How to discover what TeXLive ports I need

Mojca Miklavec mojca at
Thu May 19 03:23:48 PDT 2016

On 19 May 2016 at 12:06,  <list_email at> wrote:
> I'm trying to make a functional replacement for TeXLive 2013 provided by MacTeX, using MacPorts, and reaching some level of frustration with figuring out what MacPorts stuff I need. I did
> sudo port install texlive +medium
> But now, for example, a long-worked-on LyX project now fails to compile, complaining of
> LaTeX Error: File `prettyref.sty' not found.

This one is in texlive-latex-extra.

> Ditto for flushend and who knows what else will pop up. I went through the various port descriptions at that contain texlive in their names and get a very limited amount of information such as
> name                texlive-latex-extra
> ...
> description         TeX Live: LaTeX additional packages
> long_description    A very large collection of add-on packages for LaTeX
> That's it. Is there some way to figure out what ports I need to add to get specific functionality? Or will I have to bite the bullet and do sudo port install texlive +full which warns "Full installation scheme (very large!)".

If you want a full replacement of MacTeX, you need to do the full
installation of TeX Live. I no longer have version 2013 installed, but
MacTeX 2016 is 5 GB (minus epsilon). You cannot get any thinner
installation by getting the full installation scheme from MacPorts
except that you wouldn't be installing PPC and 32-bit Intel binaries.

If you merely want to compile your documents and want to discover
which packages are needed, we really should set up some service to
list the files in the packages, but at the moment most likely the
easiest way is to do a checkout of

And search for that file. You can find it in package "prettyref":

name prettyref
category Package
revision 15878
runfiles size=1

and the package prettyref is in colection "latexextra":

name collection-latexextra
category Collection
revision 40214
depend pressrelease
depend prettyref
depend preview

And then you know which package to install. I agree that this is
pretty annoying though, but I don't see any better solution at the
moment (other than perhaps installing MikTeX; last time I tried it
failed to compile on OS X though).


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