[tex-live] Missing "ppc" symbolic link in .FactoryDefaults/gwTeX-2003-2005 ?

jfbu jfbu at free.fr
Sat Dec 18 01:03:24 CET 2010

Hi everybody,

I made recently an installation of TeXLive 2010 via MacTeX,
on a Mac OS X 10.3.9

I previously had a teTeX based installation dating back to 2005,
via Gerben Wierda's i-installer

the MacTeX installer detected correctly the previous installation

For testing purposes, i wanted to try out switching back to the old
tree. Something did not work and I identified the cause of the problem
to be the following:

in /Library/TeX/Distributions/.FactoryDefaults:

drwxrwxr-x  3 root  admin  102  2 Dec 19:47 Fink-teTeX
   drwxrwxr-x  3 root  admin  102  2 Dec 19:47 MacPorts-teTeX
   drwxrwxr-x  3 root  admin  102  2 Dec 19:47 TeXLive-2010
   drwxrwxr-x  3 root  admin  102  2 Dec 19:47 gwTeX-2003-2005

all 4 directories have a Contents/Program/  sub-directory with each 3  
symbolic links
i386, powerpc and ppc.

Actually not gwTeX-2003-2005 which only has "i386" and "powerpc" links

however my usr/texbin symbolic link is

texbin -> ../Library/TeX/Distributions/.DefaultTeX/Contents/Programs/ppc

which in the ends corresponds to the "ppc" link in the directories  
Contents/Program of
each texdist tree. As the "ppc" was missing from gwTeX-2003-2005 it did  
not work

I don't remember removing by myself such a link! so I assume it was not  
created by
the installation script in the first place

An oddity: the control panel "TeX Distribution" installed by MacTeX did  
give me two
choices but on selecting gwTeX-2003-2005 and even after having typed-in  
my password
to validate administrator rights, it did not seem to do anything and it  
seems it first
did something after I had done sudo chmod g+w on the whole /Library/TeX  

Further oddity: then appeared a "/usr/powerpctexbin" symbolic link
lrwxr-xr-x    1 root  wheel     66 17 Dec 23:24 powerpctexbin ->  

which would have made the set-up functional, except for the fact that  
was changed to /etc/csh.login and /etc/profile, so the path to the  
binaries was
still /usr/texbin and not /usr/powerpctexbin

(and pointed to nothing because of the missing "ppc" link)

The cure to all this was simply for me to manually create the "ppc" link

   total used in directory 24 available 14099312
   drwxrwxr-x   5 root  admin  170 18 Dec 00:30 .
   drwxrwxr-x  12 root  admin  408  2 Dec 19:47 ..
   lrwxr-xr-x   1 root  admin   66  2 Dec 19:47 i386 ->  
   lrwxr-xr-x   1 root  admin   69  2 Dec 19:47 powerpc ->  
   lrwxr-xr-x   1 root  admin   69 18 Dec 00:30 ppc ->  

I am rather impressed that everything works so nicely. In particular it  
is very clever how one does
not need to change anything to the /usr/texbin symbolic link, so that  
there is no need to ever
fiddle with $PATH once it has been set-up to contain "/usr/texbin"

and switching from one distribution to the other is as simple as  
modifying the sole link in
very nice



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