From an earlier question of mine, it was determined that one can not obtain the latest version of older releases (ex. TeXLive2010, TeXLive2011). I am upgrading my Mac and would like to know the process of copying over manually the files from a Mac that has TeXLive2010 and TeXLive2011 installed. I'd prefer to not use the Migration assistant, so that I can control exactly what is being updated.

So, what I naively tried was:

  • Copy /usr/local/texlive/2010 and /usr/local/texlive/2011 form old Mac to new Mac.
  • Install TeXLive2012 which created /usr/local/texlive/2012 on new Mac.

On my older Mac I have the following in my Preferences panel:

enter image description here

But on my new Mac I only have TeXLive-2012 shown, and want to know how to get that to show the other two versions.

So, what other files do I need to manually copy over so that I can have access to all three versions? Deleting and reinstalling TeXLive2012 is not a problem.


  • 2
    I'm not in my Mac right now, but I believe the explanation relies inside /Library/TeX. There must be something there that governs the TeX Distribution Data structure. I found some hints here. :) – Paulo Cereda Aug 16 '12 at 17:21
  • You should try copying also /Library/TeX/Distributions/TeXLive-2011.texdist/ – egreg Aug 16 '12 at 23:18
  • @PauloCereda: There were two directories ~/Library/texlive/2010, and ~/Library/texlive/2011. I copied those over (and rebooted), but still only see TeXLive 2012 in the Preferences. – Peter Grill Aug 17 '12 at 4:22
  • @egreg: I also copied over /Library/TeX/Distributions/TeXLive-2010.texdist and /Library/TeX/Distributions/TeXLive-2011.texdist (and rebooted), but still only see TeXLive2012 in the Preferences Pane. – Peter Grill Aug 17 '12 at 4:24
  • @PeterGrill: Interesting, I think it should work. Maybe /Library/TeX/Distributions/TeXDist-description.rtf has some hints on what's happening, but as far as I read the document, the TeX pane in the Preferences should recognize .texdist's automatically. – Paulo Cereda Aug 17 '12 at 12:10

You should also copy


which is what the Preference pane uses to know that the distribution is present.

Also the "home" folders referring to variable parts of the distribution should be copied:


but this has minor priority, as it contains things that will be rebuilt in case of need.

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