Those us who are Mac users may be aware that the next version of OS X will change major aspects of the the way users can interact with the underlying Unix infrastructure of the OS. In particular, access to /usr/ will essentially be eliminated, even with admin privileges. As a result, starting from TL 2015, the location of TL in the Mac will be "moved" to /Library/TeX/texbin instead of /usr/texbin. See this thread on the TeX for Mac OS mailing list for details.

Currently we have 127 questions that ask specifically about /usr/texbin, and I'm sure many more answers in which it plays an important role.

While the old advice of /usr/texbin will still work for a while, it will not work for those users running the new OS. Furthermore, it is only since TL 2015 that the /Library/TeX/texbin link has been created, users with older TeX distributions but with the new OS won't just be able to be told to use the new directory.

My question is the following: given the large number of questions and answers that refer to /usr/texbin what should we do to gradually update them?

  • 4
    Excellent question and excellent foresight in raising it now :-)
    – Joseph Wright Mod
    Jul 14, 2015 at 17:57
  • Not a Mac user, but I would suggest that we add two tags. There probably a more informative pair of tag for Mac user then these two. But I start the proposal. Use [preTL2015] and [TL2015] to all these posting as appropriate. Jul 14, 2015 at 18:43
  • @R.Schumacher I don't think tagging is the answer. And the issue is no simply one of pre vs post TL2015, but the interaction of that with the OS version. If we want the answers to continue to be useful they will need to be updated as well.
    – Alan Munn
    Jul 14, 2015 at 20:17
  • 7
    It sounds as if I am going to be even gladder I abandoned Mac ;). More seriously, it sounds as if answers will need to be complicated in various ways. That is: if you have A and B then...; if you have A and C then...; if you have D and B, go straight to jail. Do not pass go. Would it be helpful to have a single question/answer to explain the details and then update answers to refer to that location? Then the answers could refer users there to figure out if they are in category 1, 2, 3... and at least focus on if 1..., if 2..... Which might help a little?
    – cfr
    Jul 15, 2015 at 3:30
  • I'm working in this from two ends. The difficulty of the question corrections will depend a lot on the simplicity of the solution to the old distribution plus new OS problem but it's likely that that will have a relatively simple solution.
    – Alan Munn
    Jul 15, 2015 at 3:54
  • 9
    I suspect we are going to need a question about this area specifically and then link for others to it. It's going to need quite a bit of detail so is probably best not repeated multiple times. We may also need to think about the status of some of the older questions.
    – Joseph Wright Mod
    Jul 15, 2015 at 8:50
  • 1
    Wow ... I bet this is going to give the Homebrew folks enormous headaches, too ... I'm very tempted to join you, @cfr :p
    – Adam Liter
    Jul 20, 2015 at 1:46
  • @AdamLiter this shouldn't affect homebrew much since it installs into /usr/local. That's writable under El Capitan.
    – Alan Munn
    Jul 20, 2015 at 2:01
  • @AlanMunn Ah, okay. I had seen that Homebrew has been having problems with El Capitan, so I assumed it was just this. But that's good that /usr/local will remain writeable.
    – Adam Liter
    Jul 20, 2015 at 2:10
  • 5
    Just as there is a duplicated mark, what about an updated by mark that could be used against old questions in order to close them and link them to their newer counterparts... (of course, users would have to ask new questions for the older to have a newer counterpart.) Jul 21, 2015 at 2:26
  • @cfr — are you saying /usr/texbin is not already Mac specific? Jul 30, 2015 at 4:19
  • @WillRobertson No. Not that I know of. What did I say that suggested that?
    – cfr
    Jul 30, 2015 at 13:02
  • Yet another reason to stay on Mavericks. I wonder if the new system is basically chflags simmutableing the system bin dirs (which would be kinda great from a security pov).
    – morbusg
    Aug 6, 2015 at 15:44
  • It seems I can get to /usr on MacOS 10.14.6 (fairly recent AKAIK) without any problem? Was this a temporary issue that is no longer releavant? Sep 12, 2019 at 19:18


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