I'm new to MacTeX, and as I installed by pkg installer MacTeX's installation size SOOOO big that it's about 6GB. I figured out that in /usr/local/texlive, there are folders like texmf-dist/doc, which is I guess for documentations that I would not have any chance to read at all, and /fonts, which includes all the fonts this TeX system may use throughout the process, in which only very some of them I will use in the future. These documentations and fonts takes about 4.8GB out of entire 6GB, which seems so wasteful.

Is it okay to just remove those directories and files in them? In font's case, is it possible to download on-demand later on? I don't think I should store all the fonts ready even if I don't know I'm going to need it.

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    Welcome! Are you really short of disk space? If not, leave well enough alone. If you are, consider using the standard net installer so you can pick a smaller schema or install the basic version, if that's still available. – cfr Oct 17 '19 at 2:03
  • @cfr Thank you for your comment. Is there other way to install other than MaxTex pkg installer? Like web installer? – cadenzah Oct 17 '19 at 2:04
  • If you use the standard net installer, you can pick what to install. You won't get Mac-specific goodies and I don't know if you will need to help it figure out where to install. (I'd think not, but I always used the MacTeX pkg after it became available.) There used to be a basic version of the Mac installer also, but I don't know if that's still available or not. – cfr Oct 17 '19 at 2:10
  • @cfr I will look around. Thank you for advise. – cadenzah Oct 17 '19 at 2:25
  • Try the BasicTeX installation instead. tug.org/mactex/morepackages.html – Alan Munn Oct 17 '19 at 3:41

If you need or want a truly minimal MacTeX distribution you can install the BasicTeX package found on the More Packages page of the MacTeX page.


The BasicTeX package is only 90Mb but contains all of the main components needed (core packages and engines), plus tlmgr to update/install new things as needed.

For a more extensive description of it see:

Why is the MacTeX distribution so large? Is there anything smaller for OS X?

If you've already installed the full MacTeX it's best to remove it entirely rather than remove parts of it. See Checking and removing multiple MacTex installations for how to do that. (But both BasicTeX and the full MacTeX can coexist on the same machine.)

| improve this answer | |
  • Nice relevant question you linked! Thank you. – cadenzah Oct 18 '19 at 4:23

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