TeX Distributions

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TeX distributions are software that can compile a TeX document and generate a dvi or pdf at bare minimum, without any additional software. Somewhere in them they have an actual TeX binary, even if it has to be called from the command line.

The modern distribution being developed and supported by TUG is TeX Live, supplanting the former unix standard teTeX. As a result, the MacTeX Working Group within TUG recommends TeX Live through development and distribution of MacTeX, although there are also other ways to install TeX Live, and older TeX distributions.

Note that an overview of some of the distributions here can be found in the Distribution Matrix which is designed to help new users decide which option is best for them.

Contents

CMacTeX

by Tom Kiffe.

Shareware ($35)

Mac classic (pre OS X) distribution updated for OS X. Separate GUI application/interface for each TeX program. Last update November 2007.

Works with standalone text editors:

Fink

by a lot of people.

Open source (GPL)

See Fink for general information about this package manager.

Once installed, Fink can be used to install a teTeX distribution (not the more modern TeXLive) for use with a variety of editors/front-ends:

i-Installer

by Gerben Wierda

Open source (BSD) - Donations Requested

i-Installer can be used to install TeX for use with a variety of editors/front ends:

Note: Gerben Wierda is no longer maintaining a TeX distribution of his own. Instead, he recommends using TeX Live (e.g. MacTeX). i-Installer may still be used to install additional software. Moreover, a package of extras is available which is designed to work with a standard TeX Live/MacTeX install. This package includes GTAMacfonts which provides LaTeX support for the use of various fonts supplied with Mac OS X.

MacPorts

Open source (BSD)

See MacPorts for general information about this package manager.

Once installed, MacPorts can be used to install a TeX distribution (TeXLive, see MacPorts for version) for use with a variety of editors/front-ends:

MacTeX

by the MacTeX Technical Working Group

Open source (various)

MacTeX is the official release of the MacTeX Technical Working Group. A very Mac-like installation using the Apple installer, so the installation process will be very familiar to Mac users.

MacTeX includes the most recent official standard distribution of TeX Live (the modern TeX distribution standard of TUG) for the Mac, a front end, documentation and extras. Go to MacTeX to download.

See MacTeX for further details.

See TeX Live for details of installation set-up and administration.

BasicTeX

by the MacTeX Technical Working Group

Open source (details)

A subset of TeX Live described here. This is designed primarily for users downloading over slower connexions or wishing to conserve disk space. It might also be a good choice for somebody who wants to try out the software before committing to the full MacTeX installation.

BasicTeX includes a small TeX installation and the TeX Live/MacTeX infrastructure. It does not contain a front end, editor or viewer of any kind so users downloading BasicTeX may wish to install MacTeX-Additions as well.

MacTeX-Additions

by the MacTeX Technical Working Group

Open source (various)

Everything in MacTeX except TeX Live itself. This package does not include a distribution of TeX itself. It is designed for users of BasicTeX or an independent TeX distribution who wish to install the infrastructure and tools included in the MacTeX distribution.

MacTeXtras

by the MacTeX Technical Working Group

Various licences

MacTeXtras is a complimentary collection of additional tools, scripts and documentation created by the MacTeX Technical Working Group. Note that this collection overlaps with the main MacTeX distribution but does not contain TeX itself. It is usually updated as its contents are updated. See the ExtrasFolder.pdf file for its present software contents and versions.

Note that nothing here depends on TeX Live or the main MacTeX distribution specifically. So if you choose to install a different distribution, you can still download this collection to get the GUI tools, scripts and documentation.

See the MacTeXtras page for more information.

OzTeX

by Andrew Trevorrow.

Shareware

Mac classic distribution updated for MacOS X. Last update August 2004.

Can be used by the following editors/front ends:

TeX Live

Open source (details)

TeX Live is the most popular and complete TeX distribution produced by the TeX user groups and available for a wide variety of platforms. MacTeX is the official distribution for Mac OS X.

See TeX Live for details of installation set-up and administration.

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