[tex-live] Missing "ppc" symbolic link in .FactoryDefaults/gwTeX-2003-2005 ?

Richard Koch koch at math.uoregon.edu
Mon Dec 20 06:25:07 CET 2010

Just for the record, here is a full explanation.

MacTeX calls `/usr/bin/uname -p` to determine the processor. Intel machines
report back "i386" and ppc machines report "powerpc". MacTeX sets the symbolic link
/usr/texbin to  /Library/TeX/Distributions/.DefaultTeX/Contents/Programs/i386
or the same path ending in "powerpc", depending on the processor.

The TeX Distribution structure for a particular distribution has an entry named
"i386" pointing to its Intel binaries, and an entry named "powerpc" pointing to its ppc
binaries. Shortly after the structure was invented, a redundant entry named "ppc"
was added, also pointing to the ppc binaries. This redundant entry was missing
from Gerben's original teTeX structure, and perhaps from very early TeX Live

Jerome Lauren's TeX Distribution Preference Panel notices when the link /usr/texbin
is missing, and offers to repair the link. (This can happen when upgrading the system.)
Unhappily, it repairs powerpc links using the redundant "ppc" rather than the original
"powerpc". Thus the repair works for recent distributions, but fails for some older ones.

We don't have the source code, so only Jerome can fix this. This
problem can only affect users with powerpc machines, and then only the small subset of such
users who might want to switch back to a considerably earlier distribution.

Dick Koch
koch at math.uoregon.edu

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