So, after installing TeX Live 2015 (via the downloadable package) next to Homebrew, my directory-structure looks like this

drwxr-xr-x  24   ec admin   816 20 Jan   20:58 | /usr/local
drwxr-xr-x 176   ec admin  5984 20 Jan   21:46 + /usr/local/Cellar 
drwxr-xr-x  55   ec admin  1870 20 Jan   21:50 + /usr/local/share 
drwxr-xr-x   5 root wheel   170 20 Jan   21:32 + /usr/local/texlive 
drwxr-xr-x   7   ec admin   238 13 Oct   19:52 + /usr/local/var 

(Something look a little out-of-place? :P)

> tlmgr install latex latex-bin latexconfig latex-fonts
You don't have permission to change the installation in any way,
specifically, the directory /usr/local/texlive/2015/tlpkg/ is not writable.
Please run this program as administrator, or contact your local     admin.
tlmgr: An error has occurred. See above messages. Exiting.

So, I'd really rather not run commands as root, thanks.

Was there a correct way to install TeX Live that doesn't require subsequent sudo to run commands? /= And in either case, is it safe to recursively-chown the entire /usr/local/texlive tree, to repair this?

(I don't seem to be the first one to have these problems ...)


The MacTeX package will always install TeX Live as root, as authorization is ordinarily required in order to write to /usr/local. Even if you change ownership or permissions, Apple's Installer is more of a glorified tar than anything. If you don't like that, you can install it using the shell script or from within TeX Live Utility.

As maintainer of TeX Live Utility, I recommend that you recursively chown the the tree to your user on a (primarily) single-user system, in order to avoid running my code and tlmgr with root privileges. It's safe to do this, but I wouldn't call it a "repair", since you've changed permissions on a directory that's owned by root in a clean install.

  • Keeping user and group as root, chmod -R 755 on your TeX Live directory should work well. – Geremia Oct 21 '16 at 23:56

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.