I want to install only the LaTeX compiler because I don't care about the additional software that comes with MacTeX.

I'm going to use Latexian for creating .tex documents.

Is this option possible?

  • 2
    Solved: just remove the tick when running the MacTex installer for GUI Application
    – Samoji
    Oct 13, 2012 at 11:06
  • 5
    Welcome to TeX.SX! It seems that you've found the answer; so why not writing an "official" one (maybe showing where's the tick).
    – egreg
    Oct 14, 2012 at 15:37

2 Answers 2


You can install BasicTeX, which is a subset of MacTeX that weighs in at only 64MB. Description from the webpage:

BasicTeX is a subset of TeX Live designed for easy download by users with limited download speed. The package is remarkably capable. It contains all of the standard tools needed to write TeX documents, including TeX, LaTeX, pdfTeX, MetaFont, dvips, ConTeXt, MetaPost, and XeTeX. It contains AMSTeX, the Latin Modern Fonts, the TeX Live Manager to add and update packages from TeX Live, and the new SyncTeX.

BasicTeX contains a small but core selection of LaTeX packages. Additional packages can be installed using tlmgr e.g.

$  sudo tlmgr install <pkg name>

or, if you prefer a GUI frontend for managing your packages, TeX Live Utility.


For Mac OS X operating system, the MacTex distribution is recommended:


Then, while installing MacTeX you can choose the custom installation and install just TeX Live 2012. By the way I recommend to disable only GUI Application.

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