I can use latex -v to check the version of LaTeX. Is there a way to check what version of MacTeX (MacTeX 2008, 2009 or 2010) is installed?

7 Answers 7


MacTeX installs a System Preferences pane which shows TeX installations for selection. There you can see the version.

Here's a screenshot:

enter image description here

  • Oh. I thought he wanted something that he could check programmatically. Dec 17, 2010 at 17:34
  • This is the right (i.e., Mac-like) answer. I totally forgot about the preference pane. Dec 17, 2010 at 17:55
  • 6
    If I am correct, this is no longer the case with TexLive 2016 on Mac OS X 10.9.5.
    – Karlo
    Aug 3, 2017 at 22:38
  • 1
    This is no longer the case, indeed. Look for the TeX Live Utility app instead.
    – postylem
    May 2, 2022 at 18:56

The latest info as of May 2019.

Tex Live Utility allows you to check the MacTex version you are currently using (and to switch to other version if needed). There is no longer a System Preferences pane for this purpose.

The MacTex website says:

Long ago we installed a Preference Pane which could do this switching, but this functionality is now in TeX Live Utility, which is in /Applications/TeX. To switch, use the Configure menu item "Select Default TeX Live Version."

; readlink /usr/texbin
  • 2
    Weird. On my mac that gives ../Library/TeX/Distributions/.DefaultTeX/Contents/Programs/i386 But readlink /usr/textbin/ (note the trailing slash) gives ../../../../../../../usr/local/texlive/2010/bin/x86_64-darwin Dec 17, 2010 at 16:43
  • Yeah, /Library/TeX/Distributions/ contains a whole mess of links. I have no idea why my /usr/texbin is a direct link rather than indirecting though said mess. Dec 17, 2010 at 17:41
  • Your programmatical approach is fine. I like the command line.
    – Stefan Kottwitz
    Dec 17, 2010 at 17:45

Found this answer on superuser which essentially says:

  • Run pdflatex --version
  • The first row contains the version pdfTeX 3.14159265-2.6-1.40.21 (TeX Live 2020) (2020 in my case)

In 2010, this worked:

cd /usr/texbin && pwd -P

and gave something like /usr/local/texlive/2009/bin/universal-darwin.

For more recent versions, use

cd /Library/TeX/Root && pwd -P

which gives something like /usr/local/texlive/2018.


Create a "hello world" latex file and compile it. Look at the console or .log file and see what files are being loaded. On my machine I see


So you can guess it's TL 2010.


You could also use:

which tex # shows which and where your MacTex is installed


tex --version # or `tex -v`

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