I'm using Texmaker and want to install the package algorithmicx to write some pseudocode. I've tried using MacPorts to download and install the package but I can't seem to load it in Texmaker or in TeXShop. Also, MacPorts appeared to download a new distribution of TeX Live. How do I use the downloaded package, and what does MacPorts actually do with the packages I download?

  • 1
    Welcome to TeX.SX! I would recommend installing TeX Live with MacTeX, rather than with MacPorts.
    – egreg
    Oct 16, 2012 at 19:38

2 Answers 2


If you are working on a mac you probably have an application called TeX Live Utility installed. You can use that to install and update packages.

`Tex Live Utility' keeps itself up-to-date, if you really want to use the terminal you can use:

sudo tlmgr update --self
sudo tlmgr update --all
  • I don't think that the MacPorts provided TeX Live has tlmgr.
    – egreg
    Oct 16, 2012 at 21:50
  • I have never used it myself, but this answer seems to indicate it does.
    – Laura
    Oct 17, 2012 at 20:37
  • It just doesn't fit with MacPorts' philosophy, which is similar to Debian. Never used MacPorts TeX Live (and removed MacPorts where I had installed it).
    – egreg
    Oct 17, 2012 at 20:42

MacPorts just like ports on any BSD type systems (NetBSD uses different terminology but pkgsrc is essentially what Free, Open, Mir people call ports) is just a collection of Makefiles which will fetch source code, patch it as needed, resolve dependencies, compile, and install package for you. Unlike regular Mac packages which are installed in small containers packages compiled from ports use shared libraries. That is why they tent to be much smaller than the regular Mac packages which are self sufficient. I am an OpenBSD guy with very little experience on Mac. In my experience MacPorts some times do not play well with Aqua and some GUI systems tools. Also in my limited experience for things like TeX you are better of to use native Mac package than the port. Native package tent to be more quickly updated. I would limit MacPorts use to the things which are not available as Mac packages. For Mac I would definitely go with the "official" MacTeX distribution.

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