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I am a mac user but I have installed the TeX Live distribution without the help of MacTeX. The directory /usr/texbin is missing and TeXShop or TeXworks won't compile.

I know that I can change the path to the bin in these applications, but I would prefer creating a /usr/texbin (is it a symbolic link?) similar to the one created by MacTeX.

PS : Why do I am in this situation ? I wanted to update my installation to 2013. So, I downloaded the big .iso file of the TeXLive distribution. But, TeXShop was still accessing the 2012 folder... So I removed this one, etc.

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I ended up downloading MacTeX. I leave the question open; it might interest someone. As for me, I solved my problem. Thanks! – Colas Oct 9 '13 at 13:12
up vote 11 down vote accepted

You can easily change the path for the TeX programs also with TeXShop and TeXworks; just make them point to /usr/local/texlive/2013/bin/x86_64-darwin; the drawback is that you need to change this at every installation. MacTeX does this for you by creating an infrastructure in /Library/TeX and making a symbolic link /usr/texbin that's managed by the installer or by the TeX distribution pane in the System Preferences.

If you don't want to download MacTeX and prefer to directly install TeX Live, you can create the symbolic link yourself by

sudo ln -s /usr/local/texlive/2013/bin/x86_64-darwin /usr/texbin

(change x86_64-darwin to universal-darwin if you don't have a 64 bit system); just remember to do

sudo rm /usr/texbin

as soon as you install a new release, before creating the symbolic link again.

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Since El Capitan this no longer works. You can not create symlinks anymore because of the so-called "rootless" mode. (See: apple.stackexchange.com/questions/196224/…). A solution is to symlink to /usr/local/texbin and set it up in your .zshrc or w/e. – Christophe De Troyer Oct 2 '15 at 9:55
@ChristopheDeTroyer MacTeX sets up a link in a different place; see meta.tex.stackexchange.com/questions/6237/… – egreg Oct 2 '15 at 10:31

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