[Tex/LaTex] What are TeXLive’s four different texmf folders


Could someone please explain to me what the purpose of the four different texmf folders are in Mac? E.g. there is:

  1. /usr/local/texlive/2011/texmf
  2. /usr/local/texlive/2011/texmf-config
  3. /usr/local/texlive/2011/texmf-dist
  4. /usr/local/texlive/2011/texmf-var

Also, when installing fonts and packages, do I place them in /texmf or /texmf-dist?

Best Answer

OK, given the helpful comments to your query, here's a discussion of how the various texmf folders map into the "official" nomenclature of the TeXLive tree (set in all-caps):

  • .../texmf: TEXMFMAIN -- "The tree which holds vital parts of the system such as configuration files, helper scripts, and program documentation."
  • .../texmf-dist: TEXMFDIST -- "The tree which holds the main set of macro packages, fonts, etc."
  • .../texmf-var: TEXMFSYSVAR -- "The (site-wide) tree used by texconfig-sys, updmap-sys and fmtutil-sys, and also by tlmgr, to store (cached) runtime data such as format files and generated map files."
  • .../texmf-config: TEXMFSYSCONFIG -- "The (site-wide) tree used by the utilities texconfig-sys, updmap-sys, and fmtutil-sys to store modified configuration data."

Separately, if you have a LOCALTEXMF directory tree, TeXLive expects to find it at /usr/local/texlive/texmf-local, unless you edit the configuration file /usr/local/texlive/year /texmf.cnf and provide an alternate location. If you do so, be sure to run texhash to update the filename database.