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Downloading MacTeX 2020

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.
All install packages are developer-signed and notarized by Apple.

MacTeX-2020 requires macOS 10.13, 10.14, or 10.15
High Sierra, Mojave, or Catalina


[ approximately 4.0G - 08 April 2020 ]
The MD5 sum is f20cf74887e5fee800f78953bfbf6a01
The SHA256 sum is a33af89de36c7c84a76050c9704d50d23892e9c2070f04f6a53e1c6d5a332f67
The SHA512 sum is f57c64c8c3c7a33e83dbb28c6ebc7e0fa64c9054deb69ca78f70a0f171b9ccf13221bd7b8008e944aae5b3347b5f631ec412e85585601e77356646ed94c644bd
Download with Safari strongly recommended

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.

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/2020, a location often hidden in the Finder. Most 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 is in /Applications/TeX. To switch, use the Configure menu item "Select Default TeX Live Version." TeX Live Utility is not installed by MacTeX-2020 because its author has not yet signed and notarized the application, but a file named MISSING APPS in /Applications/TeX explains how to obtain it.

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 and LaTeXiT. Two additional GUI programs are often used with TeX Live, BibDesk and TeX Live Utility. But these programs have not been updated for notarization by their authors, so they cannot be included in MacTeX-2020. A brief document installed in /Applications/TeX lists urls where these programs can be obtained. In particular, TeX Live Utility is constantly mentioned on these web pages for configuration of TeX Live, so users are urged to obtain that program.

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.

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", "Ghostscript-libgs", "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.

If you are still unable to download MacTeX-2020 after trying several specific mirrors, and your md5 sum is always incorrect, there is almost nothing we can do to help. The TeX User Group does not run the distribution servers; they are maintained by an entirely separate organization called CTAN. Complaining to us that your download always fails is a waste of time.

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 2020 and the various GUI programs installed by MacTeX are up to date as of April, 2020. 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