[OS X TeX] 64 Bit Binaries for TeX Live 2009

Richard Koch koch at math.uoregon.edu
Mon Nov 23 12:06:28 EST 2009


TeX Live 2009 installs 32-bit binaries on the Macintosh. Recent Macs can also run 64-bit applications, and we experimented briefly with 64-bit binaries before the TeX Live 2009 release. The 400 page book we used to benchmark typeset in 3 seconds in 32-bits, and the speedup with 64-bit apps ranged from negligible to a fraction of a second. Since 64-bit binaries would receive limited testing, we opted not to include them.

Recently a user with an 800 page project retested. His book typeset in 4.40 seconds with 32-bit binaries, and in 3.39 seconds with 64-bit binaries. 

An optional install package is now available which adds 64-bit binaries to TeX Live 2009 and Ghostscript. This package requires Snow Leopard and only installs if TeX Live 2009 and Ghostscript 8.70 have been installed. The package adds an extra item to the TeX Distribution Preference Pane, allowing users to switch between 32-bit and 64-bit binaries (both distributions use the same texmf trees).

We don't recommend the package for most users, but if you'd like to try it, follow the link on


Dick Koch

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