I am a linux user myself, and have been using TeX on Linux since the original "T" series of floppy disks as part of the initial Slackware distribution. However, my daughter uses a Mac (OS version 10.9), and wants to install TeX. MacTeX, it seems, is 2.9Gb, and would assuredly include a great deal of stuff she would never need. BasicTeX is only 71Mb but requires a great deal of user work afterwards (so I understand) to ensure you have the packages you need.

Is there some sort of happy medium - a Mac distribution for which the user can choose what gets downloaded and installed? Or is there some sort of third party version of MacTeX which allows something like this? On our not terribly fast (Australian NBN) internet her download manager estimated over 8 hours to download the full MacTeX.

In the meantime I've told her to use ShareLaTeX, but I think in the long term she would want her own local system.

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    If you install vanilla texlive, you can select which elements should be installed. Without documentation and exotic fonts and engines, this shrinks easily to < 500 MB – user36296 Mar 23 '18 at 22:47
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    The user choosing what to install is exactly what one does if you use BasicTeX: you have to know what you want to add afterwards. I'm not sure quite what happy medium you want: perhaps MiKTeX-on-Mac? – Joseph Wright Mar 23 '18 at 22:54
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    (From my own experience I can report that vanilla texlive works very good on 10.9, just select the darwin-legacy binaries) – user36296 Mar 23 '18 at 23:03
  • BasicTeX just requires you to install the packages. Even if you installed a different version of TeXLive, you still have to manually install missing packages with tlmgr – Andreas Storvik Strauman Mar 23 '18 at 23:04

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