008, at 8:02 PM, Herbert Schulz wrote:
> In Leopard the changes are an addition of the TeX file (containing /
> usr/texbin) to /etc/paths.d/ which simply adds /usr/texbin to the
> path (of any shell?).
The /etc/csh.login.system_default /etc/profile.system_default (and
presumably /etc/zprofile.system_default if that file had been modified
before the upgrade) contain short scripts which call the path helper
The /usr/libexec/path_helper utility is itself a shell script that
takes care of parsing /etc/paths.d/; one interesting thing to note is
that any paths in the text file /etc/paths will get processed ahead of
the remaining paths.
So if there is anything in that file that might cause trouble by
coming first, then you must either chance editing (and remembering) /
etc/paths, or else you must shortcut the default behavior by having
your system-wide shell file NOT call path_helper, and then call it
manually AFTER you have set the other paths first.
I'll let the manual page speak for itself:
path_helper(8) BSD System Manager's Manual
path_helper -- helper for constructing PATH environment variable
path_helper [-c | -s]
The path_helper utility reads the contents of the files in the
directories /etc/paths.d and
/etc/manpaths.d and appends their contents to the PATH and
MANPATH environment variables respectively.
Files in these directories should contain one path element per
Prior to reading these directories, default PATH and MANPATH
values are obtained from the files
/etc/paths and /etc/manpaths respectively.
-c Generate C-shell commands on stdout. This is the
default if SHELL ends with "csh".
-s Generate Bourne shell commands on stdout. This is the
default if SHELL does not end with
The path_helper utility should not be invoked directly. It is
intended only for use by the shell pro-
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