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| MacTeX-2021 was released on April 1, 2021.
|The package is distributed by CTAN, which is connected to many mirror servers across the world.|
|The link on this page points to a multiplexer, which selects a mirror close to you at random.|
|The link points to "MacTeX.pkg" on the server, which is a link to the actual install package.|
|But before the mirror is updated, this link points to the 2020 version of MacTeX.|
|It can take three or four days before all servers are updated. Consequently, if you jump the gun and try to|
|download on April 1 or 2, you may find that you have downloaded MacTeX-2020. We|
|recommend waiting three or four days. By April 4, most mirrors should have the 2021 version.|
|To obtain the distribution, click the link below.|
|All install packages are developer-signed and notarized by Apple.|
|While downloading, please skim read the rest of the page.|
|Users who run into trouble often write us without noticing that the solution is on this very page.
|MacTeX-2021 requires macOS 10.14, 10.15, or 11|
|Mojave, Catalina, or Big Sur|
| and runs natively on both Arm and Intel machines.
[ approximately 4.4G - 29 March 2021 ]
The MD5 sum is 327168dcc3036603eccce226cb7fadf9
The SHA256 sum is e541257d70f911550341853709fc45d9fa9fcd4c93058382000ebb19b284833b
The SHA512 sum is 05d6e46347feb07bd9fed8ff1bfa855059a8fcf2c452fd832e0db1e15b5c171a2f86b5b911c37166dd19cfaba4f6e7fa4ea9f46c322f87f02f2b411bd1c54852
Download with Safari strongly recommended
All binaries in MacTeX-2021 are universal, with code for both Arm and Intel processors. The same source code is used to compile both types of code, so Apple's Arm and Intel machines are on exactly the same footing.
After downloading, move the file MacTeX.pkg to the desktop or another convenient spot, and double click it to install. Follow the straightforward instructions. Installation on a recent Macintosh takes about ten minutes. When installation is complete, go to /Applications/TeX and read the document READ ME FIRST installed there, which explains how to find and use LaTeX. A copy of this document is available here.
The installer presents a Welcome page. Then it presents a ReadMe page with more information. It presents a Software License page, and then a Final Page; clicking the "Install" button on this page will start the actual installation. The final page also has a ''Customize" button, which leads to a panel allowing users to decide which pieces to install: Ghostscript, the Ghostscript Library, the GUI applications, and TeX Live itself. Most users will take the standard installation and ignore "Customize". Users who use MacPorts or HomeBrew may prefer to use the Ghostscript provided by these projects; if so they should use "Customize" to disable Ghostscript installation.
At the end of installation, the installer will report "Success." But sometimes, the installer puts up a dialog saying "Verifying..." and then the install hangs. In all cases known to us, rebooting the Macintosh fixes this problem. After the reboot, install again.
If other problems are reported during installation, skip to the section "Installation Errors" below.
MacTeX writes a symbolic link /Library/TeX/texbin which indirectly points to the TeX Live binary directory. Configure your GUI programs to use this link. The GUI programs we supply should automatically configure themselves. On older systems, you may have seen the link /usr/texbin which did the same thing. When Apple produced El Capitan, they modified the system so users could no longer write directly to the /usr directory and this rule remains in effect today. Therefore we replaced /usr/texbin with /Library/TeX/texbin.
MacTeX installs TeX Live, the actual TeX Distribution, in /usr/local/texlive/2021, a location often hidden in the Finder. Typical users access TeX using a "front end", a program providing an editor to enter TeX source and a preview window to view the typeset output. MacTeX installs the front end TeXShop in /Applications/TeX and most people will access TeX using that front end or a similar one. MacTeX installs a file called READ-ME-FIRST in ``/Applications/TeX/Docs and Spell Utilities''. This file explains how to start TeXShop and enter and then typeset a short sample document.
MacTeX does not overwrite the TeX Distribution from the previous year. Users who run into trouble can switch to the previous distribution until the new distribution is fixed. Long ago we installed a Preference Pane which could do this switching, but this functionality is now in TeX Live Utility, which should be in /Applications/TeX. To switch, use the Configure menu item "Select Default TeX Live Version."
MacTeX completely configures TeX, so after installation it is ready to use. Go to "/Applications/TeX/Docs and Spell Utilities/READ ME FIRST.pdf" and read this short document to get started. The location "/Applications/TeX/Docs and Spell Utilities/Documents" also contains "What is installed", which lists all the components of MacTeX and their installation locations.
MacTeX installs TeX Live, which contains TeX, LaTeX, AMS-TeX, and virtually every TeX-related style file and font. TeX Live is maintained by TeX User Groups across the world. TeX Live is compiled from the same sources for all platforms: Macintosh, Windows, Linux, Unix.
MacTeX also the GUI programs TeXShop, LaTeXiT, TeX Live Utility, and BibDesk.
MacTeX installs Ghostscript, an open source version of Postscript. An optional package installs libgs, the dynamical library for Ghostscript. That library is used by only one program in TeX Live, dvisvgm. So it is not installed by default, but can be obtained using the ``custom install'' option in MacTeX.
X11 is an open source windowing system using by Linux machines. Most Macintosh users can ignore it. An open source version of X11 called XQuartz is available for the Macintosh. It can be found here. If you use X11, you should update to the latest version of XQuartz, 2.8.0. This is particularly important for users with Arm machines. If you installed MacTeX before upgrading XQuartz, just install the Ghostscript piece again.
The TeX Live programs xdvi, pdfopen, and pdfclose require X11. In addition, the Ghostscript library libgs requires X11 (but notice that dvisvgm is the only TeX Live program using it). Ghostscript comes with two binaries, gs-X11 and gs-noX11, where gs-X11 has support for X11 and gs-noX11 does not. When Ghostscript is first installed, a symbolic link named gs is created in /usr/local/bin. If X11 is present, gs points to gs-X11; otherwise it points to gs-noX11. On Arm machines, gs points to gs-X11 only if XQuartz 2.8.0 or higher is present.
Updating from an Earlier MacTeX Installation