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I want to install MacTex2021 on an unsupported MacOS version, 10.13.6 (High Sierra), because I don't want to give up only old MacBook 2009 ... Any help is appreciated.

I follow the instructions on https://www.tug.org/mactex/mactex-unix-download.html for installing 2021 on unsupported OSX versions, among which High Sierra. When I run install-tl I see the gui but nothing happens. It can also be run in text mode but this also fails. Changing the repository had no effect.

sudo ./install-tl --gui=text Loading https://mirror.ctan.org/systems/texlive/tlnet/tlpkg/texlive.tlpdb

./install-tl: TLPDB::from_file could not initialize from: https://mirror.ctan.org/systems/texlive/tlnet/tlpkg/texlive.tlpdb ./install-tl: Maybe the repository setting should be changed. ./install-tl: More info: https://tug.org/texlive/acquire.html

Edit. I was able to install. TexDist2021 ran successfully.

I asked a new question since the Tex Live utility does not run. See: TexLive fails with version mismatch message quoting version nr to be 2^64 - 1. Known bug?

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  • It's probably trying to connect to a server that has a Let's Encrypt certificate. Instead of using the CTAN multiplexor, you'll need to manually specify a repository that uses a different root certificate, or has been reconfigured to deal with their breakage. For background, see tug.org/pipermail/tex-live/2021-October/047470.html Commented Dec 29, 2021 at 22:59

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Since I can't edit my comment, I may as well turn this into an answer. I suspect tlmgr is probably trying to connect to a server that has a Let's Encrypt certificate. Instead of using the CTAN multiplexor, which picks a nearby repository, you'll need to manually specify a repository that uses a different root certificate, or has been reconfigured to deal with their breakage. For background on the certificate issue, see https://tug.org/pipermail/tex-live/2021-October/047470.html.

For a repository near you, see https://ctan.org/mirrors?lang=en. You can test a mirror using curl in Terminal, e.g.

/usr/bin/curl -Lv https://ctan.math.utah.edu/ctan/tex-archive/systems/texlive/tlnet/tlpkg/texlive.tlpdb.md5

If you don't see a certificate error, you should be good to go. Note that using a web browser is not sufficient to debug this problem on High Sierra or Mojave, as it's related to the way the command-line tools look for certs. For extra fun, the curl supplied by MacPorts doesn't have this problem, so make sure you're using the Apple-supplied one.

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  • I tried a few more mirrors and found one that does indeed allow the install. Thanks!
    – my2cts
    Commented Dec 30, 2021 at 1:02
  • Great! The problem is nearly impossible to handle in software that uses the multiplexor, since clients have no way to request a different mirror. I've tried to figure out a way to work around it in TeX Live Utility for the Mac, but I'm stumped. That also wouldn't help with the CLI installer. Commented Dec 30, 2021 at 1:53

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