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A while ago I installed MacTex Basic via Homebrew Cask, which installed it in /usr/local/texlive/2014basic and also set a whole bunch of symlinks in /Library, ~/Library and /usr.

After not using TeX for a while I did an update today using sudo tlmgr update --self --all, and it updated a whole lot of packages. I found out, that ever since the follow-up MacTex 2015 distribution came out and obviously the update command tried to upgrade my 2014 one. But after that I ran into an issue that could not clearly be solved, without reinstalling the whole thing.

So my question is: is tlmgr actually supposed to do distribution upgrades? As MacTex installs into a directory that has the year in its name, one should suppose not. But the update command does so anyway.

What would have been the correct way to handle this?

  • Are you sure it updated? tlmgr doesn't update across years, and once the current year is available you should have received a message that the repository contained the wrong year. (Independent of this, it's always better to avoid other packaging systems like Homebrew/MacPorts when it comes to installing TeX.) – Alan Munn Aug 17 '15 at 16:10
  • I went through this tutorial after the problem appeared, and the script did not really update a lot, so I figured that most of the packages were already the latest version due to the tlmgr update before. – mcnesium Aug 17 '15 at 16:19
  • As that page warns, this is not the recommended route. Most of us who use MacTeX just download a new image every year and then update it using TeXLive Utility (which is a frontend for tlmgr that comes with MacTeX). Yes, it's a big download, but it's completely hassle free. – Alan Munn Aug 17 '15 at 16:23
  • So we are not supposed to use sudo tlmgr update --self --all anymore once there is a new distribution version out? I am not afraid of big downloads, but if there is a package manager available, I was actually happy to use it, just like using npm, rvm, pip, etc… – mcnesium Aug 17 '15 at 16:32
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    I still dont feel like I got the point. If tlmgr is the package manager for TeX Live, and its purpose is to upgrade packages, and if TeX Live is a TeX typesetting distribution consisting of a bunch of packages, why am I not supposed to use it to upgrade all of them, thus the distribution? It seemed like it actually did so, but the upgrade system seems to be buggy somehow. – mcnesium Aug 18 '15 at 7:31

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