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Downloading MacTeX 2019

To obtain the distribution, click the link below.
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-2019 requires macOS 10.12, 10.13, 10.14, or 10.15
Sierra, High Sierra, Mojave, or Catalina


[ approximately 3.9G - 08 May 2019 ]
The md5 sum is 927a9bcd8864789c7f33dbd01f8eb8c9
Download with Safari strongly recommended

Special Notes for Catalina

MacTeX-2019 works fine on Catalina once it is installed. When Catalina was first released to developers, Apple said that install packages for Catalina must be notarized and software installed must adopt a hardened runtime. These conditions hold for BasicTeX-2019 and Ghostscript, but not for MacTeX-2019. However, the requirements have been turned off for most betas of Catalina and seem to be still off in the release version, so MacTeX-2019 should install without trouble.

In one beta version of Catalina, perhaps beta 5, the restriction was turned on and the MacTeX-2019 install package refused to install. An experimental notarized version of MacTeX-2019 installed fine during that beta period and is available at http://tug.org/~koch/MacTeX-2019.pkg. It will replace the old MacTeX-2019 install package as soon as Apple reinstates the notarization restriction.

Installing MacTeX

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.

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 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 is 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 document leads a new user through the complete process of writing and typesetting a short LaTeX document. 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 installs Ghostscript, an open source version of Postscript, and it installs the GUI programs TeXShop, LaTeXiT, TeX Live Utility, and BibDesk. In "/Applications/TeX/Docs and Spell Utilities/Spelling" it contains an install package for cocoAspell, a spelling service which does not mark LaTeX commands as misspelled.

Updating from an Earlier MacTeX Installation

If you previously installed MacTeX, you may already have your own favorite front ends and GUI programs. Perhaps, in addition, you have Ghostscript from another source such as MacPorts or HomeBrew. In these cases, it is easy to install just the pieces you need. Download MacTeX using the earlier link. Double click to install. Several pages of information will be displayed; one of the last is shown below. Click the "Customize" button to obtain a page allowing you to select one or more of "TeX Live", "Ghostscript", "GUI Applications."


It is not necessary to remove the earlier TeX Live installation before installing a new one, and indeed we don't recommend that because MacTeX makes it easy to revert to the older version if the new version has a flaw. If you really need the extra space, other sections of these web pages explain how to remove older versions of MacTeX.

Installation Errors

Sometimes at the end of installation, the installer will report "The installation failed The Installer encountered an error that caused the installation to fail. Contact the software manufacturer for assistance."

In almost all cases, this error is caused by a faulty download. There is an easy way to check this. Go to /Applications/Utilities and run Terminal. Type

and a space. Then drag the install package icon "MacTeX.pkg" and drop it on the Terminal window. Push RETURN. Terminal will print a message and then a long item with letters and numbers. Compare this number to the md5 sum at the top of this page just under the MacTeX.pkg link. If the two numbers are different, your download was defective and you must download again. If you downloaded with a third party browser, we recommend trying Safari for the new download.

If you are having trouble downloading MacTeX, note that the download link points to a "multiplexer" site which parcels out requests to various up-to-date CTAN mirrors. Occasionally users have trouble getting the package from this multiplexer. In that case, choose a specific mirror on this mirror page.

MacTeX is a very large package. If your network is noisy, you might want to try downloading and installing BasicTeX. See Smaller Download. BasicTeX is very much smaller, and yet has most files, fonts, and programs to process TeX, so this is a rapid way to get a working TeX. BasicTeX need not be uninstalled before installing MacTeX, so once you convince yourself that our packages work, you can return to the main task of installing MacTeX. TUG strongly recommends the full MacTeX for most users, including beginners,

So far, we've given alternatives for bad downloads. But if your download has the correct md5 sum, and you still get a message that installation failed, it is time to click "MacTeX Installer Support" at the bottom of this page and ask for help.

Updating Various Pieces After Installation

TeX Live 2019 and the various GUI programs installed by MacTeX are up to date as of April, 2019. But various pieces may have been updated since then. Each of our GUI programs has a menu item called "Check for Updates." Select this item to update the program to the current version. The TeX Live command line files are updated daily. To install these updates, use TeX Live Utility in /Applications/TeX.

The program xdvi requires at least XQuartz 2.7.9. If you use this program, update XQuartz to the latest version at http://www.xquartz.org.

TeX Live DVD

Free copies of TeX Live are available over the internet, but this can be problematic if your internet connection is unstable. Members of the TeX User Group (TUG) receive a free DVD containing the full TeX Live for all common platforms. TUG also sells this DVD to others. For details, click on the TUG icon at top right.

Acknowledgments ...

Happy TeXing on Mac OS X !

MacTeX Installer Support
TUG home page; (via Google)