[OS X TeX] MacTeX-2008

Anthony Morton amorton at fastmail.fm
Fri Sep 5 04:22:14 EDT 2008

> Why does MacTeX do that? I plead guilty for this. Initially the Perl/ 
> Tk install package prepared by Dick Koch installed everything  
> exactly as the standard installation procedure, namely scripts in / 
> usr/bin. Dick's idea was precisely that people would get exactly the  
> same as with the standard install, for compatibility purposes. I  
> asked that /usr/local/bin was used instead, since on the Mac /usr/ 
> bin is normally reserved for OS components and local additions are  
> normally put elsewhere (generally /usr/local/bin, or /opt/local/bin  
> for MacPorts and /sw/bin for Fink). That change was finally accepted  
> and Dick modified his installer accordingly.

And you did the right thing.  No third-party installer should be  
putting stuff in /usr/bin, ever.  The only things that belong in there  
are components supplied by the OS vendor.  That's a long-standing Unix- 
ish convention.

Indeed that's really the only conceptual difference between /usr/bin  
and /usr/local/bin: /usr/bin is for stuff that Apple give you as part  
of the OS, /usr/local/bin is for stuff you add yourself as the local  
administrator.  An OS update can in principle blow away everything in / 
usr/bin and reinstall that directory from scratch.  Otherwise, things  
installed in either location work the same.

So if in future Apple decide to put Perl/Tk in the OS as standard,  
*then* it would go in /usr/bin.  But until such a thing happens, it's / 
usr/local/bin you should be putting it in.


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