[OS X TeX] Installing unstable packages

Peter Dyballa Peter_Dyballa at Web.DE
Thu Feb 17 13:01:03 EST 2011

Am 17.02.2011 um 17:38 schrieb Theo Moore:

> [1] Is there a (painless) way to install both and use one or the other
> when the situation demands? I have lots of documents that use
> pgfplots, so it wouldn't be nice if installing the newer, unstable
> version somehow begins producing errors in the older documents.

You have to install it outside the area tlmgr manages. The possibly  
best option (I did not read the other suggestions) is to install in / 
usr/local/texlive/texmf-local. You need "elevated privileges", and  
again to switch it off and on. And therefore, for this ability and  
simplicity, I recommend system-wide.

How does the switch work?

By presenting TeX the proper /usr/local/texlive/texmf-local/ls-R file.

How to build the switch?

After installation of the package *and* before you run "sudo texhash / 
usr/local/texlive/texmf-local" you need to save the old /usr/local/ 
texlive/texmf-local/ls-R file: "sudo mv /usr/local/texlive/texmf-local/ 
ls-R /usr/local/texlive/texmf-local/ls-R-off". Now run texhash/mktexlsr.

How to switch on/off?

After you've run texhash the unstable package is "on": TeX will find  
its components in the ls-R file. To switch it off execute this: "sudo  
mv /usr/local/texlive/texmf-local/ls-R /usr/local/texlive/texmf-local/ 
ls-R-on ;  sudo mv /usr/local/texlive/texmf-local/ls-R-off /usr/local/ 
texlive/texmf-local/ls-R", to switch it on: "sudo mv /usr/local/ 
texlive/texmf-local/ls-R /usr/local/texlive/texmf-local/ls-R-off ;   
sudo mv /usr/local/texlive/texmf-local/ls-R-on /usr/local/texlive/ 

Will it work?

Not always, I presume... The problem comes from tlmgr: after  
installation of some software it will run texhash/mktexlsr. Without  

-rw-r--r-- 1 root wheel  146656 17. Feb 18:44 /usr/local/texlive/texmf- 
-rw-r--r-- 1 root wheel     104 17. Feb 18:44 /usr/local/texlive/2010/ 
-rw-r--r-- 1 root wheel 1071017 17. Feb 18:45 /usr/local/texlive/2010/ 
-rw-r--r-- 1 root wheel    1679 17. Feb 18:45 /usr/local/texlive/2010/ 
-rw-r--r-- 1 root wheel   27933 17. Feb 18:44 /usr/local/texlive/2010/ 

So the file /usr/local/texlive/texmf-local/ls-R will be overwritten  
with the on-contents. To prevent this from happening you can build the  
switch this way:

Save the off state as before and after "sudo texhash /usr/local/ 
texlive/texmf-local" was run save the ls-R file  (on state) as: "sudo  
cp /usr/local/texlive/texmf-local/ls-R /usr/local/texlive/texmf-local/ 
ls-R-on". To operate the switch don't mv (rename) the files but copy  
the appropriate one:

To switch on:  sudo cp /usr/local/texlive/texmf-local/ls-R-on  /usr/ 
To switch off: sudo cp /usr/local/texlive/texmf-local/ls-R-off /usr/ 

So tlmgr will update only a copy and no original. Before using the  
original PGFplot you should actively switch off the unstable  



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