[OS X TeX] TeX on Snow Leopard

Peter Vamos P.Vamos at exeter.ac.uk
Sun Aug 30 15:06:34 EDT 2009

Yesterday I installed Snow Leopard (SL) on two Macs. Here are my experiences.

Mac 1. An early Intel iMac Core Duo, cannot run in 64-bit mode.
Mac 2. Brand new MacBook Core 2 Duo (2.563 GHz) 
can run in 64-bit mode. This machine was `cloned' 
using migration assistant from
Mac 3. PowerBook G4 (cannot run SL).
Prior to the installation of SL all three Macs 
run Leopard 10.5.8 Texshop 2.26 with TeXLive-2008.

The installation on Macs 1 and 2 went smoothly 
IIRC about 50-35 min. Naturally, the first thing 
I tried was Tex. Typeset the same file on Macs 1 
and 2 without any problems. Forgot to time with 
Leopard but subjectively typesetting was faster. 
Of course the TeX engine, as far as I understand, 
doesn't take advantage of 64-bit processing so 
one should not expect speed improvements but 
Apple's pdf rendering (Preview?) does, so Mac 2 
might show some speed gain. Perhaps someone yet 
to upgrade should record times.

TeX Distribution Pref Pane in Mac 1 worked 
without needing to reopen but Mac 2 needed to 
reopen. Next I checked my path (in Terminal: echo 
$PATH): Mac 1 was OK but not Mac 2. Not 
surprisingly, Mac 2 would not understand commands 
like texhash, kpsewhich etc either. After adding 
/usr/texbin to my path on Mac 2 all was well.
[Note to Luci Ellis: you have to log out and log 
in again for the path change to take effect. Did 
you do that before trying texhash, updmap again?]

Back to typesetting several other files, no 
problem even Tikz function plotting calling on 
GnuPlot worked (Mac 2). I did notice one thing 
though: lots more  LaTeX commands were underlined 
in red in the input file by the spellchecker than 
I remembered. [ TeXShop-> Prefs-> Source check 
Spelling ticked, TeXShop->Edit Check spelling 
while typing checked.] A comparison with Mac 3 on 
the same file confirmed this. In fact most of the 
commands are now underlined (exceptions: \begin 
\end \item ..). Mac 1 was running CoCoAspell 
before SL but not Mac 2. The pref pane is still 
there and working on Mac 1 but CoCoAspell itself 
seems to be broken, checked in TexEdit.Now both 
Macs 1 and 2 seems to be the same, unsatisfactory 
state as far as TeX spellchecking is concerned. 
Can anyone else confirm this and/or offer an 

Other apps: All my apps seem to work OK, many 
needing Rosetta though.  SL will warn you to 
install this when needed. On Mac 2  I went with 
the default install which _does not_ include 
Rosetta. On the next install on Mac 1 I chose 
Custom install and checked Rosetta.

I had one strange `timewarp' experience. When 
checking my apps one-by-one I came to one which I 
have not used for some time: Auntie. This is a 
BBC news reader (RSS?) serving headlines in a 
ticker-tape mode. It launched OK under Rosetta 
and told me that it was fetching the headlines. 
These duly appeared but none of them seemed to be 
the ones I just heard on the radio. Mostly UK 
oriented but to give you the flavour one said: 
"Soul legend Edwin Starr has died aged 61." Mind 
you, this alone would not have aroused my 
suspicions, not knowing who Edwin Starr was in 
the first place. Clicking on a headline takes you 
to the appropriate BBC web page: these all dated 
2003! I have no idea where Auntie now gets these 
headlines from.

One last thing: literally as I write this on Mac 
,1 Mac 2 next to me went into screensave mode: 
strange words float by occasionally stopping on 
one and giving the description from the 
Dictionary. Bit like Readers Digest trying to 
teach you new isoteric words. never seen this, 
didn't choose it, must be a SL default.


At 05:40 +0100 28/8/09, Richard Koch wrote:
>This is an expanded version of a message I sent 
>earlier. Installing Snow Leopard may remove TeX 
>from your PATH, as Adam Maxwell pointed out, and 
>the message now explains how to get it back.
>Since we are close to the release date of Snow 
>Leopard, let me list a small number of very 
>minor TeX issues you might run into when 
>upgrading, and describe fixes. Aside from these 
>issues, TeX and TeX programs and utilities run 
>fine. (These minor issues are fixed in 
>MacTeX-2009, now undergoing testing.)
>In Snow Leopard, Apple's own applications run in 
>64 bits on machines with 64 bit processors. So 
>System Preferences runs in 64 bits and thus 
>requires 64 bit plugins. The TeX Distribution 
>Preference Pane in MacTeX-2008 has only 32 bit 
>binaries (the version in MacTeX-2009 has both 32 
>and 64 bit binaries).
>However, System Preferences in Snow Leopard 
>understands this problem, and when it finds a 32 
>bit pane it puts up a dialog saying "to run this 
>Pane, System Preferences must restart". When you 
>click OK, it restarts in 32 bit mode and runs 
>the Pane. So the problem is "cosmetic only."
>Apple changed the configuration of "man" 
>slightly, so TeX man pages may not be found from 
>a shell. But this is also easily fixed. Go to 
>the TeX binary directory and create a symbolic 
>link named "man" to the man pages. Thus the 
>following commands will fix the problem:
>	cd /usr/local/texlive/2008/bin/universal-darwin
>	sudo ln -s ../../texmf/doc/man  man
>When you upgrade to Snow Leopard in the standard 
>way, TeX Live 2008 and Ghostscript should be 
>preserved, but it is possible that the symbolic 
>link /usr/texbin will be destroyed. If your 
>front end cannot find TeX, recreate this link as 
>	cd /usr
>	sudo ln -s 
> texbin
>Upgrading to Snow Leopard may also remove 
>/usr/texbin from your default PATH. To fix that, 
>create a text file named TeX with contents
>	/usr/texbin
>and then move this file to /etc/paths.d
>One way to create the file is to change 
>directory to your Desktop in Terminal and then 
>use "cat" as follows:
>	cd
>	cd Desktop
>	cat > TeX
>	/usr/texbin
>and then type control-D to complete the command. 
>Now give this file read-write permission for 
>everyone and move it to /etc/paths.d as follows
>	chmod 666 TeX
>	sudo mv TeX /etc/paths.d
>If you run into some other difficulty I have 
>forgotten, please write this group. After we 
>collect such "Friday, Aug 28 Experiences", we'll 
>write an addendum to the MacTeX web page if 
>Dick Koch
><mailto:koch at math.uoregon.edu>koch at math.uoregon.edu
>Content-Type: text/plain; name="ATT00001.txt"
>Content-Description: ATT00001.txt
>Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="ATT00001.txt"; size=413;
>	creation-date="Fri, 28 Aug 2009 05:41:16 GMT";
>	modification-date="Fri, 28 Aug 2009 05:41:16 GMT"
>Attachment converted: Macintosh HD:ATT00001 2725.txt (TEXT/TeXs) (018E787E)

More information about the MacOSX-TeX mailing list